Over the past several years, youth lacrosse in Arizona has been split between two leagues, the Arizona Youth Lacrosse League (AYLL) and the Arizona Lacrosse League (ALL).
In the interest of growing the sport and delivering the best possible experience for the players, the executive committees from both leagues have formally agreed to merge together to form a new league.
This new league, Arizona Youth Lacrosse (AYL) will incorporate teams from across the valley. Future growth into other locales is also projected.
Here are some of the changes and highlights effective this coming season:
There will be a Junior High division (7th and 8th graders), a U6 division (5th and 6th graders) as before.
A U4 division with 3rd and 4th graders (and advanced 2nd graders) using a half field size/ 5ft x 5ft goals/7 vs 7 games with a goalie. No long poles allowed.
New this year will be a U9 division consisting of K, 1st, 2nd, and developing 3rd grade players.
This U9 division will play:
on a smaller field (sideline-to-sideline)
with six players on the field at a time
using smaller goals with no goalies
with attack sticks only (no longpoles/d-poles allowed)
This model is consistent with all other youth sports that play on scaled-down fields at younger ages to increase skill development and play time for newer and younger players.
We will continue to emphasize stick skills over contact at the U6 and JHS levels.
SEASON & GAME FORMAT
We will continue with our current format of jamborees, with all teams competing together at the same location around the Valley each Saturday during the winter and spring.
Games will begin January 23rd and likely end with the Cactus Cup championships on April 9th.
The board of the new league is working hard to secure venues throughout the Valley.
There are already five weeks of the season with fields locked in.
Our goal is to have these dates and locations completed prior to the season kickoff in late January.
Each team will be required to provide age/grade verification for the players on the field, to ensure roster continuity throughout the season and minimize size discrepancies.
Photo books at each game will be required.
Glendale Lacrosse Club will include players from Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, and Northwest Phoenix
All existing players from either league will be "grandfathered" into their existing clubs.
Our goal as a Club is to grow lacrosse in our home boundary and support our local lacrosse programs.
A few updates as we end our fall season of box lacrosse and look forward to hitting the field on October 14 . . .
On the subject of box lacrosse we were recently named Charter Members of USBOXLA by Matt Brown (Associate Head Coach, Denver University, 2015 NCAA Champion). This allows our club the opportunity to compete with the US and Canada’s best lacrosse teams playing true Canadian style box, hold Academy’s, tournaments and direct access to the top players and coaches internationally. Great things to come . . .Including our own box tournament MLK Weekend in AZ.
The youth leagues are finally back together forming the new Arizona Youth Lacrosse (AYL). Competition doubles to now include Scottsdale United, Phoenix Lacrosse Club, Arrowhead, Ahwatukee, Chandler, Oro Valley, Tucson Foothills, Tucson Lacrosse Club, Gilbert, Kyrene, East Valley, Heat, West Valley, North Valley, and Desert Foothills. Tentative schedule runs from Jan 23 through April 8. Lots of details to iron out but it’s a done deal.
Player development over winning . . .Our club was founded on the core concept of developing all players. This past season we veered to the dark side on occasion for youth teams and did not expose every player to quality minutes on the field. This is wrong and will not continue. Know that positions will be platooned again for the upcoming year. Win or lose, everybody plays, contributes and has fun.
Regarding the HS team, we expect to be small in numbers and high in skill. Playing box this summer increased the development of our underclassman exponentially. With some players graduating or moving on, we will build on the camaraderie and fun we established this summer in the box.
Fall Training Camp & Tournament Practices, beginning Oct 14, will focus on stickwork, speed & agility, small-sided games, individual skills and scrimmages. Our teams will play in the following pre-season tournaments. If you want to come out for training but do not want to play in the tournaments - contact me directly before you register.
Since 2005 we have run over 100 no-cost PE Lacrosse Clinics in schools across Peoria Unified, Deer Valley Unified, and DYSART school districts. If you want a PE Lacrosse Clinic at your school just ask your PE teacher and contact to get on the schedule!!!