Grades 5-6

Philosophy For Grades 5-6

The goal of 5/6 lacrosse is to continue to develop a passion for the sport of lacrosse by focusing on further development of the fundamentals – passing, catching and ground balls. We will also spend time building stick skills with both hands and increasing “Lacrosse IQ” by teaching a Wheel Offense and different defensive strategies.

Practices will be designed where approximately 50% of the time is spent on foundational skill training (and instruction) and 50% will be focused on fun activities, scrimmaging, and simulations of game situations.

Girls are encouraged to play fearless and take chances. To this end, there is absolutely, positively no focus on winning or outcomes. This is not a cliché – it is the foundation of how youth sports should be played. Teamwork, sportsmanship and supporting each other like a lacrosse family will be at the center of everything we do.

Parents are encouraged not to measure success by wins or number of goals scored. Here are the questions coaches will repeatedly ask and parents should reinforce these on the car ride home from practice and games:

  • What was the bravest thing you did/tried to do today?
  • How did you help a teammate out?
  • What areas did you improve the most in today?
  • How can I help you get better?

Asking these types of questions can really help your child improve as a player by shifting their focus to development as opposed to individual accomplishments.

"A"/"B" Team Divisions

Beginning at the 5/6 level, Clubs are split into 2 teams. Experienced players are placed on the “A” team, while those new to the sport play in “B” games. Most girls will be assigned to one team or the other. In some cases, girls may “swing” between teams from week to week.

There are many formal and informal rules dictating team placement. So please never infer team placement is a simple judgement of ability. The Greater Cincinnati Lacrosse community strives to make sure girls are placed in an environment which maximizes their development and enjoyment of the game.

As a general rule, experienced players and 6th graders are placed on the “A” team, while newer players and 5th graders play in “B” games.  Additionally, to play “A” games, you must be available to play in BOTH the “A” and “B” games. Unfortunately, given the checking rules allowed in “A” games, we can’t play Girls in “A” games simply because it fits their schedule.

With development at the center of what we do, we try our best for 6th Grade girls to spend as much time as possible with the “A” team. This is because they need as much experience as possible to adapt to the introduction of checking, which make executing fundamental skills more difficult.

While there are two teams for games, we are all ONE UNIT AT ALL TIMES. Girls will practice together and support/help teammates at ALL TIMES. All girls are strongly encouraged to attend BOTH the “A” and “B” games every week to show support for their teammates.

“Playing Up”

As a rule, “playing up” a grade is not allowed. Loveland Lacrosse is already a 2-grade sport, so allowing kids to play on an older team means they could be facing girls several years older. There are, however, circumstances that may require it as a last case resort.

  • First, anyone “playing up” must practice with and prioritize their own grade level. We do not allow playing up under any circumstance simply to accommodate a schedule. Additionally, our opponents want their experienced players to compete against kids of equal ability, and if ours are playing on an older team, we have disrupted the balance unilaterally.
  • Second, there must be < 10 girls (as lacrosse is 7v7 at the 3rd/4th grade level) available in the corresponding grades available to play before we would allow anyone younger to join. 3rd and 4th Grade girls need as much time as possible on the field to prepare them for their impending rise to 5/6 lacrosse, where checking is introduced.

Girls Playing Multiple Sports

Loveland Lacrosse encourages and is committed to girls playing multiple sports. For 9 months a year, girls are 100% free of any lacrosse commitments or obligations. During our very brief season, however, we do ask everyone to make a concentrated effort to attend all practices and games. This helps the girls gain confidence in their skills and increases their chances of enjoying the sport. ***However, Girls who are available for games will play equally regardless of their ability to participate in practices.

Practices/Games

  • Practices start mid-February
  • Practices are scheduled 2 days a week for 1.5 hours each
  • Practices are held in Loveland
  • Games will begin early March and end before Memorial Day
  • There will be a tournament added April or Mat
  • Games are typically played on Saturdays between 8AM and 5PM
  • Please arrive 30 minutes early for games
  • Most early season games are played at away locations on turf fields
  • Home Games are played at Home of the Brave Park

Practice Notes

  • Arrive early enough so we can start on time
  • Bring water – there is no water at the practice field
  • Do not forget your equipment – you cannot practice without a mouth guard and goggles and I do not carry extras

Communication

  • All parents will receive an invitation to “Teamsnap”
  • All communication will be run thru this app, so please make sure to fill out your information as detailed as possible and sign up for “alerts”
  • Please make sure to update your child’s availability in the app ASAP for practices and no later than Tuesday evenings (of game weeks) for games.
  • Weekly team assignments and lineups are created on Wednesdays and girls not marked as available may get left off a team.

Equipment

  • Regulation, full length GIRLS’ stick
  • Approved goggles
  • Mouth guard – no designs on mouth guard – 1 color only (NOT white)
  • Most girls prefer cleats (soccer cleats are fine though they do sell lacrosse-specific pairs)
  • Equipment can be purchased at Velocity Lacrosse (West Chester), Play it Again Sports (go early or it’s gone) and most major sporting goods retailers.

Game Rules

Games are 12v12 and played on a full, regulation size field.  We play:

  • 1 Goalie
  • 3 Middies
  • 4 Defenders
  • 4 Attacking Players

In most games, girls will play one half at attack and one at defense. Middies may stay in the same spot the entire game. Girls will play a variety of positions throughout the season to ensure maximum exposure and understanding of the entire game. The only exceptions may be those who request to be a full-time goalie. We do not assign positions at this level.

The biggest difference between 3/4 and 5/6 are the size of the field and the introduction of stick checking at the “A” level.  Girls in these games are allowed to check their opponents below the waist. This component changes the way the game is played significantly and puts a greater emphasis on accurate passes, catching and ground ball technique.

Sportsmanship

Loveland Lacrosse fully supports the US Sportsmanship initiative demanding all rules, opponents, officials, teammates be treated with respect. Our first objective is to be known as the classiest and most respectful organization in town.

“Blue Cards” will be given to any parent acting contrary our beliefs which will serve as a warning. Subsequent behavior will result in removal from the game or even termination of the event.