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A coach should never sacrifice a child’s playing time for the sake of winning a game. Although TYLA does not teach coaching to lose, neither does it stress winning as the only goal of the program.  The goals are to help kids learn the game, to respect the sport and each other, and to have fun. This philosophy does not mean TYLA games are not competitive.  Anyone who has seen a close U15 game come down to the wire knows the League produces competitive players.

The TYLA philosophy enables players to learn in a supportive environment free from undue pressure in which an honest, educational mistake may “cost” the team a game or championship.  This approach also empowers coaches to focus on developing and supporting all the players and not on worrying about winning youth championships.
We have learned over 17 years that this approach benefits experienced players, new players at any level, and players who are less physically mature than their peers. High school coaches across the state will tell you of great players who didn’t pick up a stick until 8th grade.  Likewise, many high school and college lacrosse stars did not stand out in youth lacrosse but soared once they blossomed physically in their late teens. In athletic environments where instruction and sportsmanship take a back seat to performance and standings, too often these types of athletes receive inferior opportunities and drop the sport prematurely.  
We believe there is nothing more detrimental to the growth of lacrosse than to tell children they aren’t good enough to play it, and any player who is not getting Quality Playing Time is getting the message that HE OR SHE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY. What a terrible disservice that is to both the young athlete and to the game, and absolutely will not be tolerated.
Guidelines – For Coaches, Parents and Players:


To achieve Quality Playing Time for all recreational season players, it is a responsibility on the part of ALL PARTIES (coaches, parents and players) to meet the guidelines listed below:


Coaches:  Quality Playing Time for all can be achieved in the recreational season with the following guidelines:


·       The best players may not stay on the field longer than other, less skilled players. 

·       The starting lineup must be rotated each game, so there are no routine starters and subs.

·       We will play 4 quarters, 12 minutes running time per quarter, and the coach shall have different players start each successive quarter (example:  those players that start the 1st quarter should not start the 2nd quarter).  The starters for each quarter shall remain on the field for a significant amount of the quarter before substitution (midfielders shall play a normal rotation).

·       There should be no designated face-off, man-up or man-down lines.

Violations of the guidelines above may be reported to the game official and result in a non-releasable 2 minute penalty (either in the game the violation occurred or the team’s subsequent game).   Repeated violations may result in coach suspensions by the TYLA Board.  Any TYLA coach who is not willing to totally buy into absolute value of Quality Playing Time will be removed as a coach.

Parents:  All TYLA parents are required to ensure that their child attends practice on a regular basis and arrives on time for practices and games.  Players who regularly skip practice cannot expect to play the same number of minutes in the games as the players who do attend practice.  Parents must understand that lacrosse is unlike any other sport, that opportunities to substitute players occurs at varying times in the course of the game, and that positions on the field are fluid and each position carries its own unique physical challenge that MUST result in some players being on the field, based on their positions, for an amount of time that is not EQUAL with other positions.  Additionally, parents must understand that coaches will play athletes at different positions as needed, and playing time at the athlete’s preferred position may not be practical.  Finally, parents should first direct any concerns regarding playing time to their coaches and then to the Director of Coaching or TYLA Board representative to address.
Players:  All TYLA players are charged with, and required to, ensure that they are working hard in practice and games, practicing on their own outside of practices, and putting forth an effort equal to that of their team mates.
Travel Teams / All-Stars


After the recreational season, TYLA clubs may form travel teams / All-Star Teams to play in tournaments held outside of Triad as well as Laxfest.  By selection to a travel or all-star team, TYLA expects the coach will have each player in every game for significant minutes.  However, based upon the competitive nature of these tournaments and the development of specialized positions (Ex: face-offs, man-up and man-down lines), the guidelines above are relaxed.