In our effort to help make the game fair and safer, NXT is adopting the US Lacrosse player segmentation mandate set by US Lacrosse.
An athlete's physical and cognitive development has a significant impact on player safety in both practice and competition. When players are grouped on teams without consideration of the significant differences, safety and quality of play is jeopardized. Research has shown that age is the best indicator for determining how to group players, as opposed to grad year or grade.
Our plan adopts the US Lacrosse player segmentation model over the next couple years, without disrupting current clubs and events.
The first step starts with our youngest club teams.
Traditionally, our youngest teams for our boys and girls program represent the 3rd grade level. Starting with our tryouts this August, we will switch our 3rdgrade team to the properly segmented 9U team, which will all be age-verified by US Lacrosse standards. This means that all players on our 9U teams will be: a) born between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2009; and b) will be active, age-verified members of US Lacrosse.
For our club players who do not fall in the 9U age range, their team structure will not change. They will be “grandfathered in” and stay intact, as we do not want to break up teams that have been playing together for several years. All members of those teams, however, will be required to hold US Lacrosse memberships.
In order to get all club lacrosse up through 8th grade fully compliant with US Lacrosse player segmentation, we are adopting a six-year process. In 2018-2019, the 9U teams that were established in 2017-2018 will progress to properly segmented and age-verified 10U teams. In this manner, over the next 6 years, all youth lacrosse club teams will become properly segmented and age-verified per the US Lacrosse standards.
As one of the nation’s largest lacrosse event operators, NXT will be making this change on the events side. Starting in September 2017, for all of our US Lacrosse-sanctioned youth tournaments we will be switching our 3rd grade divisions to 9U divisions. All teams in our 9U division will need to be compliant with US Lacrosse 9U age-verification and segmentation policies prior to the tournament.
Several other major lacrosse event operators, including Adrenaline and 3d Lacrosse, will mirror these changes to their 9U divisions at events. “Adrenaline is fully on board with these measures designed to make the game safer and fairer. We join with NXT in adopting these age-segmentation standards,” said Alex Cade, CEO of Adrenaline.
This plan will allow our programs to align with the national governing body in a realistic and acceptable timeline, while making the game safer and fairer across the board.
We ask other club programs and event operators to adopt the US Lacrosse player age-segmentation standards in order to make youth lacrosse better for everyone; teams, coaches, parents and—most importantly—players.
Clubs interested in signing on to this age-segmentation plan will be featured on the US Lacrosse website. To find out more contact Robin Baxter, Director, Club Accounts & Sanctioning for US Lacrosse, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Event operators interested in bringing their events under the US Lacrosse sanctioning umbrella should contact J.P Fischer, Manager, Sanctioning for US Lacrosse, at email@example.com.