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Who may participate in Thunder Lacrosse? 

Any child grade K-8 may participate. In some limited situations, we do allow 5 year old’s to play up to age 6. This situation requires a discussion with a Thunder Lacrosse representative. The Thunder are a Member Club of the Arapahoe Youth League (AYL) and thus have a specific geographic territory that we serve. We serve the communities that feed the Littleton Public Schools, Englewood Schools and Sheridan Schools.  However, players from outside this territory can still play in the Thunder Lacrosse program but are subject to a few additional requirements. Should you wish to play Thunder Lacrosse or you are unsure as to which Club Territory you live in, please contact one of the Thunder Lacrosse representatives @ boyslacorsse@littletonyouthsports.com

When does Lacrosse registration occur? 

Registration for the Thunder Lacrosse opens in November. The Thunder will utilize an on-line registration system for all our sports.  This allows our customers a much more efficient registration process for their players.  Please go to our website, http://www.littletonyouthsports.org/ to register for Thunder Lacrosse.  Should you have questions about registration please see question 21 below.

Why does Lacrosse registration occur so early for this spring sport? 

The Thunder are a member of the AYL which has several member lacrosse clubs. Each club must define and commit by the end of February each year as to the number of teams by age and division that will participate in the league. This is required to allow time for the all-volunteer AYL Lacrosse Board to complete detailed plans for the season including game schedule, number of officials required, game fields, etc. This also provides ample time for Thunder to acquire and train quality coaches to fill any coaching vacancies.  

When does the typical Lacrosse season run?

Practice begins in early March with a 3 – 4 week pre-season practice schedule. This allows ample time for the players to get into "Lacrosse" shape, physical conditioning, etc. The regular season starts with the first games being played in late March. The season is 7 regular season games with all teams in each age/division qualifying for the playoffs. Playoffs and our season ending championship are completed no later than by the end of May. The season calendar varies year to year by as much as one week. It is best to review the current season calendar listed on our website.  

How do I go about registering my child for Thunder Lacrosse?

Thunder uses an online registration system for all offerings.  This on-line system makes it far more efficient for our customers to register their child for Lacrosse. Please go to our website, http://www.littletonyouthsports.org/ to register for Thunder Lacrosse.  6. What is the cost to play Thunder Lacrosse?  The cost for Thunder Lacrosse can change from year-to-year primarily based on our field provider’s adjustments in field usage fees.  After January 31st, Thunder assesses a late fee of an additional $25 per child. Registration closes by age group when the teams at that age group are full. Generally, registration is open until mid-February but the Thunder encourages everyone to register as early as possible, preferably prior to January 31st. After January 31st please check the Thunder website for information regarding potential openings at specific age groups.  

What does the registration fee cover? 

The fee covers many items including but not limited to: Registration costs which are league fees, insurance costs, coach background checks, etc. Practice costs such as practice field usage & permits, Coaching and practice equipment. Game costs such as game field usage & permits, including weekly field set up/tear down, official’s costs, website scheduling and score reporting costs, and officials evaluation costs. Thunder Lacrosse operating expenses such as bank fees, ongoing coaching evaluations and education, administration costs, copying, misc, etc.  New for 2016 is the Thunder Lacrosse partnership with 3d Lacrosse. There are two main components of this program: 1) coach training and 2) player training.  3d will assign one full time Master Coach to the Thunder for the season.  The 3d Master Coach will be working with the Thunder coaches and players through “Skills Clinics” three days per week for 10 weeks starting in March and concluding in May.  In addition, 3d will be working with the Thunder coaches through a pre-season clinic, on-field training, weekly practice plan assistance and resources, as well as ongoing feedback from the 3d Master Coach. Littleton Youth Sports is a not for profit volunteer youth sports organization.  Thunder is an exempt organization for both federal and state tax purposes. 

What equipment will I have to purchase for my child to play Thunder Lacrosse?

Each individual player is responsible for his own equipment and uniform.  You must purchase your game jersey, game shorts and socks through BreakAway Sports.   The required equipment includes a helmet (white is preferred but not required). Shoulder pads, and cleated shoes. Soccer cleats are workable if you already have them. If purchasing new cleats please consider purchasing a Lacrosse Cleat, which has a better base specific for Lacrosse action. The Thunder and the AYL are extremely concerned about the proper fit of player’s helmets and shoulder pads. Should you plan to purchase used equipment, particularly a helmet, please take the equipment to a reputable retailer to have the prospective purchase reviewed for safety.  The Thunder will provide a throat guard, chest protector and goalie stick to each coach requesting that gear.  Players can provide their own goalie equipment if they so desire. 9. Where do we purchase Lacrosse uniforms   You must purchase game uniforms from BreakAway.  Uniform ordering instructions will be provided following player registration. 10. Where do we purchase Lacrosse equipment? Lacrosse equipment can be purchased at any local sporting goods store. 

How is a new player assigned to a team? Are there tryouts?

A Lacrosse player is assigned to a team based upon age and experience. Age is determined as of June 1st, of the current year. We attempt to place a new player on a team with similar experience level. Then if there are multiple choices we will try to match the new player with a team that has other players from the same school the new player attends or within the middle school feeder system. Priority for placement is based on the actual registration date and time from our on-line system. New Thunder Lacrosse players may request to play with a friend or a particular coach. This can be noted on the registration form. If a team preference is indicated on the registration form Thunder will endeavor to grant that preference however there are other factors such as team level of competitive play, specific team roster openings, etc., that affect that placement. Generally there will be a conversation between the Parents and a Thunder Lacrosse representative to ensure correct team placement if a specific team preference is indicated.  

How are returning Thunder Lacrosse players placed on teams?

Returning players who are registered and paid in full before Feb. 1st of the current year will automatically be assigned to the same team they played on the previous season.   Should a returning player fail to register by the cutoff he will be placed on a team in the same manner and in the same priority as any new player. Should a returning player wish to change teams for any reason please contact one of the Thunder Lacrosse representative as soon as possible so we can advise and assist you in making the requested change. Please understand that a returning player who wishes to change teams must still register. Priority for placement for the returning player requesting to change teams is based on the actual registration date and time from our on-line system. 

How many players are on a team?

Team size can vary depending upon the number of kids registering to play. The Thunder has target roster sizes, varying by competitive division of play to ensure minimal financial requirements are met.   

How are jersey numbers decided?

Numbers can be requested during the registration process.  Returning players have priority so that previous years’ uniforms can be used in the current year.  Typically, assigned numbers are confirmed by the Thunder Lacrosse representatives prior to being turned over to the uniform vendor (BreakAway).  This process reduces the opportunity for number issues. 

Where, when and how often is practice?

The Thunder pay for permits for practice fields from South Suburban Parks and Recreation. All of our practice fields are in the east Littleton and west Centennial area. Most teams will practice 2 -3 evenings per week in the preseason and have one practice on Saturdays. The start and end time for practices is determined by the Head Coach and generally takes in to account the Coaches’ work schedule as well as the school schedule our players are under. For the most part the younger the age of the team the shorter practices run, for example at ages 6/7 the practice may only run 60 to 90 minutes while at ages 12/13 the practice may run 2.5 hours.

How many games are played? Where and when are they scheduled?

The AYL regular season generally consists of seven games. All teams qualify for the single elimination playoffs. The number of games played during the playoffs can vary based upon the number of teams in an age division. The AYL is comprised of Member Clubs establishing teams in the South Metro area communities of Littleton, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, SE Denver, South Aurora, Parker, Denver and Castle Rock. Games can be played in any of these locations at specific parks. Regular season games are scheduled for Saturdays with the earliest game at 8:30 or 9:00 am and the latest game scheduled for 2:30 or 3:00 pm. On some fields, we may have later games being played under the lights starting at 5:00 and 7:00 pm as well.  Post season Playoffs begins immediately following the conclusion of the regular season.  Please understand that games may be postponed by weather, field issues or other problems resulting in game cancelations. Games are typically rescheduled as soon as possible. Also, some playoff games may need to be scheduled on Sundays to be certain the entire playoff schedule can be completed prior to the mandatory end of the season. 

What if we have a family vacation scheduled during the season?

Lacrosse requires significant preparation and practice as well as a strong commitment to the team. Family vacations during the season are highly discouraged. Depending upon team rules, playing time may be impacted because of the time your player misses because of the vacation. You are encouraged to schedule your vacations prior to or after the season to avoid playing time impacts. If you must schedule a family vacation during the season, please inform your Head Coach as soon as possible to understand how your team and your child will be impacted. 

What if my child decides after signing up that he does not like Lacrosse and wants to quit. What is the refund policy?

Littleton Youth Sports has a standard refund policy. Please go to our website, http://www.littletonyouthsports.org/ and click on the “Contact Us” link.  There you will find the refund policy and the link to submit a refund request. 

Who can be a coach?

Anyone can apply to be a Head Coach or an Assistant Coach. All coaching candidates will undergo a pre-certification process. The process involves filling out an application, undergoing a background check and completing an interview with the Thunder Lacrosse representatives. All Thunder coaches are required to become USA Lacrosse Certified, as well as attend any mandated yearly AYL coach training, including Concussion Management Training and are encouraged to attend any local coaching clinics if they can as well. Specific Coaching training and skill/drill information is available to any authorized Thunder Lacrosse coach through a contract Thunder has arranged with an outside firm. All Thunder Lacrosse Head Coaches are evaluated annually both by their Parents/Players on their team as well as the Thunder Lacrosse representatives. Retention as a Thunder Lacrosse Head Coach is offered on a year to year basis based on these evaluations. If interested in coaching Thunder Lacrosse please contact the Thunder Lacrosse representatives directly. 

How can I help?

There are many volunteer opportunities with your team as well as with the Thunder organization.   Your Head Coach will be soliciting their Parent group directly for volunteers for the many team and game day responsibilities.  If you are interested in volunteering your time to the Thunder organization, please contact one of the Thunder Lacrosse representatives directly. 

If I have additional questions who do I contact?

If you have any question regarding the Thunder Lacrosse program that has not been answered above, please contact one of our representatives at: boyslacrosse@littletonyouthsports.org.