Updated - January 3, 2019
The Female Lacrosse Association is now accepting online registrations for the 2019 season. The link to register online can be accessed by clicking here.
Updated - December 22, 2018
The Alberta Lacrosse Association has officially approved the inclusion of the Female Lacrosse Association as a sanctioned club within the ALA and CDLA. As such, all systems are now 'go' to get this club fully operational for the 2019 season. Online registration will soon be setup and a communication will go out to all members as soon as it is ready.
At the club's first ever AGM held on Thursday, December 20th, there were a number of questions asked by members. The following is a summary of those questions and the responses provided.
QUESTION & ANSWER SUMMARY - Female Lacrosse Association AGM - Thursday, December 20, 2018
The following is a summary of the question and answer session at the recent Female Lacrosse Association AGM held at the Morrison Homes Theatre, 11158, 42nd Street SE, on December 20th, 2018 at 7pm.
- How far along in the process of making decisions is the Female Lacrosse Association (FLA)?
We are further ahead in some areas than others. With the appointment of the Board and the official sanctioning of the FLA, we expect additional resources in terms of volunteers to allow us to focus on those areas which we still need to develop.
Having solicited feedback from the CDLA female player membership, we will be known as the Fury and are currently working on a website and logo.
We have determined that in each age group from Peewee through Midget, we will have a competitive division and a development division. All Novice players will participate in a development division. The evaluation process for each division has been established, with options as to independent evaluators currently being reviewed. Details will be available on the Female Lacrosse website in January.
The teams in the competitive league will be drawn from all over the city and surrounding areas with the primary focus to ensure those teams are evenly matched. While we appreciate this will involve more travel for many girls, we are working with the CDLA to identify arenas that are somewhat more central than others and will be trying to accommodate everyone by having practices in different locations.
The development league on the other hand, will be geographically based. Once again we want the teams to be as evenly matched as possible, however they will be formed with an emphasis on geographical location. By way of an example teams will be comprised of a mixture of Axemen, Sabrecats and Raiders in the south with practices held at arena’s which are traditionally within those associations boundaries. For example, the intention would be to have practices at each of Aldersyde, Cardel Rec and Subway Soccer Center. To reiterate, the intention with this league is to afford the girls the opportunity to continue to play with their friends as close to home as is practical and possible.
Jersey colors have been selected and we are now working closely with a couple of potential vendors to finalize design. We are also discussing the process for purchasing other Fury merchandise, to provide our membership with the opportunity to purchase hoodies, jerseys, etc.
There is still much work to do and we would encourage you to take a look at the newly appointed board and reach out to the member responsible for the area in which you think you can assist. These board members will require your assistance if we are to make a success of this association. As you read through the rest of the Q&A it will become apparent where we still need work to be done. We would encourage you to consider making recommendations, providing suggestions or volunteering to help us find solutions and solidify our plans.
- Can you explain the tiering and the travel that will be involved?
As mentioned above we will have two groups within each age group, namely i) competitive and ii) development.
The FLA will offer a Competitive option for PeeWee through Midget aged players. Teams in this division will be formed based on skill rather than geographic location. Players registering for this option will be assessed through a series of skills/evaluation sessions starting in February. We are working with the CDLA to look at options for assigning more centrally located arenas for games and practices to try and mitigate the impact of the additional travel.
In addition, the FLA will offer a development option for Novice through Midget players, with teams organized both on relative skill ranking and the athlete’s geographic location. While this may result in additional travel, we believe it will be minimal and as mentioned in the previous response, we intend to use a number of facilities to share what additional travel there may be
Additional information on division structure and evaluations will be available when registration opens in January 2019..
- How did we pay for the costs associated with the new association?
This initiative was launched by the CDLA who have provided us with initial funding of $50,000. This will allow us to purchase jerseys and keep registration fees and their existing levels. Some families will see either a modest increase or decrease as we established our registration fees based on an average of the legacy associations.
- Is Edmonton looking at a similar format and do we expect this to go Canada wide?
We cannot say whether Edmonton will follow suit or if this will go national. We are however in preliminary contact with our counterparts in Edmonton to look into options of playing against one another in one form or another. We would suspect that they will be looking very closely at our model and will be interested in the progress we make and the pitfalls we encounter. While it would be fantastic to see this grow within Alberta, we are currently focusing on the task at hand and so it would be premature to make statements on the intent of other associations within the province.
On a national basis we have not heard anything with respect to initiatives elsewhere. We will be the first female only lacrosse association, and while we hope that this would incentivize others to pursue a similar course, we would suspect many people will look to see whether we can make a successful transition away from co-ed associations, before committing.
- How will the evaluations work and when will they be?
More details providing specifics around the evaluations process will be made available at the beginning of January when registration opens. At this time details will be provided around requirements, format and timelines.
Evaluations for the competitive division will begin the first two weeks of February and will consist of two skills sessions followed by situational and game play. Everyone is welcome to try out for the competitive skills sessions with decisions made thereafter as to who will be invited to participate in subsequent sessions. The intent is to retain girls in the competitive evaluations as long as possible to give them every chance of making the teams. If, however, it is determined that the girl is more suited to development, we will make that decision and communicate that with those individuals. At that time, they will move to the development evaluations.
We appreciate that there are often conflicts between winter sports such as hockey and ringette as well as other sports such as volleyball and basketball. While we will never be able to establish a time that works for everyone, we have looked into the hockey and ringette schedules and believe the evaluation floor times chosen throughout February to be the most convenient.
Development league evaluations are scheduled for March and will be wrapped up before Spring Break.
- How are we attracting new players and can friends play together?
While friend requests will not be available at the competitive level, we are looking at options available to us for accommodating some requests at the development level. By basing our development teams geographically, it is expected that a lot of girls will continue to be able to play with friends.
The desire however is to grow the game at this level and we believe that by accommodating such requests we can recruit more girls. There are some practical concerns that need to be addressed and again we need to make every effort to ensure equality between the teams. As such we are currently looking at options available to us including one reciprocated friend request for new players to the game. We intend to provide more details on this as we work our way through it.
- Are we going to continue to develop female coaches?
We are highly supportive of female coaches and their development. This was an initiative of the CDLA and the ALA and we will continue to respect that initiative. With a female only association we believe in the importance of female coaches who are properly certified and who can be role models for our young athletes. We will be encouraging more females to take up coaching rather than simply have the responsibility of “bench mom”. These coaches will be required to take the necessary NCCP Certifications and the CDLA is committed to running more courses and is open to running more female coach only courses.
- How are coaches going to be selected?
We have sent out coaching reviews for the past year and will also be reaching out to the associations to request access to their coaching surveys to determine who would make the most appropriate coaches and ensure the success of our girls and the teams.
This year being the first, the Executive Board will make the decision on coaches in consultation with our Coaching Director. In future years we will rely on our own surveys, with a decision yet to made on how the coaches will be selected.
- How do we ensure good coaching at the development level?
We believe we have enough good coaches interested and vested in the development of the female game that we will not have to solicit the assistance of the “voluntold” parent. We understand the importance of good coaching at every level, as all competitive players were at one-time part of the development group. By ensuring we have strong coaching at every level we are taking care of the foundation and future of our sport.
Our Coaching Director has shared some ideas of what he feels will work including shared practices between levels (beneficial to girls and coaches), mentorship programs and coaching assistance. While these still need to be refined, we have significant coaching experience within our association. We are confident that our coaching will be amongst the best in the CDLA.
- How will teams be picked at the competitive level?
Teams will be picked based on rankings for the top 2/3rds of each team. The final 1/3rd will be selected based on the coach’s pick. This will allow for a degree of responsibility being passed to the coaches as well as allowing them to look at things other than pure evaluation rankings, such as attitude, motivation and dedication.
- How will Provincials work with the new association?
Provincials are governed by the Alberta Lacrosse Association (ALA). As information becomes available we will share it with the membership.
- How will affiliation work?
We will continue to fall under the affiliation rules of the ALA. There will be no cross affiliation but girls will be able to move up. In the case of competitive teams, affiliation will either be from development teams in their own age group or from competitive teams in the age group below. Development teams will only be allowed to affiliate from the lower age group.
Specifics on which team can affiliate from another team have yet to be determined.
- There is a lot of misinformation and instances of the information not being shared or made available.
While we have made every effort to share information and make people aware of what we are doing, we appreciate there are different information requirements depending on the individual. There has been a lot of information available, however it has appeared that the availability of this information has been dependent on your legacy association or the means by which information has been communicated.
With the creation of a website and the appointment of a Communications Director we look forward to sharing this information with a broader group and hopefully addressing people’s concerns. While we have thus far relied on communications through the CDLA and the legacy associations, we believe having our own website will be a powerful tool for sharing information.
It is also worth noting that until we received our society paperwork and a Board was formed, the committee was not acting in any official capacity. This meant final decisions and therefore the sharing of a lot of details of things we were working on, could not be shared in any official capacity.
- Do you plan to have a townhall now the Board has been formed?
Now that the Board has been formed we are looking at the possibility of holding a townhall meeting in January. We are also highly reliant on the membership to share the information they have in an effort to address any rumours and are committed to being highly transparent and share information as it becomes available.
- What were some of the benefits around a competitive and a development league split and how would success be measured?
When we considered the two-league option there were several things that came to mind. The gap by the time you reach Bantam and Midget, between an experienced player and a new player is extreme. We felt by splitting into two groups that difference would be less extreme within those groups. While not removing all safety concerns, this certainly makes strides in addressing them.
We also felt that it would encourage more girls to start the sport at an older age as the difference in skillset would not be as wide. Girls would feel less self-conscious with the reduction in that gap. By playing with like skilled players they could develop at a more comfortable pace. Meanwhile the competitive players who have played for years are challenged more and can continue to develop.
By having the opportunity to play at either level we feel that the girls will be able to develop, have fun and be safer playing at the level most appropriate for them.
Our success will be measured in a number of ways, including but not limited to i) increased participation and retention numbers, ii) level of enjoyment the girls experience, iii) numbers who go on to junior ladies; and iv) feedback from coaches and parents.
- How will referees be assigned between competitive and development leagues?
This will be the responsibility of the ALRA and the head of officiating will be accountable for the assignments. While we cannot talk on behalf of the ALRA, we would expect that the higher levelled referees be assigned the competitive games with less experienced officials being assigned the development games.
It is also worth noting that this provides the ALRA an opportunity to develop referees at their discretion, taking advantage of the split in our female league.
- Will the rules be different between the two leagues?
No. We still fall under ALA legislation and therefore rules are based on the age group of the participants rather than the division they play in. Rules will not be changed making the sport less physical for the development teams. We will however continue to monitor this and in the event we believe a change is in the best interests of the girls, we would follow due process for discussion with the CDLA and ALA.
- Is there an expectation of a different level of commitment between the two divisions?
We will be encouraging the same level of commitment from all girls. They will still be expected to show up and be committed to their teammates, coaches and the sport. All girls will be afforded the same opportunities with respect to time allotted by the association. We do however anticipate that there will be some coaches who wish to have additional practices and will therefore acquire additional floor time as a team cost. All fees paid will be the same, the only additional fees for competitive being an evaluation fee of $50.
Finally there were a couple of comments shared;
Girls Hockey Calgary - the comment was made that GHC restructured in a similar way to that being proposed by the FLA and that so far it has been a success with girls really enjoying the season and having a lot of success.
Try it sessions - these have been somewhat successful with more than fifty new girls taking part. There are a couple more sessions planned for January and February and we would love to see more girls out trying it for the first time. We have approached hockey and ringette and would really like any other suggestions or contacts of people we can approach to offer similar try it opportunities.
Updated - November 28, 2018
The Female Lacrosse Association
The CDLA is excited that the Female Lacrosse Association (“FLA”) is proceeding toward its inaugural year
for the 2019 Lacrosse season. One of the primary goals of the new association is to promote the growth
of female lacrosse within the CDLA area boundaries to retain existing and entice new players into the
Mission Statement of the Female Lacrosse Association
To enhance the lives of female athlete through the sport of Lacrosse. To foster confidence, leadership
and teamwork while giving back to the communities where our athletes live and play.
Benefits to an All-Female Lacrosse Club
i) Focus - Development of strong, empowered female athletes is the priority. The FLA will create a
culture that fosters development across the skill spectrum to ensure players enjoy success both on and
beyond the field
ii) Growth - The FLA will promote the sport of lacrosse to females within the CDLA boundaries and
provide a safe and positive environment for new and existing players.
iii) Competition - Combining the female membership allows for tiering of play, enhancing the
experience for new and experienced players alike.
iv) Tournaments - The Female Lacrosse Association will be organizing and promoting tournaments
including the ongoing tradition of the Girls Rock Tournament.
The FLA will offer a Competitive option for PeeWee through Midget aged players. Teams in this division
will be formed based on skill rather than geographic location. Players registering for this option will be
assessed through a series of skills/evaluation sessions starting in February.
In addition, the FLA will offer a House option for Novice through Midget players, with teams organized
both on relative skill ranking and the athlete’s geographic location.
Additional information on division structure and evaluations will be available on the FLA website closer
to the new year. Registration within the new association will open in January 2019!
For additional information on the Female Lacrosse Association, please send an email to:
CDLA Board Member Liaison: Don Payne / CDLA Member at Large for Female Lacrosse
Late in 2018, the CDLA established an ad hoc committee to explore options for building and maintaining the female lacrosse program. This committee researched and debated many different options, but in the end concluded that the best solution is to create a single ‘all female’ club where all female players in the CDLA will play. THIS INITIATIVE WILL NOT TAKE PLACE THIS YEAR…PLANS ARE IN PLACE TO ESTABLISH THIS CLUB NEXT YEAR FOR THE 2019 SEASON.
By having a single club focused on female lacrosse, the CDLA will be able to ensure that all female players will be placed on equal teams, that coaches are properly trained to coach female athletes, and that the culture of the organization can be developed to support female athletes.
Over the course of the 2018 season, this committee will be consulting with both parents of female players and female players directly to gather feedback and come up with a sound implementation plan for this initiative. The goal is to use ‘key’ events for this consultation, for example, the Girls Rock Tournament.
If you have any comments or questions on this, please feel free to contact Don Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROPOSED FEMALE LACROSSE ASSOCIATION WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CDLA
As you are aware, there is an initiative underway to create a CDLA Female Lacrosse Association. A recent survey issued by the CDLA found that 71.43% of parents’ who responded, supported this initiative.
Why do we feel an All-Girls Club is Important?
Did you know that by age 13, 7 out of 10 athletes will stop participating in organized sports? For every boy who leaves, there are 6 girls who will stop participating. That means you are 6 times more likely to leave organized sports if you are a girl.
The goal of the Female Lacrosse Association is to remove barriers that are preventing girls from playing Lacrosse in Calgary, and make our young female athletes a priority, thereby keeping them in the sport of lacrosse. The mission of this association is “To enhance the lives of the female athlete through the sport of lacrosse. To foster confidence, leadership and teamwork, with the ultimate goal to give back to the communities where our athletes live and play”.
By having a female association we can help develop female lacrosse players with a female culture. The idea of a female association is not new, with successful programs in other organized sports such as hockey, soccer, rugby and basketball.
With the survey results showing support for this initiative, we are moving forward with the next steps. This involves the appointment of an interim board, to steward to a Female Lacrosse Association, while we go through an approval process with the CDLA and its member associations. We are currently compiling a team of people who are prepared to invest their time volunteering.
The volunteers together with the interim Board will be responsible for taking the current conceptual view of a female association and working collaboratively with one another and the larger female membership across Calgary, to create a more detailed plan for submission to the CDLA. It is hoped that this plan will form the basis for the approval of a female association from the CDLA and entrance as a CDLA member association.
Survey Frequently Asked Questions
We would like to answer some questions that were raised on the survey.
Will there be enough girls to tier teams?
Yes, there will be enough girls to tier teams. In fact, with a female association, we expect there to be an opportunity to create two tiers which will increase the competitiveness of the teams and leagues. This will also encourage new girls to the sport and provide an environment which supports development of both competitive and recreational players.
Will I have to drive all over the city for practices?
Part of the planning process to be undertaken by the interim Board and volunteers will be to identify where the players are based geographically and determine practice locations accordingly. While there may be more travel than one would expect with quadrant associations, we do not anticipate this being significant. We are keen to retain a community feel to the extent that it is possible.
Will my female player be required to play in this proposed association
No, your female player can chose to play with boys in their existing club. The purpose of this initiative is to create an association which can prioritize the development of female athletes and create an environment that encourages girls specifically, to remain in the sport.
Will my female player get to play with her friends?
There is no mini tyke or tyke in the proposed female association, which is where friend requests are generally requested and approved. However we will be considering options with respect to this, as we feel with greater numbers and with a tiered structure, that this is an option which previously clubs have not been able to entertain.
In order to do this are you requesting funding from the current associations in the CDLA?
At this time we have not requested any funding from the other associations. One of the mandates however of the interim Board will be to look at the options available to us, for financing this new association.
September 10th Update!
HELP SELECT THE CLUB NAME!
We would like to extend a big thanks to the many members and players who submitted name ideas earlier this summer, for the new Female Lacrosse Association club name.
We are excited to provide you with a few names for voting. Please click on the below link to cast your vote, and help pick the new club sports name! Voting closes Friday, September 21 at 5pm.
VOLUNTEER WITH US, REPRESENT THE CLUB!
Also, we are looking for 15-20 member player volunteers of all ages, experience and levels of play to join the FLA Player Advisory Committee. These player volunteers will help provide ideas and direction as we develop logos, the club website, social media and online discussions, and will also provide guidance on decision making around future tournaments and other important club activities. This is an excellent opportunity to not only support the sport you love and your new female box club, but it will also help you develop leadership skills. The Committee will meet several times throughout the year on evenings or weekends to discuss and provide direction to the FLA as required.
Interested players can indicate their interest through completing the confidential online form provided below. We will contact the parent(s)/guardian(s) of any interested players under the age of 18 to confirm approval to participate in this volunteer opportunity. The form closes Friday, September 21 at 5pm.
We hope to hear from you!
Announcements will be made shortly regarding female box lacrosse try-it events, as well as the first FLA annual general meeting, and call for Board members and Directors. Please watch your email for updates.
For further information regarding the FLA, please click here.
Also, please don’t hesitate to contact the following committee members with any questions you may have:
Steve Elliott, email@example.com
Kelly Foord, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Hunka, email@example.com
Danielle Melnyk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Terilyn Palmer, email@example.com
Don Payne, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tamara Pritchard, email@example.com
Malcom Strachan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Toole, email@example.com