Frequently Asked Questions
When is the lacrosse season?
- Lacrosse is traditionally a spring sport. Practices for recreational lacrosse align with the middle and high school seasons - Practices begin in early March. Games begin in late March or early April and end around Memorial Day or the first weekend in June.
How often are there practices and games?
- HVL practices two times per week. Girls practice on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Boys practice on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Practices will be held at Twin Pines Turf in April and move to the Athletic Fields at Timberlane in May. If weather is an issue, practice may be held at Centercourt in Lawrence
- Games are generally on Saturdays or Sundays. Occasionally a weekday evening practice will be replaced with a game. Home games are played at the same locations described above. Away games are played at other nearby towns, and are generally limited to a ~45 minute drive.
What if my child has never played lacrosse before?
- No problem! HVL is a recreational lacrosse program open to kids of ALL experience levels and we have beginners join us at all ages. Our goal at HVL is to not only expose as many kids as possible to this great game but to help also develop multi-sport athletes.
How are the age groups divided?
- HVL is open to kids in Kindergarten through 8th grade.
- Grades K-2 are a part of the Little Laxers program, which includes clinics on Sundays to develop lacrosse fundamentals.
- Grades 3-8 require full equipment and play games against other programs. Teams are generally split into three age groups - 3/4, 5/6, & 7/8. Depending on the number of players signed up, the teams may be split further to maximize playing time.
Is Hopewell Valley Lacrosse a “travel club”?
- No - Hopewell Valley Lacrosse is a recreational lacrosse program open to kids of all experience levels. Our season is from March-late May/first week of June, which is prior to the start of travel club lacrosse's main summer season. Because of this most, if not all, kids who play on travel club lacrosse teams also play recreationally for their towns.
How does HVL differ from other recreational programs in our area?
- As a baseline, recreational lacrosse nationwide is unique and differs from other sports in that the kids are competing against other towns’ programs, not in-house against each other. Although HVL is a non-profit volunteer-driven organization, we utilize both volunteer and paid coaches, when needed. All of our head coaches must be USA Lacrosse members and Level 1 coaching certified. In addition, practices are two times per week and teams compete in multiple tournaments, play days and Friday Night Light events. In May, HVL also hosts its own annual girls tournament, Lax in the Valley.
What is the cost of registration and what does it include?
- Our Boys and Girls 3rd-8th grade programs cost $340 (early bird) or $375 with a sibling discount of $350 (after Feb 1). There is a $50 discount for players who re-use their uniform from last season (2021), bringing the fee to either $290 (early bird) or $325 (after Feb 1) with a $300 (sibling discount).
- 3rd-8th program registration fee includes a uniform - shorts, jersey, pinnie and shooting shirt (boys only), LeadHer Leadership Curriculum (girls only), 35+ playing opportunities (defined as practices or games, not including tournaments) and 2-4 local tournament experiences. Most of our teams also have paid head coaches and/or Level 1 certified parent volunteers with college lacrosse experience.
- Our Little Laxers Program costs $115 (early bird) or $125 (after Feb. 1). Registration includes 6 weekend practices (Sunday).
- HVL is a non-profit 100% volunteer-run organization. Tremendous effort is expended to keep fees as low as possible while maintaining the highest quality lacrosse program experience for our players.
Does HVL offer need-based financial assistance for the registration fee?
- Absolutely. Our goal is to introduce lacrosse to as many children in our community as possible. If you would like to inquire about financial assistance, please email us. All inquiries and assistance is confidential.
Are there any additional costs?
- Yes. To participate in any lacrosse program nationwide, all players must be current members of USA Lacrosse. This $30 membership is not included in our fee. During registration you will be directed to the USA Lacrosse site to register.
Why do I need a USA Lacrosse membership?
- All players are required to sign-up for a USA Lacrosse membership annually in order to participate in either club or recreational lacrosse programs nationwide. USA Lacrosse provides players' insurance and is the governing body for all rules and coaching certifications. There are many other benefits of membership that can be found by visiting www.usalacrosse.com
What equipment is needed for Little Laxers (Grades K-2)?
- Please see our Little Laxers Mandatory Equipment page.
What equipment is needed for Grades 3-8?
- Boys in grades 3-8 require a lacrosse stick (boys’ version), lacrosse helmet, shoulder pads, arm pads, gloves, mouthpiece and cleats. Girls in grades 3-8 require a lacrosse stick (girls’ version), lacrosse eye protection and mouthpiece.
- For boys, beginning in 2022 all shoulder pads must meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard and contain an SEI certification mark.
Where can I purchase lacrosse equipment?
- Lacrosse equipment can be purchased locally at either Lacrosse Unlimited or Dick’s Sporting Goods, both located in the Nassau Park Pavilion shopping Center off Route 1 in Princeton.
What can I expect the initial investment for lacrosse equipment to cost?
- For 3rd-8th graders, boys equipment can range from $250 - $350. Girls' equipment can range from $60 to $90. There are many ways to keep equipment costs down by purchasing used, utilizing local equipment exchange programs, or even borrowing from a neighbor. HVL does not currently facilitate used equipment exchanges.
Where do I get the uniform?
- Uniforms will be distributed at the beginning of the season and are included in the cost of registration. Players may reuse their uniform from the previous season for a reduced registration fee ($50). The uniform consists of shorts, jersey and pinnie (Girls) and shorts, jersey, pinnie and shooting shirts (Boys).
- Details for choosing your child's uniform sizes will be emailed to current registrants beginning in late January. Due to supply chain issues, all initial orders must be placed by mid-Feb.
What are the differences between boys and girls lacrosse?
- Physical contact: The biggest difference between boys and girls lacrosse comes in the amount of permitted physical contact. As a result, there is much less protective equipment in the girls game.
- Sticks: While the sticks look very similar, they are quite different. The depth of the pocket on a boys stick is much deeper than a girls stick.
- Number of players: In the boys game, ten players are on the field — 3 attack, 3 midfielders, 3 defensive players, and a goalie. In the girls game, there are 12 players on the field — 3 attack players, 5 midfielders, 3 defensive players and a goalie.
- Field size: In boys lacrosse, the regulation field measures 110 yards long and 60 yards wide. In girls lacrosse, the field is a bit bigger: 120 yards long and 70 yards wide. Many times the fields will be the same size in rec programs like HVL so that we can use the same fields.
- At younger ages such as 3/4, both boys and girls games may be played with less players (7v7) on a smaller field.
- For more information about the boys and girls’ games, visit www.usalacrosse.com