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The following is an email sent on Feb 24 to players registered for the Spring Skills clinics announcing the Phantom's intent to begin regular practices in preparation for a spring season.

 

Phantom Parents and Players,

Important and exciting developments are unfolding quickly about our spring season, and there is important information within you should read and understand.

Short version:

  • Phantoms will be returning to regular 3x/week practices in early March in anticipation of playing competitive games in April and May. This applies to boys and girls U10, U12, and U14
  • This change is the result of recently updated guidance issued by the state regarding outdoor youth sports, which Alameda County is expected to follow
  • We have already secured practice field time to resume weeknight practices
  • If you wish to OPT-OUT of joining a team, you must let us know by Friday @ midnight

Longer version:

We’re back! On Feb 19th, the State issued new guidance for youth and adult outdoor sports, including lacrosse. The Phantom Board, as well as the NCJLA, have evaluated this guidance – and are prepared to follow it with the goal of resuming normal practices and competitive play for our spring season.

Allowed in the new guidance:

  • Resumption of limited competition between teams
  • Contact, checking, goalies, and all the “normal” lacrosse aspects of the sport
  • Forming teams with more than the current 14 player cohort limit

Limitations that will continue, per guidance:

  • Face coverings will continue to be required DURING PLAY due to the relaxing of social distancing while on the field
  • Players going out of state to play in tournaments during our season will not be allowed to play with the Phantoms
  • Only one game against another team per day
  • Social distancing and face coverings will be enforced on the sidelines to prevent prolonged contact between players

This new guidance is independent of colored tiers, and is now tied to COVID case rate thresholds, which Alameda county (and many Bay Area counties) is already below.

Teams:

Based on current registration numbers, we expect to have two Boys teams each at U12 and U14, one Boys U10 team, and one Girls U12 team. For the Boys U12 and U14 teams, we are considering fielding one full team, and one “short-sided” team which plays a new 7v7 fast-paced version of the game that gained popularity in response to COVID limitations. Details of how those teams will be formed is still to be determined.

Practices:

In order to prepare our teams in time for competitive play by mid-April, the board unanimously voted last night to commit to requesting from LARPD the necessary field time for additional weeknight practices before it was offered to other sports clubs at COB today. Our current plan is to add two additional practices for each team. Pending final field permit approval, all teams will practice 5:30 - 7:30 (5:30 - 7:00 for U10) at:

  • Robertson Park on Wednesday evenings, plus
  • Cayetano Park on Tuesday OR Thursday evenings

Schedules will be released as soon as possible, once we have identified coaches for the newly formed teams and have worked around their availability. Our plan is to start weeknight practices on March 9th, and to have new players join us on one or more evenings during March 2-4 for some dedicated skills building. The weeknight schedule will hopefully continue in April and May (pending), and our Sunday practices will cease once games start.

We do not have enough players for a U8 squad, so will remain with the single Sunday practice FOR NOW. As we ramp up recruiting efforts, that could change.

Games:

While local clubs are already reaching out to schedule games, we have not yet determined anything about game schedules, other than we plan to have the usual mix of home and away games on weekends during April and May. It is possible that we’ll be limited to traveling only within Alameda county and immediately bordering counties – TBD. Also, conditions allowing, the NCJLA is planning a large end of season “Celebration of Lacrosse” tournament in early June.

Fees:

Registration fees will be adjusted to account for the costs of additional fields, and will be approximately:

  • U12/U14 Boys and Girls: $175
  • U10 Boys: $140

This fee REPLACES the fees we had originally quoted for the spring clinics, and which have not yet been applied to your accounts (in case you’ve been looking for them).

This DOES NOT INCLUDE fees for the 2nd half of the season (after spring break – mid-April thru May), which will be applied to your accounts once we have better insight into actual costs once we start games. Our goal this year has been to charge-as-we-go and avoid requiring any refunds. As such, we ask that you remit your payments in a timely manner once notices are sent out.

Opting-out:

Talk to your player about committing to the club for the season. There are three options:

  1. If you’re in – there’s nothing you need to do right now except wait for additional details
  2. If you don’t wish to commit to anything more than the original spring skills clinic session, you can continue to join just those Sunday sessions through March at the originally quoted rate. Note that they will be run more like a standard practice with the newly formed teams, and the rules will be relaxed regarding cohort sizes, distancing during play, and contact.
  3. If you wish to opt-out completely due to COVID safety concerns or other reasons, we will allow you to do so with no requirement to pay registration fees for the spring clinic session we already had.

For (2) or (3) above, please send you preference in a short email to by Friday 2/26 at midnight.

Questions:

This is a lot of information, and I hope this was all clear, but if you have any questions, please send them my way and I’ll try to get back to you with a response within 24 hours. We’ll also collect questions in an FAQ on our website for others to browse.

Finally, we appreciate your "rolling with it" as this crazy season unfolds. We are super excited about the prospect of a semi-normal season unfolding, and thank you for your committment to the club.

PS - Now would be a GREAT time to recruit some friends!