Middle School

Philosophy For Middle School

The goal of Middle School 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 are prepared under the guidance of the Youth Director and HS Varsity Coaches in order to prepare the girls for success at the HS level. Middle School continues to focus on development over results. The overwhelming goal of 7th and 8th grade lacrosse is to ensure the girls are ready to hit the ground running when the enter the HS program. As such, we will spend the majority of our time focusing on the dodges, formations and strategies used by the Loveland Varsity HS team.

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

In Middle School, we are split into 2 teams on game days only. Experienced players are placed on the “A” team, while those newer 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.

Generally, experienced players and 8th graders are placed on the “A” team, while newer players and 7th graders play in “B” games.  Additionally, for girls in the 7th grade to play “A” games, you are expected to attend > 75% of all practices and you must be available to play in BOTH the “A” and “B” games. Unfortunately, we can’t play Girls in “A” games simply because it fits their schedule.

Once teams are settled, we strive for equal playing time on game days. While girls who miss a lot of practices will not be placed on the “A” team, they will not be penalized with playing time in the “B” games as we do our best to support kids with many activities.

With development at the center of what we do, we try our best for 8th 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 faster pace of the game as they prepare for HS.

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.

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 brief season, however, we do ask everyone to make a concentrated effort to attend all practices and games. Lacrosse at the Middle School level goes beyond fundamental learning and lays the foundation for set offenses and defenses which are ironed out during practice. Girls who miss too many practices can struggle to find their place on the field. ***However, Girls who are available for games at the “B” level will play equally regardless of their ability to participate in practices. Regular attendance at practice is expected for those wanting to participate in “A” games.

Practices/Games

  • Practices start mid-February
  • Practices are Monday-Friday
  • Practices are held in Loveland
  • Games will begin early March and end before Memorial Day and played almost entirely on Monday and Wednesday across Cincinnati
  • There will be a tournament played in April or May on a weekend
  • Please arrive 30 minutes early for games
  • Home Games are played at Loveland Middle School

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”

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.

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.