From the CEO: The Strategy Behind US Lacrosse Nationals

This column appears in the February edition of US Lacrosse Magazine. Don’t get the mag? Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

In this space last month, I pled the case for community lacrosse — that affordable recreation-based youth programs represent the foundation of our sport’s growth.

Why, then, would US Lacrosse partner with for-profit enterprisers to fuel the US Lacrosse Nationals platform? Isn’t this hypocritical?

A colleague in the lacrosse industry challenged me on this topic during a recent exchange. I don’t believe the answer is to fight against each other — it’s to look for ways to collaborate with people and organizations around common interests and concerns.

Club teams and tournaments aren’t going anywhere. Those with whom we have partnered, like NXT (see page 16), support our efforts to effect positive changes in the quality, safety and integrity of tournaments. Consistent youth rules, segmentation by age instead of grade, age verification and the use of certified officials are among the practices these influencers espouse. They also have embraced the principles of the Lacrosse Athlete Development model, such as small-sided play at younger age groups.

Furthermore, we are having conversations with club and tournament owners about providing no- or low-cost learn-to-play opportunities for kids in markets throughout the country. 

Not all club programs and tournament owner/operators are interested in such collaboration, but US Lacrosse is interested in building relationships with those that are. It need not be rec vs. club or non-profit vs. for-profit. If you’re interested in driving positive change within the sport, then we’re interested in working with you.

— Steve Stenersen, President and CEO

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