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Welcome to another edition of CrosseTalk, the official newsletter of the Scorpion Lacrosse Club. In this issue we include a message from Club President Jeff Kahsen, some of the new Boys and Girls rules for 2014, concussion testing, our Wall Wizard program, Spirit Wear sales, and some fun LAX terms that you might hear on the sidelines or across from the dinner table.

Message from Jeff Kahsen, Scorpion Club President
It goes without saying that this is my favorite time of the year. It’s a time most players and coaches transition from practice, practice and more practice to weekend games and head-to-head competition.

What a great sight it is so see so many kids running around our community fields carrying their crosses and proudly wear Scorpion Orange and Blue.  This year we have a record number (680  to be exact) of boys and girls playing Scorpion Lacrosse on 36 different teams.  A special shout and thank you goes out to the 104 coaches that are volunteering their time to help so many kids to learn, appreciate and respect the great game of lacrosse.

It’s also my favorite time of the year because I get to meet and catch up on the sidelines with so many great parents, family and friends from the extended Scorpion community. I try to make it out to as many DVMS and Blackhawk games as I can.  If you see me out there and we haven’t met, please introduce yourself and say hello.  I love this club and would love to meet you.

New NCJLA Rules for 2014
Every year the NCJLA (Northern California Lacrosse Association) evaluates the rules of play and frequently makes changes to help ensure safe play and improve the quality of competition. This year is no exception.  While many of the rule changes are minor, others like the elimination of substitution horns for boys U13 and U15 and a new 3 pass rule for U11 girls are major.   If you are interested in reviewing the full scope of NCJLA rule changes for 2014, you can access pdf files for the various age groups here:

 

Girls U15 & U13
Girls U11

Girls U9
Boys U15
Boys U13
Boys U11
Boys U9

 
Concussions and Baseline Testing
Concussions are a sometimes unfortunate consequence of playing many sports, including lacrosse.  Concussions are a type of brain injury, typically caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body that produces shaking of the brain inside the skull.  Since there are no clear biomarkers in the diagnosis of the injury, care providers often look for symptoms — immediate or delayed — including headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and/or amnesia.

The Scorpion club has adopted a policy that requires coaches and parents to notify each other if any player has or is suspected of having suffered a concussion, no matter where or how the injury was sustained.  If there has been a suspected concussion at a lacrosse game or practice or elsewhere , coaches will not allow a player to return to play until they are released by a doctor, hopefully one who is trained in concussion recognition and treatment.

One the fastest and safest ways to get kids cleared to play is to have an imPACT Baseline Concussion test, both before and after an injury.  Players over the age of 10 are eligible for this test, which  costs approximately $40 and can be conducted by several local doctors who specialize in baseline brain testing, including Dr. Andrew Nash.  For more information, please go to1to1pediatrics.com.

The Magic of Wall Wizards
There’s a good chance your kid has come home from a practice and said, “Coach wants me to do Wall Wizards”.  If you are new to Scorpion lacrosse, you probably replied, “What’s a Wall Wizard?”   Wall Wizards, also known as Wall Ball, is a Scorpion practice drill that encourages players to throw (and catch) a lacrosse ball against an outdoor concrete wall or suitable hard surface.  The value of wall ball practice is tremendous.  A Wall Wizard session is of the single best practice drills your son or daughter can do to improve his or her throwing, catching and stick handling… not matter what their current level.  Be sure to visit the Scorpion Lacrosse website for Wall Wizard resources, including descriptions, forms and a video demonstrating proper technique.    

Wall Wizard Tips:  large concrete or cinder block wall without windows work best.  Throw and catch as you would normally do with a partner. Do equal repetitions with both strong and weak hand.  Be sure to work your weak hand first.  And, if you're short on time, do weak hand only. If no suitable wall is available, playing catch with a friend or parent is better than not throwing at all.  As your coach if he/she has a Wall Wizard reward program!  For more information including Wall Wizard forms, videos, and maps of great wall work locations in the area, check out Wall Wizard Central on the Scorpion website.

Dress for Success!
Good news!  The Scorpion spirit wear store is open and ready for another round of orders.  March is your last chance to order items and show you Scorpion pride on the sidelines.  All hats, polos, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets feature the brand new and really cool Scorpion logo.   This year all items will be produced in small batches and shipped directly to your home.  Support your kids and Scorpion Lacrosse by decking yourself out in Orange and Blue.   To see current inventory, visit the store here


LAX Terms, Acronyms and Expressions
Most parents in the Scorpion program did not grow up playing lacrosse, but have come to love the sport… whether they understand the rules, terms and nuances or not.  Many seemingly foreign and familiar terms, expressions and 3 letter acronyms are used by both players and coaches.  This and future editions of CrosseTalk will attempt to clarify and educate parents on some of these terms.

  • CHECKING is an attempt to dislodge the ball from an opponent's crosse (lax stick) by using controlled crosse to crosse contact, or also crosse to glove contact for boys.
  • CRADLING: Running with the stick in either one or both hands in a manner that keeps the ball in the pocket.
  • CUTTING  Cutting is when an attacker or other player runs toward the goal looking to get open to receive a pass.
  • PICK  A Pick is a technique in which a player without the ball, who by his/her positioning, forces the opponent to take another route. To be legal it must be set within the visual field of the opponent allowing enough time and space to stop or change direction. A tap on the head is a signal for “I’m going to set a pick!”
  • GLE is an acronym for Goal Line Extended, the imaginary line of the goal extended to the sidelines for the purposes of planning plays and describing positioning on the field.
  • “Middie Back!” is a call made by a boys coach, attackman or defenseman to remind a middie to stay in the defensive half to avoid an offside penalty call when another defensive player is clearing the ball over the mid line.​
  •  Offsides  The Offsides rule differs between the boys and girls game.  In the boys game offsides is called if a team does not have a minimum of 3 players on the offensive side of the midline and 4 players on their defensive end.  In the girls game, offsides is called when a team has more than seven players on or over the restraining line in its offensive end or more than eight players on or over the restraining line in its defensive end.
  •  “X”  the X position is the offensive position behind the goal.  A coach may have his players “pass the ball to X, move through X. “X” simply refers to the offensive player behind the goal.

 
Honor the Game
Scorpion Lacrosse enthusiastically embraces the philosophy and guidelines of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).  In fact, every Scorpion coach is required to take and pass a PCA training course before assuming a leadership role.  The PCA also has some great pre and post game guidelines for parents.   Here are ways that you as parents can contribute to a positive sports culture so that players will have fun and learn positive character traits to last a lifetime:

Before the Game

  • Commit to Honoring the Game in action and language no matter what others may do.
  • Tell your children that you will be proud of them regardless of how well they perform.

During the Game

  • Fill kid’s “Emotional Tanks” with praise and positive recognition to help them play their best.
  • Do not instruct your child during game action or at breaks; let the coaches coach.
  • Cheer good plays by both teams.  Mention good calls by the official to other parents.
  • If you disagree with an official’s call, Honor the Game – and keep quiet!
  • If other spectators yell at officials, gently remind them to Honor the Game.
  • Don’t do anything in the heat of the moment that you will regret after the game. Ask yourself, “What do I want to model right now for my child?”

After the Game

  • Thank the officials for doing a difficult job for little or no pay.
  • Thank the coaches for their commitment and effort.
  • When reviewing the game with your kid, ask rather than tell. Instead of sharing your opinions or telling them how they can improve, ask questions such as “What did you learn from that game?” or “What was your favorite play?” or “What was the most fun part of that game?”
  • Remember to give your kid truthful and specific praise…not just the typical “good game” but, for example, “I saw how well you moved your feet on defense.”
  • Tell your children again that you are proud of them whether the team won or lost.

 
Upcoming Events

Cal Bears vs. Florida Gators Men’s Lacrosse
Friday Night, March 7th, 7:00 pm
Admission is Free for this event