I have been in the position for close to two months now and wanted to give you a general update before the holiday season on a couple of items of interest to the members of the association.
Registration – Online registration will be open on January 2nd 2016. We will be having in person registration as well and will get those dates out to the public very early in 2016. I really want to thank Evelyn Sutton for all her hard work and efforts into the registration process. It is a big eye opener for me in the first few months how much work is required by the team to make things like registration happen.
A Team Tryouts – There has been a specific committee meeting on tryouts that occurred in the middle of November and further discussion at the last monthly general meeting in December. Some key objectives were to get some indoor bookings (Weather can be very unpredictable in February), have a transparent and independent evaluation process.
I think we will be successful on all three fronts but not perfect. I really want our members to understand, how difficult it is to secure indoor floor space at that time of the year, I could write a lengthy explanation as to why it is so difficult, but ask that you trust us, knowing that we did our best to secure what we could.
We are working on securing some independent evaluators for Novice, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget A tryouts. People on the floor doing the evaluations will not be involved in coaching the group that they are evaluating. We are aiming to have at least three independent evaluators for each division as well as a goalie evaluator. Coaches will not be involved in the initial selection process for the A teams, but will be allowed to downsize the initial selection list to the required numbers for the team. Exact details of the process will be available prior to tryouts.
Bottom line is tryouts will most likely consist of four events, 1 skills evaluation session followed by 3 scrimmages. Given all the constraints we have around floor bookings and the limited time, we will do our very best to make this as fair as possible considering all the circumstances. This is simply the best the association can do given the time constraints and availability of indoor floor space at this time of the year.
Head Coach – I am very pleased to announce that Grant Hamilton has been appointed by the Directors into the position of Head Coach. Grant is going to work hard compiling a list of suitable and independent evaluators for the A team tryouts that will start in February. Grant will also be coming out with a notice in early January looking for coaching volunteers to fill many of the coaching spots within the association. The executive is going to work with Grant to hopefully create two new assistant head coach positions that will help support Grant better in his role and allow for the mentorship and development of these individuals within the association.
Referee Support – At the BCLA and Vancouver Island Minor Lacrosse Commission level there have been some strong messaging about properly supporting our Referee’s from both a coaches and parents level. Although we have not seen any significant issues of referee abuse over the past 5 years in our association it is something we want our membership to be aware of and asked for your continued strong leadership and support in this key area. We are very lucky to have such a capable and committed head referee in our association and I want to thank Rob Cook for all his efforts to date.
Items of Interest – There are still a few vacancies on the executive, I encourage you to check our website and if interested, get in touch with any of us. We need your support to make things work properly. I think we have a strong executive and we will provide you with the proper support and guidance if you are willing to step forward and volunteer.
It is going to be a very early summer this year for provincials. I believe Midget will start 6 July, Bantam 16 July, Peewee 20 July, Female 29th of June. It is also a summer games year. Note playoffs usually occur two weeks before provincials so that gives you an idea of how compressed of a season it most likely will be this year.
Thank You – I would like to put in a well deserved “Thank You” to all your appointed and elected people of the JDF Lacrosse Association. I am truly impressed and grateful to how much work and effort they put in to make this association function at such a high level.
On behalf of all the Executive, I would like to close by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New year! Looking forward to full and rewarding year of box lacrosse in 2016!
JDF Lacrosse Association