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Muddawgs Lacrosse Club Mission and Program Information

On behalf of the HYL Family, we welcome you and your family to Hermiston Youth Lacrosse. Lacrosse is truly a family activity.  You will make new friends through this program and likely introduce others to this fast-paced, highly addictive sport.  As a Club, we value your active participation and engagement.  We cannot continue to grow without it.    

Mission Statement:  Hermiston Youth Lacrosse engages youth in healthy, character building competition with a focus on developing well rounded players who love the game.  We value sportsmanship, teamwork and individual player growth-critical core values that shape character both on and off the field.    

History and Club Structure:  HYL was started by Trampis Palmer a coach, parent and volunteer in youth sports.  In 2016 he passed away and in his honor, the HYL’s annual tournament was renamed the Trampis Palmer Memorial Battle of the Butte.  

HYL is a K-8 program, open to boys and girls in Hermiston and surrounding communities.  While we have our own Board of Directors for the local club, HYL also belongs to the regional club, Central Washington Lacrosse League.  Teams in CWLL include:  Selah/Yakima Valley, Tri Cities Youth Lacrosse (TCYL), 3 Rivers Lacrosse and Richland Lacrosse.  As a regional organization, CWLL plans tournaments, schedules league games and supports summer and fall Select or Elite teams that represent the CWLL region at tournaments across Oregon and Washington.* 

In Season Resources and other Information: The primary tool for notices and information distribution will come from our website, Hermistonlax.com.  Schedules, updates and email notifications will be sent out by coaches.  The website also has information on the current/active HYL Board Members and their contact information.  Each board member is assigned a particular area of focus, please don’t hesitate to contact the member appropriate for your questions.    

HYL Season and Game Breakdown Registration:  Occurs late fall/early winter.  Formal season is March-May.    

Schedules:  Include weekend play (April/May) and some mid-week play.  Practices are scheduled around games.  We typically try to keep the combination of games/practices to 3 events per week after daylight savings time.  Prior to the time change, we generally run 4 shorter practices per week.   

Games and Competition:  There are 3 general types of game structure you will see throughout the season:  

League games:  Games that are scheduled with our current league partners.  These games have a time and rule format that is slightly longer.  The rules for these games are more formal and time clocks are managed tightly with stops and starts at breaks in play.  These can be scheduled on week nights or weekends.   

Round Robin Tournament play:  games that are scheduled on weekends and typically include at least 1 full day of play.  Teams participating in the tournament event will face multiple opponents throughout the day or weekend.  Play is typically constrained to (2) 20-22 minute halves, with new games starting every hour.  With this type of play, scoring is done, but there is no bracket play or championship at the end of the event.  

Competitive Tournament play:  Also scheduled on weekends, these types of events are 2 days with bracket play on day #1.  Teams are seeded based on their performance throughout the bracket play and will move on to playoff games on day #2, and ultimately championship or consolation games.  

HYL Teams/Program Structure Team Breakdown

We have 4 age groups in HYL:  

K-2nd Grade:  no cap on roster.  

3rd & 4th Grade:  30 combined players.

5th & 6th Grade:  44 combined players.

7th & 8th Grade:  44 combined players

When rosters allow for 2 teams (grades 3-8) HYL will use a grade-based system to assign teams.  When roster sizes dictate, players will be moved based on birthdate, then last name (if necessary).

Age-Appropriate Competition: Age appropriate goals for their levels include:

K-2- Players will be introduced to the game in a fun environment that promotes both the competitive and developmental aspects of the sport. Teamwork, responsibility, respect, and dedication will be emphasized in our program.  Coaches will teach the fundamentals of lacrosse including proper skills and techniques. Players will cradle, pass, and shoot to learn firsthand the physical, mental, and tactical aspects of the game while playing local clubs in our region.  At this level, players will learn responsibility for themselves, their gear and what it means to represent the Muddawg community.  No prior lacrosse experience is required.

3/4-Players will continue to focus on the fundamental aspects of the game, with heavier focus on ball handling and stick skills.  Players will be introduced to field positions and game strategy.  Players will explore multiple positions throughout the season playing with the local clubs and in tournament play.   

5/6-Players will begin to see more competitive play at this level.  Tactical aspects of field positions are emphasized.  Players at this level are playing a full-size field and full contact is permitted.  Tactical use of the body and stick are emphasized at this level, as is passing and shooting.     

7/8-Players will continue to focus on the tactical aspects of the game, ground and stick work as well as proper technique and form.  Plays and more comprehensive strategy are emphasized at this level, as is sportsmanship.  Coaches emphasize leadership and teamwork at this level, as players prepare to enter high school level play.  

Playtime: We strive for reasonably equal playing time in regular season and tournament play as we feel that the love of the game and the desire to improve happens when players have time on the field.  Play time is managed by the team of coaches who understand the mission of HYL.  Playtime is additionally earned based on attendance, participation and attitude and team play.  A player with good attendance and attitude in practices and games can expect to play at minimum 30% of game time on average.  Playtime may vary game to game depending on circumstances.     

There are some Competitive Tournaments that HYL participates in.  These are referred to as “Challenge Tournaments” and are bracket play.  HYL considers these events as opportunities for coaches to assess and invite players to participate who have the requisite skills and dedication to be successful in this highly competitive environment.

Note:  The Challenge' tournaments are highly competitive.  We are playing against stronger programs, including the western areas of Oregon and Washington where lacrosse has a longer history. Roster determinations are at the coaches’ discretion. Additionally, we do not guarantee equal playing time for all participants in this level or in these games.  Players and parents may choose whether to participate in these opportunities.  The objective of the “Challenge” team is to showcase HYL’s program to help expand future tournament engagements, including the Battle of the Butte.    

Player Development: We understand that player development happens on and off the field.  Game time, practice time and training opportunities are designed to strengthen a player’s skills.  They can also be a time to shine by demonstrating skills learned from hard work and persistence.  Ball handling practice can and should be practiced outside of organized practices and games.  Eye hand coordination from repeated activities such as wall ball or bounce backs cannot be emphasized enough.  The more your player has the opportunity to have a stick and ball, the better handler they will be on the field.

“Play Up” Decisions:  As a general rule, HYL feels players should play within the division corresponding to his/her school grade level.  However, HYL recognizes that there are special situations involving player skill and size that warrant consideration of a player’s request to “play up”.  HYL will permit a player to play up one grade where it is deemed safe, appropriate (meaning, having the requisite skills to do so) and a timely request is made by the player.  By way of example, a 6th grader can play up to the 7/8 division, but a 5th grader cannot play up to the 7/8 division.  To be considered:

1. Player must indicate a desire to play up.

2. With parent approval/assistance, player shall petition the organization in writing to “play up” to the next grade level.  Written request will be turned into player’s immediate coach.

3. The player will meet with a HYL coach so that the player can be evaluated by the coach to determine if “playing up” would be appropriate for the requesting player.  

4. The coach will make recommendations to the board for approval/denial in writing;

5. The board HYL board will make the final decision on “play up” requests with consideration given to player safety, roster size, etc. 

Additional Opportunities for Play:  Information on summer and fall opportunities for regional play can found at Mid-Columbia Elite’s website, mcelax.com.  This is a tryout-based program and teams are formed with players belonging to the CWLL, which includes Hermiston.  Information for summer is available in March/April and for fall in August/September. 

Again, welcome to HYL!  We are so excited to get you and your family hooked on the game!