The 2021 season is finally here! While we are always excited to kick off a new season, the cancellation of our 2020 season means it has been longer than normal since we have been on the field, and we can’t wait to get back!
We ask that you please read through this introductory message in its entirety as we have a lot of information to convey regarding the season, our new Start the Heart program, communications, rules changes, and COVID safety.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After an on-field emergency with a youth lacrosse player this past summer, AGL decided to institute a new heart safety program called Start the Heart. The purpose of this program is to ensure we have critical life safety equipment for all of our teams and our coaches receive necessary training in CPR and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). AEDs are critical safety devices that can save a life in the event of a cardiac emergency. While these types of events are rare, they still occur in young athletes with enough frequency that we need to be prepared as an organization.
In order to make the Start the Heart Program as impactful as possible, we have partnered with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Youth Heart Watch Program and we will become the first ever youth sports program affiliate! By affiliating with the Youth Heart Watch Program we will be recognized as a program that has proper emergency planning and procedures in place, appropriate life safety equipment on hand, and emergency training for our coaches.
The West Grove Fire Company has also joined us as a partner and will be assisting with training, drills, and will be stopping by at events throughout the season to show their support for our program.
Start the Heart is a truly unique program that demonstrates our commitment to player safety, and we are excited to be leading the charge in the youth sports world. Unfortunately, AEDs are expensive, and in order to have an AED for every team we need your support to help us raise $15,000 to support the purchase of these devices.
In order to make fundraising as easy as possible, we are asking all families to sign up for our FanAngel fundraiser here. The process is simple. You supply 10 email addresses or phone numbers (for sending text messages) of your strongest supporters (aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) and starting February 1st we will send automated messages asking for their support.
If your supporters donate, they will receive a receipt to receive a tax deduction, and will not receive any further messages. The system will then send a few more automated emails over the next few weeks, and then we will be done! If at any point your supporters choose to not donate, they can request to not receive any further messages.
All donations for the fundraiser will go directly to Start the Heart and the purchase of AEDs. Please join today and help us achieve our goal of putting an AED on every field.
For new families, the Cow Plop is our end of season event and fundraiser that is normally our big close out to the year. If you have never seen or heard of a cow plop, here is a great description of exactly how it works. Needless to say, it is a lot of fun, and in years past it has been a huge event involving the entire Avon Grove community.,
We are committed to having the cow plop in 2021, but we know the event may need to be adapted to COVID restrictions. We will provide more information to families as we understand what will be viable this year.
COMMUNICATIONS AND SCHEDULING
AGL utilizes TeamSnap for all scheduling and team communications. Parents/Guardians will be required to utilize TeamSnap throughout the season, so be sure to download the app today.
Grade-Based Team Structure
The Chester County Lacrosse Association (CCLA) voted this fall to transition from an age-based to a grade-based team structure. The goal of this change is to keep players grouped with the kids they see every day in school (or on Zoom) and eliminate situations where some players are grouped with kids either a grade above or a grade below due to birthdate.
AGL has transitioned its program structure to meet this rule change. For returning players, teams are now broken down as follows:
- U6 – Pre-K / K
- U8 – 1st and 2nd Grade
- U10 – 3rd and 4th Grade
- U12 – 5th and 6th Grade
- U14 – 7th and 8th Grade
Until evaluations are completed for 5th through 8th graders, players within a grade group are assigned to the same team. These teams will be used for communications and pre-season scheduling purposes. Once evaluations are completed and teams are divided, players will be moved into their final, in-season teams.
New Goalie Chest Protector Requirements
As part of increased safety standards for equipment, all major lacrosse rules organizations now require goalie chest protectors meet the new NOCSAE ND200 standard. This standard reduces the force of blows to the chest and reduces the risk of commotio cordis – a sudden cardiac arrest caused by a blow to the chest.
All goalies must wear certified chest protectors that bear the NOCSAE logo and SEI certification. A full list of certified chest protectors can be found at the SEI website. We prefer chest protectors listed under ND200-19 as they meet updated equipment testing requirements. All goalie chest protectors will be checked at the beginning of the season, and players will be notified if their chest protector does not meet the new standard.
All pre-season events have been populated in the schedules for our 3rd through 8th graders. The full schedule for all events is available in TeamSnap, and below is the description of each event:
New Player Clinics – All first year players from 3rd through 8th grade should attend our free developmental clinics. This is an opportunity for players to get on the field with coaches with other new players and learn the fundamentals of lacrosse.
Winter Skills – Skills sessions for returning players that want an opportunity to get on the field before the start of the season taught by the coaching staff from the Avon Grove High School Boy’s Lacrosse Team. In order to attend you must have paid for the sessions as part of initial registration. If you did not register for winter skills and would like to add it, please send a note to email@example.com
Face-Off Clinic – Face-offs are an important element to the game, and we have multiple, free sessions for those interested in learning about this role. New and returning players are welcome to attend.
Evaluations – All 5th through 8th grade players must take part in evaluations to determine team placement for the season. Teams are assigned based on observed skill level and are intended to keep players grouped with players of a similar skill level. We ask that families prioritize evaluations as they are essential for proper placement of players. There are no evaluations for 1st/2nd grade. 3rd/4th grade players will be split into separate teams after their first few outdoor practices.
Please Note: All pre-season events are assigned to all 3rd through 8th graders. All players in these age groups will receive reminders for these events even if they do not plan to attend, so please disregard any reminders that do not apply.
Please review our COVID-19 Safety page for full details on our COVID-19 safety plan and policies.