The Program is advertised as a 1st grade through 8th grade Boys Lacrosse Program, however, there are a few age requirements that must be considered. No player may play if they have turned 15 years of age by August 31 in the year preceding competition per the National Youth Lacrosse Guidelines. Also, although the competitive team structure starts with the 4th grade level, many towns invite their 3rd and sometimes 2nd graders to play in an instructional program.
The Hillsborough Youth Lacrosse program has competitive teams at the 4th grade level and above. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade levels are primarily clinic teams focused on developing basic skills. Each competitive team will play a Home and Away schedule primarily on weekends with multiple games played per day. The clinic teams will play intra-team scrimmages. Third grade players will also have opportunities to play games with local opponents. Teams, number of players per team and individual make-up of teams are determined on a year by year basis. Depending on the number of players that register each year, the Board of Directors decides on the number of teams at each grade level. A player's grade is used as a general guideline but doesn't automatically dictate the team assignment. The number of players at each grade, their age and prior lacrosse experience are all considerations that impact team assignments.
Team Size & Balancing
There will be an attempt to equally balance all Teams to allow for the maximum playing time per player. League rules permit a younger player to move up to play on a higher grade team; however, they prohibit an older player to move down to play on a younger grade team. By leveling the amount of players on each team, no one team should have an inordinate amount of players compared to another, except if the largest group of players is on the oldest team. Players required to move up will jump up only one grade.
A player is normally assigned to their grade level team. However, if team leveling is necessary, a player will be assigned to a specific team based upon the following criteria: a) the candidate player can only move up one grade level; b) has the player participated prior in a sanctioned outdoor Lacrosse Program (ex. Hillsborough Youth Lacrosse, another town's lacrosse program, Middle School Lacrosse. Playing on an indoor Team does not constitute playing in an outdoor program); c) in age order, the oldest players will be moved up to the higher level team. The HYL Board has the final decision with respect to player assignment and determing if a player should "play up" in age. The primary decision factors are NOT if the player has the ability to "play up" but rather if this decision is best for both teams in terms of roster size AND if the player is capable of playing up. Special consideration will be given to goalies as to team determination.
There will be an attempt made to equally play all participants at a specific position on a team, not including man-up and man-down formations. These positions are designated as attack, midfield, defense and goalie. Depending upon the size of the team, all participants can expect to play a minimum of one quarter or a maximum of the entire game (Goalie). If the score is lop-sided and out of reach in either direction, the players with the shortest amount of time should be given every opportunity to equalize their participation. A lop-sided score is defined as follows: Grade 4 – 4 goals; Grades 5 & 6 – 5 goals; and Grades 7 & 8 – 6 goals. Each game situation is unique and there can be deviations to the above. It is the overall philosophy of HYL that all players that are actively participating in practices get ample playing opportunity.