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Team Structure

Wallingford Boys Youth Lacrosse Team Structure


Why WYL will be great for your son-.

Our goal is to make WYL a competitive lacrosse program, at all age levels, while giving any new players the skills they need to excel at the game of lacrosse.  

To do that all players need reps at practice and playing time during games.  Team sizes will be a minimum of 12 players with a maximum of 23 players to ensure plenty of playing time for all players.   If there are more than 24 players at the Lightning, Junior, or Senior level there will be multiple White level teams split by grade level if possible.

If you are brand new to Lacrosse you are going to love WYL.  All coaches, at all levels, have access to the WYL Skills and Drills Training focused training materials.  This ensures your son is getting the correct training on the needed individual skills of Lacrosse.  Individual skills, especially stick skills, are vital to succeed as Lacrosse players. Lacrosse is a Team sport that builds off these individual skills.  We are committed to getting your son the skills they need to become an effective team player for WYL.

WYL has a Blue Competitive Travel Team and at least one White Travel Team and at each of the Bantum (U8 under 8 years of age), Lighting U10 (under 10 years of age), Juniors U12 (under 12 years of age), and Seniors (U14 under 14 years of age).   At all levels, the season will start with a 2-week evaluation of all players to split the group of boys into teams.  

All teams at each Age-Segmented Level will practice together at the same times on the same fields.  This gives the coaches the ability to run multiple drill stations with smaller groups and allows the newer players the ability to visually see their peers doing the skills and learn from the more experienced players.

*Note* Bantam Level will have 2 practices a week and games on the weekend.  The remaining teams will follow the information below.  

1)  White-Travel Team(s):  

-Ideally 15-18 players with a Maximum of 23 players.  Again if there are 24 or more players on the White level the teams will be split into 2 teams.  If 2 or more teams are needed the White level will be split by (if possible) school grade level, and players will play with their peers, games will be scheduled accordingly. 

-The White Team will have 2-3 practices a week at 1-2 games per week, most likely weekend games.  The white level will play as a team and travel and play games against other “white” level teams around the state.   Our Goal for the White level teams is to make sure all players are getting better at lacrosse and have equal opportunities to play during games.  Winning is always the goal of sports, but not at the expense of players not getting to have playing time in the games.  We hope that your son will be able to get better throughout the year and work hard to be part of the competitive Blue team the following year.

-Within the first 6 weeks of practice, the coaches can promote players from the white to the blue team as long as the team doesn't exceed the maximum number of allowed players on the blue team and/or leaves the white team with fewer than 12 players. 

-After the first 6 weeks there can't be any more movement and those are the set teams for the remainder of the season

2) Blue-Competitive Travel Team:  

Blue teams will have min 15-player roster to start the season after an evaluation with multiple coaches from all levles of WYL to eliminate favoritism.  The blue team can grow to a maximum of 20 players after the first 6 weeks of the season.  There will be 3 practices per week and 1-3 games per week on weekends and possibly weekday games.  The goal of this team is to have a competitive team so we can schedule opponents accordingly and compete deep into the CONNY tournament.

  * Blue Competitive Travel Team Commitment *

-All players selected for Blue Travel teams must agree to make lacrosse their priority sport for the entire course of the season.  Given the limited roster spots on the Blue team, it is not fair to have roster spots go to players who are less than 100% committed to lacrosse in the spring.  We expect and encourage all of our athletes to play other sports during the rest of the year, as it both increases athletic development and, more importantly, adds to players’ enthusiasm for all of the sports they play.  But we do ask that during our relatively short lacrosse season, if there are conflicts, you choose lacrosse over other sporting events.  If you are not prepared to make lacrosse your priority, please let us know ahead of time.  The white teams are where players can develop their skills and have fun but where there is more flexibility regarding attendance. 

5) What Level will your son be playing on for Wallingford Youth Lacrosse?

*note* for more information on the CONNY Guidelines please feel free to view the appendix at the end of this document or check out their website

-Bantam Teams will follow the CONNY guidelines and be U8 (under 8 years old, K,1st,2nd Grade)

-Lightning Teams will follow the CONNY guidelines and be U10 (under 10 years old, 3rd/4th Grade)

-Junior Teams will follow the CONNY guidelines and be U12 (under 12 years old, 5th/6th Grade)

-Senior Teams will follow the CONNY guidelines and be U14 (under 14 years old, 7th/8th Grade)

WYL conforms to the age and unless parent documented consent the players will only be permitted to play at their age level. This applies to the following scenarios:

-2nd graders who are age-segmented may try out for the Lighting Blue team.  If they don't make the Lightning Blue Team will not play the Lightning White team, they will play In the Bantam Level and have the ability to play for the Bantam Blue team.

-4th graders who are age-segmented may try out for the Junior Blue team.  If they don't make the Junior Blue Team will not play the Junior White team, they will play In the Lighting Level and have the ability to try out for the Lighting Blue team.

-6th graders who are age-segmented may try out for the Senior Blue team.  If they don't make the Senior Blue Team they will not play the Senior White team, they will play In the Junior Level and have the ability to try out for the Junior Blue team.

-Age-segmented 8th graders born after March 1 of their previous grade year may play Senior Blue Competitive Travel Team for a second year (players born before March 1st  may petition to CONNY to be allowed to play) 

4) Playing up or playing down

No player will be able to play up or down.  Meaning Playing for a team they are not assigned to at the start of the season unless the following situations.

-Age-Segmented Blue players can play on their grade level White team only if the White team needs players to field a team of a minimum of 12 players due to absent player(s).

-Age-Segmented White or Blue players can play up to the next age bracket, to play on a White team, only if the White team needs players to field a team of a minimum of 12 players due to absent player(s).

-Any Player playing up to an older age bracket that isn’t covered by the above situations needs to be approved by the Boys Coordinator.



CONNY rules and regulations:

In 2017 CONNY Lacrosse set forth new age guidelines for travel teams

On September 9, 2019, CONNY Lacrosse adjusted the age cutoff for segmentation from September 1st to July 1st preceding the season

CONNY Announcement: In order to keep as many players as possible with their grade classmates, without compromising safety by encouraging too wide age spreads, the CONNY Executive Committee has moved the oldest birthday permitted for each year group from the September 1st to the July 1st preceding the season (except 14U Seniors for which the birthday eligibility date remains the March 1st preceding the season to accommodate very old-in-grade 8th graders who would not otherwise have a place to play in the spring).

All teams are organized by birth year, with single birth year teams strongly preferred. Where numbers or other circumstances don’t allow that, two birth year combined teams are permitted within a CONNY Age Division (e.g. Junior, Senior).

Background: As strongly recommended by US Lacrosse, our sport’s National Governing Body, CONNY competitive divisions have been organized since 2017 by birth year (with an explicit or implicit grade consideration). CONNY has used the US Lacrosse recommended birthday cutoff of the September 1st preceding the season (except for the 14U March 1 exception).

US Lacrosse’s recommendation to organize activity by birth year results from extensive research by its Science & Safety Committee which determined that excessive age spreads in contests and practices increase the risk of injury and compromise player development. Further analysis revealed that in much of the country, a single grade sometimes contained a birthday range of up to thirty months, and that birthday spreads within a grade were increasing. Nevertheless, recognizing that keeping as many children as possible together with their grade classmates is a significant social benefit, US Lacrosse chose the September 1 preceding the season as the birth year cutoff date to mirror August and September kindergarten entrance dates (date on which a child is age 5 or older) prevalent across most of the country.


However, in Connecticut the kindergarten entrance date is January 1 of the school year…the only state with such a late entrance date. As a result, many Connecticut parents whose children would enter kindergarten as young five-year-olds hold their children back until the next school year. This is especially a consideration if they believe they might later move somewhere with a more conventional entrance date, making their child by far the youngest in their grade. Due to this and other factors, Connecticut has perhaps the highest percentage of old-in-grade students in the nation. For CONNY, that means that such held-back children must play with the next higher grade, though the Eligibility Committee does have an appeals process for such cases. Such appeals petitions have been numerous and often contentious over the last three years.

Therefore, the CONNY Board of Directors asked the Eligibility Committee to determine if a different birthday cutoff date would keep as many players as possible with their grade classmates without compromising safety by creating too wide age spreads.