Sometimes it takes a long time to draw a line in the sand.
As early as 2010, US Lacrosse began discussing a way to help leagues adhere to best practices that the national governing body had developed for youth and high school lacrosse. These “standards” were designed primarily to help leagues from coast-to-coast provide the safest and most positive lacrosse experience possible for all participants.
It was determined that the program would be called “Gold Stick” — a symbolic and figurative nod to excellence.
Gold Stick planning and development at US Lacrosse began long before I arrived as a full-time staff member in 2013. Through the work of my predecessors, seven principle standards had already been determined as the core values of Gold Stick. National pilot programs had been identified and were already well entrenched in the process, providing valuable insight and feedback as we continued to develop the program. These pilot programs have served as critical building foundations for Gold Stick.
While working with our pilot leagues and key volunteers, we have steadfastly advanced a process to help aspiring leagues navigate the Gold Stick journey. We developed a comprehensive, but necessary, application to help interested leagues access their current status and create a game plan for the future. We recruited industry experts to provide leagues with guidance on how they can advance from “affirming” to “accredited” status. We drafted supporting documents to provide additional instruction, built a secure web portal to facilitate communications, and implemented a marketing plan.
The organizational and personal commitment to this initiative has been significant, driven by our vision to make lacrosse as safe and as positive an experience as possible.
The line has been drawn. Now, it’s your turn.
As a coach or as a league administrator, we invite you to take a closer look at the Gold Stick Program. Request an application and start the discussions with parents and other key stakeholders in your league. Contact one of our pilot programs for insight on their progression through the process. Is this a commitment that your league is ready to make? Do you want to start down the road to making your league a national leader?
The first step is only a click away.
The first step as a coach or program administrator in your league’s Gold Stick journey is to simply send us an email to request an application. There’s no obligation, so why not check it out?
Gold Stick Program