Lacrosse Leads Again
November 13, 2012
US Lacrosse is once again a voice of reason in the sometimes irrational world of amateur sports. Following up its Oct. 30, 2011 Position Statement cautioning against premature sports specialization (see March 6, 2012 blog), US Lacrosse issued on Oct. 18, 2012 the following statement on recruiting:
“US Lacrosse shares the concern of many lacrosse players, parents and coaches that the college recruiting process is not structured or timed in the best interests of high school student-athletes. A growing number of private clubs and recruiting events – which operate throughout the calendar year and whose motivation remains in question – have created a confusing landscape for young players, who are being encouraged to specialize in lacrosse.
“An increasing number of young student-athletes are choosing to forego a well-rounded high school experience based on unrealistic expectations and misperceptions about playing college lacrosse. Parents are being led to believe that college coaches are only looking at children who play year-round lacrosse for “elite” club programs and attend multiple, expensive recruiting events held during the summertime and the school year.
“Recruiting camps and tournaments for players as young as age 14, particularly those events that conflict with school or occur outside of the traditional lacrosse season, threaten the well-being of student-athletes with incidents of injury and burnout. This intense recruiting culture also has eroded the work-life balance of college coaches.
“US Lacrosse will continue to work with the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) and Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) to provide the information, resources and leadership necessary to enable high school student-athletes and their parents to make the best decisions about their lacrosse experience.
“US lacrosse also encourages men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse coaches to exert their considerable influence to lead reform of the NCAA recruiting calendar, limit the age at which student-athletes begin the recruiting process, and agree not to attend or participate in recruiting events that infringe on the academic calendar of student-athletes.”