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KCYLL Board Meeting
Thursday, June 14, 2012
  1.  The Meeting was called to order at 6:35pm.  Those in attendance included:
Heather Hertzler – Lee’s Summit                                                      Pat Wall – Olathe
Mark Wood – Northland                                                                       Ken Bean – Northland
Mitch Castor – Brookside                                                                     Greg Goss – Brookside
Jon Birkel – Prairie Village                                                                     Pierre Barbeau – Leawood
Randy Kurt – St. Paul’s                                                                           Debbie Ward – Prairie Village
Bill Esrey – Pembroke Hill                                                                     Jack Yates – Pembroke Hill, President
Marty Dakan – Brookside, Secretary
Brett Hunter – SMA                                                                                                Rich Hunter – SMA
John Dehan – Call the Game / SMA
  1. Approval of Minutes
Jack asked if all had read the minutes from the previous meeting.  Ken B. made a motion to approve the
minutes as written, Bill seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved unanimously.
  1. A.  President’s Report
Jack passed out the pennies from the 8th Grade All-Star Game to the appropriate Club representatives. 
The number of teams and boys participating in 3rd through 8th grade lacrosse teams increased from
52 teams and 875 players in 2011 to 66 teams and 1,023 players in 2012.  Unfortunately, only 22 of the teams, or 39%, had winning records.   Parents have, over the course of the season, expressed frustration that their son’s team did not have a winning record (some not winning a game all season).  This might be cause to revisit the move to different divisions for certain grades, not so much to create an elite division, but to address those newer, less experienced teams.
The following shows the number of teams in each grade with winning records vs. number of teams over all:
3rd-4th Grade:  7 of 16 teams
5th Grade:  3 of 9 teams
6th Grade:  4 of 10 teams
7th Grade:  4 of 10 teams
8th Grade: 4 of 11 teams
The Board is charged this fall with the task of examining these statistics and looking at a tiered system of teams to even out the competition.
Field Managers
        KCYLL contracted with Sports Management Associates, L.C. (SMA) this season for the first time to manage the
fields and pace of play for those 5th grade and older teams.  It was recommended that 3-4th grade teams be included under the umbrella of management for the next season.  This season Field Managers helped with the officials, field as well as time management, ensuring that games began and ended on time.  Having balls in place at the fields (as part of the field box along with score sheets, game clock) was helpful this year, despite the fact that 8-10 dozen balls were lost.
        Call the Game did a good job of increasing the number of referees and training them.  Having 3 referees
officiate the final games of the season-ending tournament was also good.  More eyes mean better calls.
There were a minimal number of injuries and concussions this year, fewer than last year.  The following statistics show the number of ejections during the season:
4 coaches were ejected from games due to personal fouls
3 players were ejected from games due to personal fouls
34 players fouled out of 1 game, 3 players fouled out of 2 games, 7 players fouled out during finals
The use of “Evaluation” or Rating Cards, filled out by referees and coaches after each game was instituted this year after Jack discussed with SMA the process used in other sports.  There were 30+ negative rating cards turned in after games this year, mostly related to coaches, although several parents were “written up.”   Jack met with the leader from one of the Programs about persistent problems with the program’s coaches.  Jack also received several complaints from parents about playing time, how teams in the same grades were selected and significant disparities between the teams’ won-loss records.  These were referred by Jack to the program to address with the parent.
It was noted that referees had some difficulty adjusting to different levels of contact allowed at different grade
levels, which resulted in a number of the confrontations between coaches and referees.  It would benefit all if the coaches and referees met prior to the start of the game to discuss the age level of the players and the level of contact allowed.  If time constraints don’t allow this meeting prior to the game, it would benefit all to have the coaches call for a time out during the game to discuss this issue, in a non-confrontational way, with the referees.
Volunteer Recognition
Jack wanted to recognize 2 individuals on the Board who went above and beyond their responsibilities to ensure
 that the season ran smoothly.  Debbie Ward was recognized in her role as Field Coordinator and Greg Goss was recognized in his role with scheduling (and rescheduling) of games.  Each received a KCYLL “Above and Beyond” embossed lacrosse ball trophy.
III.B.  Treasurer’s Report
                Janos was unable to be present at the Board meeting, but sufficient funds are on hand to cover the balance of bills for the season.
  1. Officiating
John Dehan, of Call the Game, addressed the officiating during the season.  This is the 3rd year that his referees have
officiated KCYLL games.  Green “Evaluation” cards, used in 3-4 other sports, were used for the first time this year to rate officials, coaches, parents and players.  The cards are a tool that provides an additional view of the game, and patterns do show up.  Those receiving lower ratings will be monitored.  There is a need for all those making comments to be more accurate and thorough in describing unsatisfactory incidents, as the cards are very helpful in analyzing information.
It was brought up again as to the importance of reminding those referees who call the games as to the variety of
different grade levels and the amount of contact allowed.  After that reminder during the game, it is important to respect the referees as the final arbiter.  The number of officials trained to call lacrosse games has increased from 12 in the first year, 26 in the second, to 38 officials trained this year (28 of which were adults).  The current number of officials is good and continues to grow, although presently only one official has actually played the sport.   Ideally, referees will only call 2-3 games during a day.  It would be ideal to have referees officiate consecutive games with the same age level at the same location, but this is not always possible.  It would be helpful to include the Call the Game officials at the next coaches training session, to have all present to discuss changes in the rules of the game.  John Dehan would also be happy to have officials come work a scrimmage and discuss penalties prior to the start of the season.
                4 of the 28 referees attended the LAREDO (Lacrosse Referee Development) session in Texas to become better trained as officials.  They, in turn, will train new Referees as they are recruited, and provide more opportunities to officiate games. 
Board members discussed ways for coaches to interact with referees during a game which would not involve penalties.  There should be opportunities during dead-ball situations, but the delivery of questions/statements seems to have been an issue this year.  Again, once a decision has been made by an official, it is not up to the coaches to question the ruling other than requesting an explanation for the ruling and, if appropriate, comment on the official’s grading card.
  1. Sports Management Association – Field Management and Access
This was the first year for KCYLL to utilize SMA in the management of fields and games, and the experience was very
 positive.  The group of managers was very responsible, handled a variety of situations very professionally, and could be called upon to expand their responsibilities in the future.  The consistency of the same managers at the same field each week, when possible, was a great help in keeping the games running smoothly.  Field Managers were also familiar with the Evaluation Cards, issues related to the game and the keeping of game scores.  A number of Board members expressed interest in expanding the Field Managers responsibilities next year in order to ease the increasing demands put upon the volunteers in the organization.
                Issues to be addressed with SMA for next season include:
  •  Ensuring that there are at least 3 consecutive games at a field on a given Sunday so that there aren’t gaps in the schedule (calling for the field to be set up twice). 
  • It would also be helpful for the Field Managers to retain the Field Boxes (clocks, score sheets, etc.) so that there wouldn’t be the need to wait for the KCYLL representative to arrive with the materials in order to set up the field.
  •  If schedules are adjusted (as they were in the first 2 weeks of the season to allow for more time between games), these changes need to be communicated to SMA Representatives.  Also, the issue of weather and game cancellations needs to be communicated in an easier way next season.
  •  It could be possible to have SMA manage all the game logistics, rather than calling upon the volunteers who are sometimes stretched fairly thin.  SMA would take direction and recommendations from the Board, rather than instigating changes. 
The Executive Committee will discuss this issue over the summer and get back to the Board in the fall with their
 recommendations as to what additional services will be contracted for with SMA.  SMA would be happy to help grow and sustain the KCYLL program.  One Board member mentioned that we need to be wary of pricing the program out of the reach of some families in the event we would need to pass additional costs to participants.
                KCYLL should shoot for a 7-game season next year.  8 games were scheduled this year, with a double-header usually one weekend, which proved to be a problem when weather conditions called for game cancellations.
  1. Issues to address for next Season:
  • Moving 5th grade games back to grass fields.  It would benefit the players (smaller field?) as well as the referees who might have trouble making the appropriate calls for that level, as well as lower costs.
  • Adjusting the Play-Off/Championship weekend.  There were multiple conflicts with graduations at both the grade school and high school levels.  Games during the week prior to Championship weekend could be explored.
  • Allowing growing programs with the option of two teams at two different levels, based on skill and experience.
  • The need for new and more experienced coaches.  The increase in the number of programs and teams necessitates an increase in the number of coaches.  It would be helpful to conduct a “coaching 101” class for new coaches.
  • Charge for October Board Meeting:  Heather, Mark, Greg and Pierre will meet as the Long-Range Planning Committee to discuss the direction of KCYLL, and report back in late August/mid-September with a plan to be discussed at the October meeting.  Jack will attend as an ex-officio member.
  • Grade Level vs. Age Level Divisions.  US Lacrosse has implemented a change to age-based teams over our current teams based on grade levels and has recommended that local programs follow suit.  The Board needs to discuss and determine how to affect this change.  One suggestion would be to begin the adjustment with the younger grades and roll up a level each year so that the players begin playing with their own ages rather than classmates.  This would ease the affect on those older players who would have to age-up in order to meet the requirement.  Greg G. offered to check into how other programs around the country are handling the change.
  • Skill Level Divisions.  As mentioned earlier in the meeting, a majority of the teams this year did not have winning records.  Each program is charged with examining how many of their teams could be divided by skill level in order to level the playing and talent field.  Reporting would be made at the October meeting in order to allow sufficient time to develop different brackets within each grade level.
  1. Miscellaneous
  • The 8th Grade All-Star Game, played at LiveStrong Stadium prior to the LAKC Championship was very successful, and represents great connections between the KCYLL program and the High School programs.  Jack recommended that the 8th grade All Star Game remain a regular part of the KCYLL Season.
  • Greg will circulate the Customer Survey to the Board for review and suggestions prior to e-mailing it to program participants.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55pm.
Respectfully Submitted,
Marty Dakan, Secretary