Q: When is the Girls Lacrosse season?
Regular season is in the Spring, mid-February through May.
Q: What is the time commitment?
Generally, the more advanced the Division of play, the higher the degree of commitment is expected. NSI encourages players to participate in other sports "out-of-season". See the multiple sport FAQ for recommendations on "in-season" sports participation.
10U (grades 3 and 4) - 1-2 practices per week with 6 weekends of jamboree style 7 v 7 (plus goalie) games. Largely educational and recreational.
12U (grades 5 and 6) - 2 practices per week with weekend games. Educational, recreational, and competitive.
14U (grade 7 and 8) – 2 practices per week with games on the weekends. Educational, recreational, and more competitive.
18U (grades 9-12) Practices or games almost every day of the season. Players are expected to be committed to attending all practices and games and other sport/activity commitments must be managed and discussed with the coach.
Generally, practices run 1.5 - 2 hours and games (including warm-ups) can run 2 hours. For games, your coach will require that you arrive for warm-up and preparation 30-60 minutes ahead of the scheduled start.
Q: Can a new player be competitive?
New players at all levels can become highly competitive with experienced players through dedication and effort. Every season we have many new players who work hard and become key contributors on their teams. What players do outside of practice and game time is the most important to skill development. New players in particular will need to work on their stick skills and the best tool for this are the Wall Ball Drills. Many of the fundamentals of Lacrosse come quickly to girls who have played other sports like Soccer and Basketball and who participate in conditioning sports like track. The proven key: Good practice makes good players.
Q: When are practices?
Practices will begin the during the last week of February or first week of March. Schedules will depend on field availability.
Practice schedules and locations are generally set on a monthly basis due to field availability. Once fields are locked in at the league level and often change during the season due to field availability (grass fields are frequently subject to closure due to poor surface conditions, i.e. water saturation levels). Prior to daylight savings time practices may be shortened at the coach's discretion and based on the access to fields with lights.
Flexibility is key with practice schedules due to changing field conditions in the Spring. Please keep this in mind when registering for Lacrosse and scheduling other activities for your LAX player.
It is very important to BE ON TIME for all team events. Please respect the coaching staff's time and your teammates commitment. Start times are "ready to go times"; not show up and start dressing time. Please plan this into your schedules for arrival and please pick up your player on time as well. NSI coaches will wait until the final player is picked up and we ask that you be considerate of our volunteers and respect that they have family commitments as well as their commitments to your players.
Q: When are the games?
Games are generally on Saturdays and some Sunday for our Youth Players, and our High School Players will have games primarily during the week but may have a weekend game depending on field availability.
Q: Where are the games?
NSI's home fields are Robbinswood Park and various Bellevue School fields.
Regular season away games will range from Snohomish (North), Bainbridge (West) and Tacoma (South) with most games in the greater Eastside area. Some special games or lacrosse events may include games outside of King County locations.
Q: What equipment do I need?
Uniforms (jerseys) are provided by NSI, remain the property of NSI, and will be collected at the end of the season. Girls are required to have a legal girl’s stick, lacrosse goggles and a mouth guard for all practices and games. Lacrosse or soccer cleats are typically used for footwear. Special goalie specific equipment is provided by NSI.
Q: Who are the coaches?
NSI coaches are screened by the Washington State Patrol and US Lacrosse trained, including our parent-coaches. Most of our coaches are parents (dads & moms) who have learned the game when their kids started playing, with only a few having some lacrosse experience. There are opportunities for everyone to help coach and take an active role in our league.
Important!: We need new coaches to meet the growing demand for Lacrosse in our region! We do NOT require that you have Lacrosse experience to be a coach. Many of our coaches did not play Lacrosse, so you will be in good company. When we place coaches, we try to ensure that experiences Lacrosse coaches are paired with the coaches who have little or no Lacrosse experience. There are many skills and strategies in Lacrosse that will be very familiar to those of you with experience as a player or coach in basketball, soccer, softball or track.
Please consider coaching!
NSI sponsors and pays for on-line and clinic training from US Lacrosse for all NSI coaches.
Lacrosse is an all-weather sport; we play rain or shine. There are two exceptions: if there is lightning in the area (less than 20 seconds between flash & boom) within 15 minutes of event start the game will be delayed until judged safe - please do not leave your player if the game-start is delayed due to lightning until the event begins. A lightning suspension during a game in progress will last at least 20 minutes after the last lightning in the area. All events will be terminated if there is a second lightning suspension. Players should know their parents' cell phone numbers so they can call for pick-up if lightning persists and the event is ended. Snow is always a possibility in early Spring and we will not practice is the field is completely covered in snow before the start time. If in doubt, come, but parents should wait until the practice begins before leaving. Every effort is made to clear turf fields for scheduled games; it is best to come under non-severe conditions and wait until play begins or is officially canceled before leaving your player.
Q: How to dress in cold or wet weather?
Girls should come prepared for all weather conditions – layering and throwing an extra sweatshirt and rain gear in the bags is always a good idea.
When the weather is cold and/or wet players should come prepared. While some players legs stay warm enough in shorts only; others prefer to wear athletic tights or light warm-ups. We recommend long sleeve tight tops and optionally long leg tights to ensure comfort and prevent chilling between game action. Cotton is never the material of choice as it absorbs water readily and once wet, it stays wet and will sap body heat. Sports undergarments made of synthetic fabrics designed for active use are highly recommended. In addition, thin rubber gloves (hospital/surgical type) worn under the lacrosse gloves help keep hands dry and warm. Thin ski liner gloves are also effective.
Q: How can I get ready for the season?
There are a number of ways to improve your game and overall conditioning during the "off-season". There are a number of camps and clinics offered locally that can be valuable for continued development of a players skills & knowledge of the game - watch the NSI website for upcoming camps & clinics.
Stay active! NSI encourages players to stay active with other sports in the off-season. Make sure to have a regular program of running and weight-bearing exercise.
Last, but not least: Hit the wall! There is nothing better than starting the season with your stick skills sharp and both hands developed. You will be a markedly better player that you were last season with just 15-20 minutes of systematic wall ball drills 3-4 times each week. You will get more touches on the ball in a 20 minute drill than you will in a 2 hour practice! So - hit the wall and use the Wall Drills System every week during the off-season - not just during the regular season!
Q: How do I get more playing time?
Everyone plays in NSI Girls Youth Lacrosse Division. We have a dual mission at NSI that can be best summarized as "Participation and Preparation".
Participation means that all players get opportunity to play and contribute to their respective teams, regardless of their experience or skill. Given the rapid growth of Lacrosse in our area, NSI will continue to have some first-year Lacrosse players in each Division every year. To accomplish our mission we ensure that all players are placed on teams and in positions where they can make contributions to their teams' success.
Preparation means that NSI girls program hopes to "graduate" a significant number of players that can feed into our girl’s combined high school program, all of whom are ready to step into that next level of intensity and competition. That Preparation requires that players play - and play at an appropriately challenging level where then can develop the key skills and understanding of the game needed to succeed at the next level.
Our coaches work hard to see that all NSI players learn to love the sport of Lacrosse as well as learn how to succeed in playing it.
NSI is a 'participation-based" program that strives to develop competitive team spirit. We ask our coaches to establish a playing rotation irrespective of ability and experience for the bulk of each game. That said, when the game is on the line late in the fourth quarter, we typically observe that all players want to "play to win" and coaches may choose to put the kids on the field that are having a great day and have the best chance to deliver the win for the whole team.
High School Division:
Play time is earned and may not be equal for all players. Playtime is at the discretion of the coaches.
Q: What is NSI Girl's Lacrosse Club policy on playing other sports or involved in other activities during Lacrosse season?
NSI is a strong proponent of multi-sport athletes. Most sports seasons overlap slightly and, in all circumstances, it requires maturity and planning to manage multiple commitments. Participating in winter sports whose seasons end when Lacrosse is starting or involvement in other activities can be managed between the player and her coaches. Good communication is expected by the coaches and in helping manage commitment expectations.