Looking ahead at our 2018 season across the state our girls programs are growing at an alarming rate. The Montana Lacrosse Association is reaching out to help place key individuals to assist with the growth of our sport. If you have any interest in assisting with the growth of the GIRLS program OR know of anyone with experience in your workplace, family, or community please pass along my contact information.
The MLA has positions open for girls youth commissioner and girls HS commissioner.
NW Lacrosse has positions open for our growing girls program locally as well. If you have a daughter eager to play please contact us to see how you may assist our program.
Please help us help these girls play the game of lacrosse in 2018. Contact me directly.
Northwest Lacrosse Association and GTech Sport are excited to introduce a generous fundraising program that will offset the rising cost of the program while protecting athletes to stay in the game by inhibiting germs, mold and mildew eliminating bacterial odors in gear, helmets, sport gloves, pads, shin guards, mats, equipment, cleats, running shoes, apparel, locker rooms, and more. Please visit the website at www.GTECHSPORT.COM to learn more about the antimicrobial products and to place an order. Use the code "NorthwestLAX" for the SharpShooters to received 25% back from all sales with that code. If you have any questions feel free to contact
. Thank you! Have a great season!
As background, below is the previous message about the LADM:
US LACROSSE ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT MODEL
Montana Lacrosse Association is following US Lacrosse’s lead and implementing the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model described below.The LADM is very similar to the systems that have been in place for youth soccer and youth hockey for years.
In essence the LADM focuses age-appropriate player instruction (coaching approach, drills, plays and games) to the player’s cognitive and physical abilities. The age appropriateness of each level is determined by well-established child development physiology and psychology. In other words, by utilizing the LADM we will be teaching kids the right lacrosse skills at the right time.
The MLA realizes this is a new paradigm and therefore adoption will begin with the youngest age groups as follows:
U9 and U11 will utilize the LADM Coaching Tools and play Small-Sided Competition games
U13 and U15 will utilize the LADM Coaching and no changes will be made to games at this time.
The attached document provides a more detailed overview of the LADM.
The MLA will be releasing more specifics in the coming weeks and months.
As you know, NorthWest Lacrosse Association is a member of the Montana Lacrosse Association (MLA). Below are the notes from the MLA Constituents meeting, which was held on July 30, 2016 in Helena.
MLA Constituents Meeting Notes
11am to 4:45pm Saturday July 30, 2016 in Helena at Downtown Holiday Inn
18 Attendees representing 11 programs
Overview of girl’s game. 100 games played in 2016 with 8 certified officials…anticipate 125 games in 2017 and need 15 new certified officials. Jackson Girls will be joining MLA for 2016 season. Officials training classes will be held in Billings, Bozeman and Missoula. Without additional officials more games cannot be played.
Moreexplicit uniform guidelines adhering to NFHS/USL specifications for boys and girls. Considering the NFHS single helmet color requirement at the HS level. Biggest issues for players and officials is having legal numbers and true “home & away” colors. Light jersey must be really light…preferably white.
League Athletics vs Sports Illustrated Play platforms. MLA to remain with League Athletics for 2017. All programs are encouraged to use League Athletics to streamline results, rosters, statistics, data. If/when the MLA and associated programs decided to switch en masse we may be able to negotiate a lower introductory price. Also waiting a year or two will allow SI Play to improve the platform. Major drawback to SI Play is currently when you transition to the platform all of your League Athletics data will not transfer (player-family info, registration history, payment history etc).
Sportsmanship Incident Reporting to be revised. Proved problematic at youth boys level particularly U13 and U11. For 2017, parent access will be removed so only coaches, officials, and program administrators can utilize SIR. Scope will be limited to “on-field” issues. Spectator issues need to be addressed and handled at the team/program level. New reporting form will be developed.
Officiating Retention, Recruitment and Training 2016 overview and 2017 preview. 2016 boys “stats”: 63 new recruits, 53 completed training, 50 officiated at least one game. MLA will issue a “Call to Action” similar to last year with a program goal for new boys AND girls recruits. Girls Officials training classes will be held in Billings, Bozeman and Missoula. Boys training will be similar past years with a series of on-line classes and several on-field classes across the state. Montana should have 4 certified officials trainers by beginning of 2017.
Coaching Requirements and Training same as current rules and CEP program. It was requested that the CEP training be held earlier in the year as in the past it was too close to the beginning of the season.
Game Statistics Protocol MLA will announce and require that USL/NHFS statistics protocols and guidelines be utilized to ensure consistency in statistics recording.
USL ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT MODEL
Adopt and implement the US Lacrosse Athlete Development Model.
Athlete Development—which recognizes and embraces how kids develop mentally and physically to ensure they are being taught appropriate individual skills, team dynamics, and lacrosse concepts.
Small-Sided Competition—which optimizes games to match the development stages for each age groups by reducing the field size and number of players per team.
Coaching Tools—which allow programs and individual coaches to implement the LADM in practice and in game situations.
The group agreed to adopt and implement the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LAMD).
Recognize the Athlete Development structure at all age groups.
Encourage all programs to incorporate the Coaching Tools for all age groups.
Implement Small-Sided Competition rules for U9 and U11.
7v7 games for U9 and U11
U9 = no goalies U11 = goalies
Need to determine the goal dimensions for U9 and U11
Determine format of HS and Youth year-end tournaments.
Limiting factors include:
Geographic location—central locations are preferable
Adequate field space—multiple field locations acceptable
Official availability—most critical factor
Need to determinelocation of State tournaments application deadline is August 15, 2016. Host program must apply for Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) grants in September. Great Falls has submitted application for HS and Bozeman may apply. Missoula is considering applying for Youth and if not Billings will host for 3rd year in a row.
YOUTH GAME SCHEDULE PROCESS
Revise the youth game scheduling process. Implement a process similar to the HS Boys by which the youth commissioner and a committee draft the schedule which is then revised at the scheduling meeting.
November 1 registration deadline for all new and returning youth teams
November 15 deadline to submit blackout dates and hosting dates
December 1 scheduling meeting date and location announced
December 15 draft youth game schedule submitted by Commissioners for committee review
January 15 revised draft youth game schedule released
January 15 deadline to identify each team’s home field(s)
February 1 deadline to add or remove teams for the season
February 15 scheduling meeting
March 15 youth final game schedule released
April 1 deadline for schedule changes (subsequent changes will be penalized)
There were too many games rescheduled during the season. This was in part due to poor scheduling before the season began, but dozens of games were rescheduled for unacceptable reasons. Therefore a penalty will be levied against a team requesting to reschedule a game after the final schedule is released. Penalties could include monetary fines or forfeiture of a schedule deposit. Multiple reschedule requests could result in disqualification from the State Tournament.
GIRLS BREAK OUT SESSION
Each club will let us know what weekends they can host HS, U15 and U11
One person will do the schedule
Locations will be finalized in early February, and actual game schedule will be announced March 1st.
Last weekend in March will be a HS kick off in Great Falls
Teams for 2017:
Expansion to possibly 8 HS teams
U15 teams to stay stable
U11 teams to stay stable
Jackson Hole Lacrosse will join the MLA
Possibility for U9 teams?
All clubs will be responsible for getting more officials certified
There will be training classes in Missoula, Bozeman and Billings
H.S. BOYS LEAGUE COMMITTEE
Establish a committee made up of the HS boys head coaches that will essentially administer the season.
Committee responsibilities could include:
selecting a HS Boys Commissioner
drafting game schedule
hosting scheduling meeting
finalizing game schedule
coordinating with MLA officials assignor
resolving scheduling conflicts
This is the first step to establishing a formal, incorporated HS league that would independently administer the season in the future.
The group agreed this would be the first step towards forming an independent HS league to administer the season. The group also agreed that the committee should then immediately after the 2017 season begin forming the league organization (board, bylaws, 501c3, website, etc) with the intention of being independent for the 2018 season.
HIGH SCHOOL GAME SCHEDULE PROCESS
Revise the HS game scheduling process. Move the process up on the calendar to allow more time and therefore finalize schedule earlier in the year.
November 1 registration deadline for all new and returning HS teams and Committee,
November 1 scheduling meeting date and location announced
November 15 deadline to submit blackout dates
December 1 draft HS game schedule submitted by Commissioners for committee review
January 1 revised draft HS game schedule released
January 1 deadline to identify HS home fields
January 15 scheduling meeting
February 1 final HS game schedule released
March 1 deadline for schedule changes (subsequent changes will be penalized)
While there were not very many games rescheduled during the season, there may need to be a penalty against a team requesting to reschedule a game after the final schedule is released. Penalties could include monetary fines or forfeiture of a schedule deposit. Multiple reschedule requests could result in disqualification from the State Tournament.
H.S. BOYS DIVISIONS
Establish two “equal” divisions for HS boys. The goal is to restructure the varsity and JV divisions have more equally matched divisions based on past performance. More parity in the regular season games should result in more competitive match-ups and will benefit all of the teams.
During 2016 regular season 31 games had a goal differential of 10 goals or more and 13 of those games had goal differentials of 15 to 29 goals.
This idea proved problematic for several reasons:
Several of the programs represented at the meeting that would have been relegated to “Division 2” did not want that to happen. They accepted the unequal games as a part of the sport.
Regarding the current division system outlined in the Operations Guide (Div 1—AA associated teams; Div 2—club teams drawing from more than one HS; and JV) most felt that while striving for formal recognition as a state-wide sanctioned HS sport is the ultimate goal that is not likely to happen for 7 to 10 more years.
The majority of the programs represented liked the system that is currently in practice: East and West “Varsity” Divisions and a JV Division. The division system used for the 2016 season will carry forward for the 2017 season.
Cody specifically requested to play in the JV division as they are trying to re-form their HS team and anticipate it will be made up primarily of freshman who only have 1 or 2 years of experience.
One idea to consider with the current division configuration is to give teams the option to “play down” in the JV division if they feel that would help their team develop by avoiding extremely lopsided game scores.
The group also discussed the rule prohibiting seniors from playing on JV teams. The vast majority of the attendees agreed that seniors should be allowed to petition the MLA to play on a JV team if warranted by their skill level. All agreed that seniors should not be forced to be on a varsity team and thus get little to no playing time if there is an opportunity for them to play on a JV team.
Estimated Boys HS Teams for 2017 Season
Billings West *
Bozeman 3 *
Cody (requested to play JV)
*potential new team
2017 Constituents Meeting Ideas
Keep in central location…consider different part of summer perhaps even before 4th of July…survey programs with several date options.
Congratulations to the SharpShooters U13 Green team. They are the Montana U13 State Champions. Head Coach Ted Smith and his team won the title in Billings with an 11-2 victory in the championship game.
PHOTO CREDIT - Flathead Lacrosse Club attacker Jack Blair fends off Northwest SharpShooter midfielder Lincoln Jones during the third quarter of the SharpShooter's 8-5 victory at Glacier on Thursday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)
The Northwest SharpShooters lacrosse club wasn’t intimidated by its older neighbors, dominating the first quarter to take a commanding lead in an 8-5 victory over cross Valley rivals Flathead Lacrosse on Thursday at Glacier High School.
Flathead, the elder team in the matchup featuring a roster of seniors and juniors, scored first, barely two minutes into the contest when attacker Lazlo Urbach recovered a turnover in front of the SharpShooters net and buried a point-blank shot behind the goalie.
If that was a statement, it didn’t register.
The SharpShooters, a first-year program based in Kalispell and made up mostly of sophomores and freshmen from last year’s Flathead 15U state championship squad, answered quickly.
Freshman midfielder Lincoln Jones got Northwest on the board with a shot from 15 feet out. A little more than two minutes later Jones was in an opportune place as a deflected shot bounced to him on the weak side of the offensive zone and he buried another point-blank goal to give the Sharpshooters their first lead and a growing sense of confidence.
Shortly after Darin Rashleigh dumped in a third goal for the SharpShooters and Logan Hill another after that. With a minute left in the quarter, Collin Kazmier added a fifth-straight goal for Northwest to give his squad a commanding lead.
Riding their speed in the midfield, the SharpShooters looked to have another goal early in the second quarter but it was waived off after a penalty was called on the goalscorer for an illegal stick.
The infraction halted momentum for the Kalispell team as it played with a man down.Flathead took advantage, scoring a goal 26 seconds later on a pass from Urbach behind the net to a wide open Marcus Jackson, whose quick shot cut the score to 5-2.
Jackson added another right before half, taking a pass from Mason Nicholson as he slashed into the slot and quickly flipping it on net to put Flathead down two goals at the break.
Flathead kept its momentum rolling after half, with Jackson completing his hat trick less than a minute into the third quarter firing a rope through traffic to cut the Sharpshooters lead to 5-4.
Flathead would continue the push, until the end of the frame, firing three chances on goal in the final minute of the third only for each to go awry.
As the overcast and blustery weather turned to drizzling rain in the fourth quarter, the SharpShooters began to find their range again.
With nine seconds remaining in a man advantage, Caleb Jones, the lone senior for Northwest, found the net, scoring the SharpShooters’ first goal in more than 26 minutes to push the lead back to 6-4. After a few more chances went wide, including a point-blank shot from Northwest that hit both the post and the crossbar, Drew Engellant scored again for the SharpShooters, burying a goal from outside that bounced in the net off a near stop from the Flathead goalkeeper. Northwest’s Garrett Frost added another with 1:42 to play to help the SharpShooters run away with the game.
“It’s been a long time getting to this point,” senior Caleb Jones said. “These guys beat us (in the) preseason in a scrimmage and we wanted them back. We got it done tonight.
“Especially the first time, it’s a big deal for a first-year program against a team that’s been around for a little while. They’ve had some success in the state tournament, it’s pretty cool to have a group of young guys and be able to beat a team like this.”
Flathead’s Nicholson cut into the lead just 19 seconds later to keep the game within a chance, but the Whitefish team couldn’t get anymore tries on net.
“(We played) very poorly, didn’t come ready to play, as shows in the first quarter,” Flathead coach Matthew Rizzolo said.
“It was a one-goal game at one point, we just weren’t able to execute.”
With the win, the Sharpshooters (7-2) have won their last five games and enter the meat of the schedule with only one loss to an in-state team, a 9-8 game to undefeated West Billings in the season opener.
“I can’t even speak right now,” SharpShooters coach Thomas Roehl said.
“It feels like we won state, but I know we haven’t. There’s still a long way to go. I’m just proud of my team right now.
“There’s still plenty of games to be played. We still have (first-place) Hellgate, we still have a lot of good teams. But, this was a huge accomplishment for us.”
Flathead (6-4) is still in the top half of the Western conference with the loss, with a big matchup against East leaders West Billings (7-0) on Saturday in Missoula.
Northwest will be in Butte this weekend for a pair of contests before hosting Missoula Hellgate (7-0) and the Helena Huskies (7-2) next week.
The state tournament will be held on May 20-22 at the University of Montana fields in Missoula.
Flathead 1 2 1 1 — 5
Northwest 5 0 0 3 — 8
First Quarter — 1, Flathead, Lazlo Urbach, 10:27. 1, Northwest, Lincoln Jones, 8:23. 2, Northwest, L. Jones, 6:18. 3, Northwest, Darin Rashleigh, 5:00. 4, Northwest, Logan Hill, 3:46. 5, Northwest, Collin Kazmier, 1:01.
Second Quarter — 2, Flathead, Marcus Jackson (Urbach), 9:00. 3, Flathead, Jackson (Mason Nicholson), 21.2.
Third Quarter — 4, Flathead, Jackson (Nicholson), 11:27.
All it took to ignite the Flathead Valley’s newest rivalry was a little smack talk between classmates.
Lacrosse has grown rapidly in the region. Flathead Lacrosse Club started playing varsity games only five years ago, pulling players from Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell looking for a fun, fast alternative to track and baseball in the spring. The club found traction quickly, building a small high school team into an entire organization: hosting multiple youth teams and a state champion 15-and-under squad by last season.
“It started as a fairly casual sport,” Flathead coach Matthew Rizzolo said. “It’s become something pretty competitive and the kids are dedicated to it.
“One of my lacrosse players has a tattoo of lacrosse sticks and a skull on his calf. That’s super exciting to see some kids be focused and make it a priority.”
With the sport growing so fast, and the idea of providing more kids the opportunity to play varsity games, the Northwest SharpShooters began playing lacrosse this season in Kalispell. Many of the players from that 15U champion left to join the team closer to home and were able to recruit a few others.
The new team has gotten off to a hot start, dropping its first game by a point to undefeated West Billings, and winning the last four games to post a 6-2 record this season.
That mark is slightly better than Flathead, which is 6-3, winning five straight before a loss to undefeated Missoula Hellgate on Sunday.
The teams are nearly identical statistically, scoring the same number of goals this season and separated by just two goals in point differential.
They enter today’s cross-Valley showdown on nearly equal footing.
But, that’s not what’s feeding the rivalry.
This is about good, old-fashioned smack talk.
“Most of these kids go to school with each other,” SharpShooters coach Thomas Roehl said. “A couple (Flathead) kids started calling our kids a U15 team.
“(Now our kids are) fired up to play. They want a piece of Flathead.”
A slight like that, even in passing, is a time-worn way to spark a rivalry. A new team, already working for acceptance, never likes to hear the established veteran brushing them aside.
That goes over even worse between kids who know each other.
When the game starts off today at 6 p.m. at Glacier High School, those emotions will certainly be worked out.
While the rivalry smolders, it’s also building two strong, distinct programs.
That is turning out to be a boon for local athletes.
“It’s great to have a little bit more local competition,” Rizzolo said.
“It’s fun to watch the sport grow.”
Two kids from Flathead are already committed to play club lacrosse in college, with two more already on that level. Whitefish’s David Rizzolo and Kalispell’s Dominick Faith just won the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference title at Montana State and will play next week at the Men’s Lacrosse Club Association national championships. Rizzolo, only a sophomore for the Bobcats, was named first team all conference as a midfielder.
Even more could be headed that way in the future, with both Flathead and the SharpShooters boasting a field of talent and more young athletes finding the sport every year.
“We’re going to have so many players it’s unbelievable,” Roehl said. “We’re going to have to stop recruiting players and start recruiting coaches more.”
The sport is still fairly new to the area, but with passion and rivalries like the one burgeoning in the Flathead Valley, it can only grow stronger.