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Officials Observer Grant Winners Named

March 8, 2013    13378 Views

BALTIMORE, March 7, 2013 — US Lacrosse has named two Scott Boyle Memorial Observers Program grant and two Susie Ganzenmuller Observers Program grant recipients for men’s and women’s game officials, respectively. 

Mike Avenali with the Pacific Coast Lacrosse Officials Association (PCLOA) in California and Scott Fiorentino with the Central New York Lacrosse Officials Association (CNYLOA) each received a $2,500 Scott Boyle Memorial Observers Program grant. Holly Souza with the Minnesota Lacrosse Umpire Association (MLUA) and Patricia Takahashi with the Northern California Women’s Lacrosse Umpire Association (NCWLUA) each received an inaugural $2,500 Susie Ganzenmuller Observers Program grant.

Both programs are designed to help develop young officials. As part of the program, experienced officials are trained in observation, evaluation and communication, and they are provided resources to observe games officiated by newer officials. Each new official is observed at least twice and evaluated on the their progress.

"The Los Angeles area has been experiencing rapid growth of boys’ lacrosse programs over the last ten years," Avenali said. "The PCLOA has been unable to establish a formal observation/rating program. We are very excited to have been selected to receive the Scott Boyle Memorial Observers Program grant as we believe it will provide the funding and formal structure to get our organization to the next level."

"Women’s lacrosse has seen unprecedented growth in Northern California, putting pressure on our umpire association to up our game each year," Takahashi said. "The grant will help in this effort by enabling us to implement a more formalized, consistent program for on-field training. This will insure that our umpires will be top notch when they step onto the field, and also provide an avenue for newer officials to get the feedback needed to progress to the next level."

"This is the first year we awarded grants to both men’s game and women’s game officials," said Erin Smith, director of education and training at US Lacrosse. "The program was originally seeded through the Boyle family for the men’s game. Seeing the success and the positive impact the program had on those officials, we are excited to be able to roll this out to the women’s game also. We are grateful to the Boyle family for getting the program off the ground and thrilled to be able to continue both programs through the generosity of our donors and members."

For more information about the Scott Boyle Memorial Observers Program, visit

For more information about the Susie Ganzenmuller Observers Program, visit

About US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing sport. US Lacrosse has more than 400,000 members in 64 regional chapters across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport.

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