To kickoff 2014, US Lacrosse is excited to recognize the St. Louis Chapter of US Lacrosse through the Chapter Recognition Program for their continued leadership in St. Louis and throughout the entire state of Missouri. The chapter board, led by Mike O’Brien, serves a membership of approximately 4,000 members. While the chapter is not one of our largest, over the past three years, their membership has grown close to 50%, making them one of the fastest growing chapters within the South Central region.
Like many of our chapters, education and training is an important annual objective for the chapter. The chapter has hosted both Level 1 and Level 2 Coaching Education Program (CEP) clinics, as well as, Train the Trainer classes. In February of 2013, about 45 coaches attended the Level 1 clinic and 10 coaches attended the Level 2 clinic hosted by the chapter. As a result, the Missouri Scholastic Lacrosse Association (MSLA) and the St. Louis Youth Lacrosse Association (SLYLA) are requiring their head coaches to become CEP Level 1 certified this spring. The chapter has also invested in the officials’ education program for the St. Louis Youth Lacrosse Association, who employs junior officials to support their league of over 90 teams. The chapter worked closely with the SLYLA and local officials’ organizations to host junior official training clinics, which yielded over 70 junior officials for the spring season. Lastly, the chapter has developed a scorekeeping and timekeeping training program for parents and program volunteers. The two-hour training session teaches volunteers how to track HS boys’ statistics accurately and consistently. Over the past three years, the chapter has educated over 150 parents and volunteers.
The St. Louis Chapter has also established a number of annual chapter events. At the close of each season, the chapter hosts both the High School All-Star Games and an Awards Banquet. The High School Senior All-Star Games serve as a great event to honor Missouri’s top boy and girl high school lacrosse athletes and celebrate their contributions throughout their high school careers. The Awards Banquet has been hosted by the chapter for over 15 years and recognizes US Lacrosse, MSLA, CUWL, All-State team, Hall of Fame and St. Louis Chapter award recipients. More than 300 people attend the event annually to celebrate those raising and honoring the game. Lastly, the chapter hosted an inaugural St. Louis Trivia Night in February of 2014 as a chapter fundraiser. The event attracted over 140 people and raised more than $3,000 for the chapter. After such a successful event, the chapter plans on adding the event to its annual calendar!
To ensure that their membership is represented at the US Lacrosse Central Championships in Wisconsin this June, the St. Louis Chapter plans on sponsoring a team to compete. While plans are still being finalized, the chapter will host tryouts in mid-May to build a competitive team, who will hopefully come home with the trophy!
While Missouri continues to experience growth in participation, we are glad that the St. Louis Chapter board is in place to effectively support its growth. Within the past year, they have experienced growth at all levels; from youth through collegiate. The St. Louis Youth Lacrosse Association (SLYLA) continues to grow and hopes to become a Gold Stick League by 2015 to ensure that they are providing the safest playing experience for their youth players.