Dear Parent: March 16, 2022
My name is Wayne Demers and I am a New Hampshire Youth Lacrosse Association (NHYLA) Board member and the President of the Exeter Youth Lacrosse Association.
It has come to my attention that US Lacrosse, in an effort to expand its diversity and inclusion goals, has developed guidelines for adaptive lacrosse programs. According to US Lacrosse the adaptive lacrosse program is an opportunity for people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities to become involved with the game. Our goal is to become a state “where diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of the values and culture” of lacrosse in New Hampshire.
Our goal for the state, at this early developmental stage, is to field a unified coed lacrosse team. The team will be located on the Seacoast of New Hampshire with Exeter as its home base. This is the first program of its kind in New Hampshire.
Ideally, team size would be 12 to 15 players along with an equal or greater number of youth volunteers from area high schools. Games and practices would take place on Sundays along with the regularly scheduled NHYLA games.
Cost to participating families will be minimal. Each family will have to register their player with US Lacrosse. The current cost for player registration is $35 (go to uslacrosse.org and click on Players & Parents, Get Started, Become a Member). Equipment will be provided for the team (it would be available at each game/practice). We will be using soft lacrosse balls so helmets and other protective gear will be optional. Cost for uniforms, field time, and game officials will be absorbed by the various programs and NHYLA.
The program will be open to participants ages 10-21. This program offers a way for children with physical and developmental disabilities to enjoy the sport in a non-competitive and adaptive environment. Coaches and organizational participants will emphasize teamwork, sportsmanship, and skill development on an age and ability appropriate basis. The program will be structured to have middle and high school lacrosse players from local community’s team up as a “partner” or “mentor” for each adaptive participant. These partner coaches will assist in adapting the skills and teaching methods to the needs of each participant’s ability and specific requirements. Equipment and rules will also be modified as necessary to meet participant’s needs while maintaining the overall fundamental lacrosse team experience.
The lacrosse season in New Hampshire begins mid-April and ends the 2nd weekend in June with the NHYLA Festival. The Festival hosts over 300 New Hampshire youth lacrosse teams, a little over 7000 lacrosse players, and this will also be the final weekend for the unified teams to play.
Registration will be open on March 20, 2022. To register a player, parents can go to NHYLA.org, click on Home, Scroll down to and click on Officials Registration, find 2022 Unified Lacrosse and follow the directions. If we have enough players in various age groups we will field a couple of teams. This would be an ideal scenario and will be dependent on our ability to interest parents and players in the program.
Anyone who has questions can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal is to begin the season with the other NHYLA teams in mid April.
I appreciate your time and I hope to meet many of you on the lacrosse field.
Open to: Boys & Girls
born between: 01/01/2001 and 01/01/2012