Playtime: Options for kids who want to play lacrosse

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A Meadowdale Mavericks lacrosse player headed down field. (Photo courtesy Mavericks Lacrosse)

“Mom, I wanna play lacrosse” is a sentence I ignored after my youngest came home telling me how much fun he was having during his lacrosse unit in P.E.. Pre-kid Jen thinks this makes me a terrible and unsupportive mother, mid-kid Jen understands that if you start every sport or activity at the first mention of it, you’d go bankrupt while giving speeches about “sticking with it.” When he brought this up the first time, he had just started a different sport, skateboarding, which is a great sports community, but isn’t as widely organized as many other sports and is tricky to maintain in a rainy area, so adding another new sport was out of the question.

After joining the Healthy Habits Cross Country team through the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club at his school this fall, we saw that they also offered lacrosse for November/December (they are about to offer rugby and then track, and I highly recommend the program). This was his chance to try out lacrosse and keep going with his Boys and Girls coach, Abby, who he really likes. While the format that the Boys and Girls Club runs differs from the organized lacrosse you’ll find locally (they’re co-ed and don’t require protective gear), it’s a very fun and affordable way for kids to try it out.

Given the success of the Boys and Girls Club experience and his asking Santa for lacrosse gear, we set out to find out as much as we could about the sport and what it took to gear up and sign up. As you may know from seeing them at the Edmonds 4th of July parade, Edmonds has boys lacrosse teams — The Edmonds Eagles for kids from Kindergarten through 8th grade and the Meadowdale Mavericks, the school district’s high school lacrosse team, which includes players from anywhere in the Edmonds School District.

When we were deciding where to play, we knew that LFP-Shoreline has a team established, in part, by friends we trust from my older son’s hockey team. We’re right in the middle of both practice locations, so it wasn’t as simple as find-the-local-team. I submitted a question to EaglesLax.com which got a call back in what I would consider record time. Kim Newman, treasurer of Edmonds Youth Sports, which covers the Eagles and Mavericks, answered the first of my many questions.

Meadowdale Mavericks lacrosse in action. (Photo courtesy Mavericks Lacrosse)

Newman and I caught up over the phone to cover the rest of the information, though EaglesLax.com really does include a lot of information. Students in the Edmonds School District are eligible to play for the Eagles or Mavericks, depending on their age, and there are age groups from kindergarten through high school. Registration for the Edmonds Eagles covers, according to the website, “Game Jersey to Keep, League fees, Fields fees, Ref Fees, Coaches gifts, End of Season Party, up to 2 in-season Tournaments, and ONE FUN EXPERIENCE!” It’s important to add that a membership to US Lacrosse, $30-$40 depending on the age of the player, is also required to play. Newman told me that for those in 3rd through 8th grades, the season starts Feb. 4, with three practices a week until mid-March when the games start. Kids in kindergarten through 2nd grade start on March 6 with one practice a week and the Meadowdale Mavericks start in the last week of February and they practice five days a week.

Besides the rules of play, which we don’t know much about yet, the first mountain to climb was the gear. For boys lacrosse, the players need a helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, stick, mouthguard, protective cup and cleats. Of course, each of these items are just different enough from the bag full of hockey gear we already have for him.

Provided by Santa, his parents and a grandparent, the gear my son has is all used — except the gloves, mouthguard and cup he already had from hockey — came from a mix of Play It Again Sports — both Lynnwood and Marysville locations — and another local store. Edmonds Eagles offer the main items for rent, $90 for the season, or even individual items at different prices. The only items you must purchase are the mouthguard, cup and cleats — we found a pair of cleats at Play It Again in Lynnwood for $9.99.

Like hockey — our only really comparable experience — there is contact in lacrosse. In hockey, my older son will likely never “check,” as it is reserved for the highest level “rep” teams. I asked Newman about the contact in lacrosse; she said at the 3rd and 4th grade level there is “poking,” which is hitting another player’s stick in hopes they’ll drop the ball. She said that the next age group up, 5th/6th grade team, is when checking starts though she reiterated that there is incidental contact, much like hockey, even when checking isn’t permitted.

For more information and registration for either the Edmonds Eagles or Meadowdale Mavericks, visit EaglesLax.com. Any additional questions can be submitted under the “Contact Us” tab.

Edmonds Lacrosse Club players on the field. (Photo courtesy Edmonds Lacrosse Club)

There is also girls lacrosse in Edmonds through the Edmonds Lacrosse Club, for those in 4th grade through high school. Edmonds Lacrosse Club President Marnie White gave me the rundown on who is eligible, what gear they need and when you can attend their open house for more information. White told me, “All girls in Edmonds Schools District boundaries, as well as Shoreline School District, can play with us. Private school students in these areas can play with us as well,” she said, adding that one of the nicest things about Edmonds Lacrosse Club teams is that “the girls come from multiple schools.”  The gear requirements are a stick, cleats, mouth guard and eye protection.

I know from having been in the lacrosse section at Play It Again in Lynnwood a lot, you can get eye protection there. They aren’t like any other piece of equipment I’ve used, but I would describe it as a mix of the catcher’s mask I wore in softball and ski goggles, or a hockey cage, but for your eyes.

Lacrosse players leap for the ball. (Photo courtesy Edmonds Lacrosse Club)

For more information or to register, you can visit EdmondsLacrosse.com or attend their registration Night for families on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Lynnwood Fire Station, 18800 44th Ave. W., Lynnwood. White describes this event as a “great way to get to meet team members, coaches and parents.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.

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