Dear Wilmington Wings Families
The Wilmington Wings are very excited to announce two exciting changes for the 2018 Boys’ season that focus on the players growth and development and prepares the organization for future growth and success. The first change addresses the age groups in which the players are organized. The second change focuses on the players, providing them with the very best coaching and development foundation. These changes have been approved by the Wings Board, with the goal of providing the best lacrosse experience for the players, developing skills and having fun. These changes only affect the Boy’s Program and not the Girl’s Program.
The first change is a movement to new age group designations, 14U, 12U, 10U and 8U. When the boys’ program joined the Chester County Lacrosse Association (CCLA) in 2015, the organization moved from Grade based team divisions (7th – 8th Grade, 5th – 6th Grade) to Age based divisions (U15, U13, U11). This was a good change, as it grouped players together of a similar age, rather than grade designation, but it caused some issues. One of the main issues was that the U15 age group really suffered. About half of the eligible U15 players are actually Freshmen in High School and no longer play recreational lacrosse. The Wings, being one of the stronger organizations, was able to field U15 teams, but some of the other organizations suffered, and in some cases not fielding any U15 team due to lack of players. So, in conjunction with CCLA, we will be moving to four new age-based groups: 14U, 12U, 10U and 8U. Please note that 8U is not part of CCLA. This is exciting for the Wings, as it aligns us almost back with the Grade system (14U will roughly equate to 7th – 8th Grade, 12U to 5th – 6th Grade, 10U to 3rd – 4th, and 8U to 2nd -1st), and it expands our player pool for our older players. Another advantage is that it aligns us with some of our favorite tournaments, such as Moorestown, which designate the tournament divisions by grade level.
The second change really focuses on the players, with a renewed and increased focus on their skill development. This will involve a movement toward playing a few less games while focusing on more skill development and practice sessions. One of the issues that the Wings has had with CCLA is the number of games vs. the number of practices. CCLA desires a 10 – 12 game schedule for their teams, fit in over about an 8 – 9 week season. This means that there were many weeknight games (in places like Lionville and Conestega) and fewer opportunities to train and practice. For the last two years, the Wings has asked CCLA to make some changes, especially for what were our “B” and “C” level teams, including fewer games and more practice time, but to no avail. Therefore, for the 2018 season, we will be fielding one “A” team in CCLA for each age group and will not have “B” or “C” teams in CCLA. Those not on the “A” team will have more practice and training sessions, play in tournaments, play games against other Delaware clubs, and play in-house games. This focus on development, while making games fun and exciting, will be great for the players, parents and coaches. The “A” team will be decided by evaluation in early 2018 and will play the weekly practice, game, game CCLA schedule. Those with no desire to make the “A” team will not need to go through the evaluation process. There will be a different cost structure for the “A” teams. More details to follow.
The Wings Board understands that these are big changes from the previous year, and the decision was not taken lightly. With intermittent weather in the Spring, playing 2 games a week and the need to make up games that were affected by weather, some of our teams would go weeks with no practices, which is not optimal. Following US Lacrosse as a guideline, we want more touches on the ball, smaller sided games and much more instruction time. This is a very exciting change from a coaching standpoint, as now we can devote more time to core skills, position skills, specialty skills (such as Goalies and Faceoffs), the overall development of the players and playing fun and innovative games.
We appreciate your support and are looking forward to a great 2018 Season. Go Wings!!! If you have any questions, please contact Erin Walther at firstname.lastname@example.org.