The First Stick Program is the ultimate grassroots initiative for new and developing youth (U19 and below) lacrosse teams nationwide.
The First Stick Program is designed to deliver comprehensive US Lacrosse developmental and safety resources, equipment, US Lacrosse membership and coach training to awarded teams. The ultimate goal of each two-year partnership is to develop self-sustaining youth lacrosse programs that operate by US Lacrosse national standards and best practices. As US Lacrosse is committed to providing benefits and resources to assist in team development, each First Stick team is expected to remain committed to the program for two years.
The First Stick Program is a US Lacrosse initiative supported by many of the leading manufacturers, distributors and retailers of lacrosse equipment. Our vision is to expand support for the First Stick program to all stakeholders who share the goal of growing the game responsibly.
Through the collective efforts of US Lacrosse and these industry leaders, the First Stick program will expand participation beyond traditional boundaries and inspire kids to play hard, dream big and act responsibility within the sport of lacrosse and the game of life.
Originally developed from the generous giving of the Gibson Family Foundation, and inspired by the life journey of co-founders Paul Meyer, Peter Gibson and Lou Delgatti, the heart of the First Stick Program lies in the belief that a child’s first lacrosse stick not only serves as a means to play the sport, but is a symbol of the life-enhancing values such as confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership that can be developed through lacrosse.
More than simply putting sticks in hands, US Lacrosse strives to provide programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the game. Read more about the history of the program.
Goals of the First Stick Program
- Assist team organizers in developing boys' and girls' teams at the youth and high school level in their communities.
- Break down barriers to participation by providing free and/or discounted resources.
- Create self-sustaining lacrosse programs that operate under US Lacrosse national standards and best practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Expectations of First Stick Program Recipients:
- Fulfill program requirements and expectations as outlined in the benefits chart.
- Commit to growing the game effectively and responsibly using US Lacrosse national standards and best practices.
- Remain committed to the First Stick Program for two years.
The Benefits of the First Stick Program
- US Lacrosse discounted membership for 1 coach and 24 players (includes insurance coverage and a subscription to Lacrosse Magazine)
- Equipment assistance (Boys or Girls packages for up to 24 field players and 1 goalie)
- Access to the US Lacrosse Coaching Education Program, including Level 1 certification, NCSI background screening for coaches, and continuing education opportunities.
- US Lacrosse National Convention registration for one coach.
- Additional developmental resources to assist with team organization and structure.
Review the Year-by-Year Benefits Grid
Affiliation with US Lacrosse through the First Stick Program is for a period of two years. Programs will have the opportunity to continue their affiliation with US Lacrosse following the second year as part of the Gold Stick Program. More information about US Lacrosse's Gold Stick Program will be available in the near future.
- The applicant group should have an organized and defined leadership structure, with clear goals and objectives.
- The applicant group should have a clearly defined timeline and plan to implement a lacrosse program.
- The applicant group must be a community based youth team or organization, or an elementary, middle or high school team. All participants should fall in the U9-U19 age brackets.
- The applicant group must be in the United States. Preference will be given to applicants from non-traditional areas (where lacrosse opportunities are currently limited or absent).
- The person applying on behalf of the team must be at least 18 years of age.
- Overall quality and vision of the program.
- Defined and organized leadership.
- Team's pre-built foundation in place for success.
- Potential to impact a non-traditional area and underrepresented populations.
- Letters of recommendation.
US Lacrosse will be selecting recipients annually based on these criteria. Application for the First Stick Program does not guarantee selection.
First Stick Program 2013 Grant Timeline
- May 3 - Grant application is available
- July 15 - Deadline for submitting completed application
- Aug 15 - Notification letters sent to all grant applicants
First Stick Program Supporters