NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby PLCFan » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:43 pm

Our club(PLC) has informed us the following:

Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012 Season

US Lacrosse is in the process of a major update of the youth rules for the 2012 season. The new rules are expected to be announced and published in mid September 2011. One of the expected changes is the age eligibility cut off date, moving from December 31 to August 31.

In anticipation of this change, the NCJLA has adopted the following age eligibility cut off dates for the 2012 season.

Age Grouping Reference Table

Age Bracket Birthdate Range
U15 9/1/1996 - 8/31/1998 Born on or before 8/31/1998
U13 9/1/1998 - 8/31/2000 Born on or before 8/31/2000
U11 9/1/2000 - 8/31/2002 Born on or before 8/31/2002
U9 9/1/2002 - 8/31/2004 Born on or before 8/31/2004


Anyone know what the reasoning was for the change?
What will be the impact of these changes?
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby SkylineCoach » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:39 pm

The optimist would say that it stops odd-numbered grades from being split up between 2 age groups, and stops the chance of 5th graders having to play against 7th graders. Looked at this way, its probably a good thing: essentially all U15s will be 8th graders (or should be in 8th grade), all U13's will be 6th & 7th graders, all U11's will be 5th & 4th, all U9's will be 3rd & 2nd. In the past, the older half of the 7th graders played U15 while the younger half were still in U13 etc. So the grouping is more like how schools group kids which is good for team continuity, friendships, age-appropriate competition, and so forth.

The cynic would say that nobody will be UNDER 15 at the summer tournaments - the U15 age-eligible bracket just became a division for rising Sophomores! Summer U13 play will be for kids going into 8th & 9th grade! Such silliness. I guess the level of play at each of those divisions will LOOK better, but with the cutoff 6 months before the spring season, it would have made a lot more sense to me to call them "15 AND under", "13 AND under" etc. They would still get the change they wanted, but at least the divisions would have honest names.

For our club, and many other small- to mid-size clubs I've talked to, there's a very real chance we won't be able to field U15 teams. Or if we do, we pull a bunch of 7th graders up, which defeats the purpose of fixing the ages. And we will also get a lot of kids playing in U13 or U11 for the 3rd straight year.

IMO, I would have pushed them the other way. March 1 seems like the right cutoff for a spring / summer sport. Want to play U13? You'd have to still be 12 on Feb 28th/29th. Not 13 for 6 months already.
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby PLCFan » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:10 pm

Thanks for explanation Skyline Coach!!

I agree, I think they should have swung the dates to spring (march 1) it does make more sense.
I guess the U15 National Championships next year will be for a JV highschool champion..... not a youth (middle school) champion.
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby backdoor » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:54 pm

Skyline,
I agree with you about moving the date the other way. I've been talking to people about this. It seemed strange enough that a 13 year old is playing "Under 13", now you'll have players in U13 that will actually be 14 during that year. Why not just call it U14 or move the dates the other way.

Theoretically, it should affect 1/8 of the players, since it moved the date up 1/4 a year and the age brackets are 2 years. So on a team of 20, there will be 2 or 3 players staying down that would have otherwise moved up. On our club, our U13 squad has 3 that will stay down that would have otherwise gone up to U15 and on our U11, there will be 7.

It will make each team older and since 9th graders aren't eligible for U15 in the NCJLA, it means fewer players fit the U15 age bracket making it harder to field teams for smaller clubs. It will force clubs to bring up U13 players.

I'm a little surprised that the NCJLA would adopt a rule before it's official with USL. I'm sure they have their pulse on it, but what if it actually wasn't adopted by USL?
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby Jersey47 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:08 am

Well, I've got to say as someone who championed the "age appropriate" vs. "grade based" cause last year, I'm really baffled by this new age breakdown. As mentioned by Skyline with these new "cutoff dates" you could in theory have a U-15 player who is 10th grade! This can't be what they have in mind. My basic understanding of all this is: Administrators, Clubs, coaches, parents, players, etc. want the kids playing in both age/skill appropriate groups as well as keeping the grade factor "in check" too (ie; 5th & 6th graders playing together, 7th & 8th graders playing together, 9th graders playing at least high school JV and not against 7th & 8th graders etc.). With this in mind, in my opinion the better move would be to change the age brackets from Varsity, JV, U-15, U-13, U-11, and U-9 to 18 & under, 16 & under, 14 & under, 12 & under, 10 & under, and 8 & under. Keep the cutoff date at Dec.31st. of the respective year. So using last season (2011) as an example instead of the following:

"Last Season's" 2011 Age Brackets
Varsity: No "real" age restriction (other than must be in high school)
JV: Must not be in 12th grade (actual loophole that would allow a junior to flunk his first junior year and play another year of JV)
U-15: born in either 1996 or 1997 (many 1996 kids were 9th graders)
U-13: born in either 1998 or 1999
U-11: born in either 2000 or 2001
U-9: born in either 2002 or 2003

instead using the U-18, U-16, U-14, U-12, U-10, and U-8 brackets you get this breakdown:

"My Proposed" 2011 Age Brackets
HS 18 & under (the "new" Varsity): born in either 1993 or 1994 (mostly Seniors and Juniors... a group that truly is a "better" representation of "Varsity" aged players, IMO.)
HS 16 & under (the "new" JV): born in either 1995 or 1996 (mostly Sophomores and Freshmen... a group that truly is a "better" representation of "JV" aged players, IMO.)
14 & under: born in either 1997 or 1998 (mostly 7th and 8th graders)
12 & under: born in either 1999 or 2000 (mostly 5th and 6th graders)
10 & under: born in either 2001 or 2002 (mostly 3rd and 4th graders)
8 & under: born in either 2003 or 2004 (mostly 1st and 2nd graders)

This is how USA Hockey's age brackets work, and it seems to work very well for that organization. It seems to me that changing the age brackets from the current odd numbered (U-15, U-13, U-11, etc. to 14 & under, 12 & under , 10 & under, etc. accomplishes both the "age appropriate" and "similar grade" goals. I think the "two year window" is a much better "control" factor, especially for HS than JV players being allowed to play all the way through their Junior year. Using the suggested age brackets I outline still allows for the higher skilled player to "play up" (example a freshmen could still play HS 18 & under [or the "new" Varsity if you will] if his skills and size deemed appropriate). Maybe I have not "explored" this thoroughly enough, but I don't really see any "cons" to this idea. Using the above as a "guide" the only "potential" issue would have been if there were any HS Seniors who played last year that were born in 1992, I know my Club did not have any, and I can't imagine many others (if any) did either. I could be wrong but I don't think there are many 19 year HS Seniors out there.
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby ZLaxMom » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:09 pm

SkylineCoach wrote:For our club, and many other small- to mid-size clubs I've talked to, there's a very real chance we won't be able to field U15 teams. Or if we do, we pull a bunch of 7th graders up, which defeats the purpose of fixing the ages.


On the other hand, at least you get to choose which 7th graders to pull up instead of forcing those with fall birthdays up automatically. The olds system did force a bunch of 7th graders up, but only on birthdate, not on ability or physical appropriateness.
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby NotthePatientOne » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:32 pm

Is this nationwide or just NCJLA?
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby ZLaxMom » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:33 pm

It has been adopted locally in anticipation of a national change within the next month or so.
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby rebelhead » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:07 pm

Clarification requested:

Are 9th graders now eligible for NCJLA U15 teams, if appropriate by age? Even if enrolled in High School (and, for example, having finished a JV football season)? Is U15 eligibility now strictly by age, or is there a grade eligibility factor too?

Thanks for clarification.
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Re: NCJLA Player Age Eligibility Cut-Off Date Changes for 2012

Postby ZLaxMom » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:33 am

From the NCJLA Operations Guide (link to PDF)
High School Eligibility
...High school freshman regardless of age must play on a high school team, CIF or club, except if none exist in their area.
(See No Playing Down and Petitioning sections below.)

No Playing Down
No player may play on a team at a lower age level. If a club representative, coach and/or parent
would like to petition this rule for a very rare exception, petitions are due to the Executive
Director of NCJLA by January 10. See Petitioning Eligibility below. A petition based solely on date
of birth will not be approved, i.e. a birth date late in the year.
The only exception to this rule is in the event a player is in the 9th grade at a high school that does
not offer a JV lacrosse program and there is no club high school lacrosse program in his/her
community. In that case, an age-eligible player may play on a U15 team. These cases must be
approved by the NCJLA board via a petition submitted to execdirector@ncjla.org by January 10th.
Petitioning Eligibility
NCJLA’s rules on eligibility are firm. However if a club wishes to petition an eligibility rule for a
very rare exception, they may do so by submitting a petition to the board via an email to the
Executive Director, execdirector@ncjla.org. Petitions may be submitted in November, December
or by January 10 at the latest. Petitions must be submitted by either the club president or the
club’s NCJLA delegate. No petitions will be considered coming directly from a coach or parent.
The board will review petitions at the next monthly board meeting and decisions will be
communicated shortly thereafter.
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