Coach B's Lax Blog

Lacrosse – Anything & Everything – What else is there?

Archive for October, 2011

Lacrosse is at the top of the NCAA Graduate Success Rate Report

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 27, 2011

Along with most of the other Chiefs and Full Force Lacrosse coaches, I have always impressed upon my players that family and schoolwork come before lacrosse.  Yes, lacrosse is important if you are intent on taking it to the next level but your family comes before anything and no matter how great a lax player you are, your grades are going to play a huge role in getting recruited into a DI or DII program or getting accepted to a DIII school where you desire to play lacrosse.

In the past, lacrosse players have typically come from top private and prep schools.  These players – usually intelligent and good students – then typically went on to play in college at Ivy League and comparable elite colleges.   The exponential growth of lacrosse at the youth level has led to more players in high school and on elite teams.  As a result more and more lacrosse players are playing at the collegiate level.  I have always believed that a young athlete’s participation in one or more sports resulted in better grades since the athlete was “forced” to focus more on his academics to maintain his grades.  The daily practices and regular games forced the athlete to budget and prioritize his time better thus contributing to better academic performance in the classroom.

This is not just my belief, the NCAA just released its annual Graduate Success Rate (GSR) Report and once again (as expected) , lacrosse  fares extremely well compared to other sports for the 2001-2004 cohorts among schools in Division I (combined).  According to the NCAA findings, male lacrosse players had a GSR of 88%, which was tied (with gymnastics) for highest among the sports in the survey, and had the third highest federal graduation rate at 73% (gymnastics and fencing placed first and second).  See Chart below.  I realize compiling these studies can take time to gather all the data, etc. but the stats in the recent NCAA GSR report are from the 2001-2004 cohorts.  Though I’m sure the lacrosse figures are reasonably accurate even to this date (and possibly better), I wonder why the NCAA is 7 years behind?

Nevertheless, parents should relish in these statistics and know that although it may seem that lacrosse takes a substantial amount of our sons’ time, it typically helps rather than hurts their academics.  Good Stuff!

2001-2004 Cohorts Four-Class Average

Men’s Sports Women’s Sports
Sport NCAA GSR Federal Rate Sport NCAA GSR Federal Rate
Gymnastics 88% 84% Field Hockey 94% 81%
Lacrosse 88% 73% Lacrosse 94% 82%
Skiing 88% 70% Skiing 94% 65%
Fencing 86% 77% Fencing 93% 81%
Tennis 86% 65% Crew/Rowing 92% 81%
Swimming 85% 72% Gymnastics 92% 81%
Water Polo 85% 72% Swimming 91% 76%
Ice Hockey 82% 62% Water Polo 91% 75%
Golf 81% 65% Soccer 89% 71%
Rifle 79% 66% Tennis 89% 70%
Soccer 79% 58% Golf 88% 72%
CC/Track 76% 61% Ice Hockey 88% 75%
Volleyball 76% 66% Volleyball 88% 70%
Wrestling 73% 56% Softball 86% 70%
Baseball 72% 48% CC/Track 85% 71%
Football (FBS) 67% 56% Basketball 84% 64%
Basketball 66% 48% Bowling 77% 56%
Football (FCS) 66% 54%
Average 79.1% 64.1% 89.1% 73.0%

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

Fall Ball redux….

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 26, 2011

Heading to Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania on Sunday for the Brandywine Lacrosse Classic.  Zander’s Fall BBL team will be playing.  Should be a lot of fun.  It will be different for me to be in jeans and sweatshirt when I’m used to the flip flops and shorts at the summer tournaments!

Our Full Force lacrosse teams are doing really well in the FDU Fall Ball League.  My 7th/8th grade team is now at 4-1 with 2 games left.  Our 5th and 6th grade teams are also doing very well with winning records.  Full Force is now finalizing its roster for its 7th/8th grade winter team playing in the Indoor Sports Pavilion (ISP) league starting in December.  Lax all year round!

– Coach B

Posted in Fall Lacrosse, Full Force | Leave a Comment »

After the tryouts are over….

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 20, 2011

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the realities of summer elite lacrosse team tryouts.  The article was very well received and generated a great deal of discussion.  I just read a fantastic article from Trevor Tierney entitled “Surviving the Cut”. 

For those of you who don’t recognize the surname, Trevor is the son of Bill Tierney, one of the greatest collegiate lacrosse coaches ever.  Coach Tierney coached Princeton to 6 NCAA Div. I Championships in the 90s and 2001.  Trevor played goalie for his Dad at Princeton and was on two of the aforementioned National Championship teams.  Trevor was also a two-time Team USA goaltender for the World Lacrosse Championships and a former All-World goaltender.  He is a three-time MLL All-Star and won a MLL championship.  Since retiring he has served as a defensive assistant for his fathers University of Denver team. 

Trevor is also the founder of TIER Lacrosse and recently launched an awesome website for TIER lacrosse (Tier Lacrosse).  His latest post on Surviving the Cut is here:  Surviving The Cut. It’s a must-read for any lacrosse player (and his parents) currently going through the trials and tribulations of elite lacrosse team tryouts.


– Coach B

Posted in Miscellaneous, Skills & Drills, Summer/Elite Lacrosse | Leave a Comment »

More Summer Lax Team Tryout Info – Tri-State

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 18, 2011

Tri-State Lacrosse has announced its summer team tryout information.

U11 tryouts will take place on Sunday 11/13 from noon – 2pm
U13 tryouts will take place on Sunday 11/13 from 2pm-4pm
U15 tryouts will take place on Sunday 11/20 from 1pm-3pm

All tryouts will take place on the outdoor turf at The Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ.  The tryout fee is $75.00.  Registration and additional info can be found here:  Tri-State Lax Tryout Info 

I wish you all the best of luck.  Go hard!

– Coach B

Posted in Summer/Elite Lacrosse | Leave a Comment »

More from Coach B in the press – Lacrosse Recruiting Combines

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 17, 2011

There is a great opportunity now for lacrosse players to undergo a “lacrosse combine” and be tested in a number of different skills areas and receive a valuable report that provides rankings and assessments that can help a lacrosse player in understanding where his strengths exist and where his weaknesses are and thus where he can focus his work on improving.  The awesome website of LacrosseAllstars ( has posted about these new lacrosse recruiting combines.

The first such lacrosse combine will take place this Sunday out in Long Island but the plan is to begin offering these combines in all geographic areas very soon.  Here’s the article:  Lacrosse Recruiting Combines

It’s important to realize that the purpose of the combine is to provide information to assist the lacrosse player in assessing where his strengths and weaknesses lie.  It is not providing information as to the likelihood of obtaining a college scholarship.  If you are intent on a college lacrosse scholarship the best advice I can give you is focus on your lacrosse game but focus even harder on your schoolwork!

Honor the Game.

– Coach B

Posted in Skills & Drills | Leave a Comment »

Big City Classic 2012

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 17, 2011

The Big City Classic is one of the highlights of the spring lax season for all the Chiefs and Full Force players.  This Spring brings another top-notch line-up:

2012 Konica Minolta Big City Classic – Sunday April 1, 2012
(MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, N.J.):

  • Game No. 1 – Notre Dame vs St. John’s (1:00 pm)
  • Game No. 2 – Duke vs Syracuse (4:00 pm)
  • Game No. 3 – North Carolina vs Johns Hopkins (6:30 pm)

More details to come from the Chiefs very soon.

Posted in Chiefs Lacrosse, Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

New Youth Lax Rules for 2012 (w/ Coach B comments!)

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 12, 2011

U.S. Lacrosse has adopted a number of new age-appropriate youth rules for the upcoming Spring 2012 season.  It will be up to individual lacrosse organizations to adopt and implement the proposed changes.  I wholeheartedly believe the changes should be adopted.   I’m going to summarize below the relevant portions (as they apply to Boys lacrosse) and add my own personal comments following each proposal.

(1) Sticks/Equipment:  The minimum stick length at the U11 and U9 levels will decrease from 40 to 37 inches (maximum of 42 inches).  Long poles will be prohibited at the U9 level, and they will not be recommended for U11.  Strings or leathers will be limited to a hanging length of 2 inches.  All goalies will be required to wear arm pads and a protective cup.

Coach B comments: I agree with these changes.  The younger players can benefit from using a smaller stick length.  This will allow them to learn to master throwing and catching with a stick that is more comfortable in their hands. With regard to the requirement that a goalie wear a protective cup — any goalie who chose not to wear a cup should have had his head examined! 😉  With regard to longpoles, there are differing schools of thought – some believe getting the longpole into a player’s hands early allows the player to get used to the pole length and develop the defensive skills early.  Others believe that mastering the fundamentals of lacrosse are difficult enough and should be mastered first with a short stick before moving on to a longpole.  Personally I align with the latter view but do believe that each player should be evaluated individually and that some boys can benefit from using the longpole earlier.

(2) On-Field Coaching (U9 level): At the U9 level, given mutual agreement of the teams, one coach per team may step onto the field during play to provide instruction.

Coach B comments: Great idea. At this level, players can benefit immensely from having a coach on the field with them.  If a coach can be on the field during play, he will be able to communicate with individual players easily and more quickly.

(3) Checking: The distance from a player to a loose ball within which legal stick checks, holds, body checks and pushes may occur is  reduced from 5 yards to 3 yards at all age levels.

Violent, purposeful collisions, particularly those targeted at unsuspecting players and that feature one player intentionally putting another player on the ground or inflicting injury, will be prohibited at all age levels. This would include an illegal body check on a player in a defenseless position — one whose blind side is exposed to the hit, who has his head turned for a pass or who has his head down playing a loose ball. Body checking will be prohibited at the U11 and U9 age levels.

At the U13, U11 and U9 levels, any one-handed check will be considered a slash, regardless if the attempt makes contact with the opposing player.

Coach B comments: like many other coaches/former players who have commented on the new 3-yard contact rule, I would have spent significantly more time in the penalty box as a player if this rule had been in place back in my playing days!  Nevertheless, 5 yards is quite a bit of distance and in the name of safety, restricting the contact to 3 yards should make the game a lot safer.   With regard to the one-hand slash rule, I like this change as well.  Middies and attackmen should learn the fundamentals of the ride by moving in step with their opponent and not flailing their stick wildly.  Penalizing this now at the youth level with condition players at a young age to that its not a problem at the higher levels of lacrosse.

(4) Score Differential: In the U11 and U9 divisions, should the score differential become four or more goals, the trailing team will be given the ball at midfield following a goal (unless the trailing team opts for a standard faceoff).

Coach B comments: In the North Jersey Junior Lacrosse League in which my Chiefs play, this rule has been in effect for years.  At the younger levels I think this rule is a good one since it attempts to keep the score close and provides each team with the opportunity to get as many touches as possible.

(5) Extra Man Situations: There will be no extra-man situations at the U9 level.

Coach B comments: Agree!  In the North Jersey Junior Lacrosse League we have not allowed man-up play on our 3rd/4th grade teams for years.  The penalized player simply leaves the field to serve the penalty and a new player subs in.  This lets another player into the game while the penalized players serves his penalty.

(6) Personal Fouls: A U15 or a U13 player that accumulates four personal fouls or five minutes in personal foul penalty time will be disqualified.  At the U11 and U9 level, three personal fouls would warrant disqualification.

Coach B comments: I’ve never been involved in a game where a player accumulated 3 or 4 personal fouls but if US Lacrosse felt the need to propose this rule change then it obviously happens.  A player getting 3 or 4 personal fouls is just outrageous and should not be tolerated at any level. Good rule to enforce now.

(7) Honoring the Game: Honoring the game remains an important part of the youth lacrosse experience, and US Lacrosse added examples of unsportsmanlike conduct — including verbal language and body language — that may be penalized by game officials.

Coach B comments: this one is a no-brainer.  The youth game is all about developing lacrosse players to appreciate the game and play it with true sportsmanship.  Any actions not inline with “Honoring the Game” or anything that detracts from Honoring the Game that cannot be toleratedI have seen many players – my own and those on opposing teams – mouthing off, slamming their stick after a poor play and other verbal and/or physical actions that just should not be a part of the game.  Calling more penalties for these types of actions will will provide negative incentive to avoid these types of behavior outright.

By the way, for those not fully fluent in the lacrosse age grouping lingo, the following is how US Lacrosse defines the  age group references for league and association play:

U15: Players 14 years old or younger on the August 31st preceding the season or competition season.
U13: Players 12 years old or younger on the August 31st preceding the season or competition season.
U11: Players 10 years old or younger on the August 31st preceding the season or competition season.
U9: Players 8 years old or younger on the August 31st preceding the season or competition season.

So there you have it – my take on the most notable of the newly proposed rules.  As the saying goes – HONOR THE GAME!

– Coach B

Posted in Equipment, Miscellaneous, Rules | 1 Comment »

Summer Team Tryouts – UPDATE – East Coast & Team Turnpike

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 3, 2011

Team Turnpike and East Coast lacrosse have  announced their tryout information:

Team Turnpike Lacrosse: Sunday 10/30 from 7-9pm at East Brunswick H.S. turf field: Info/Register here:  Team Turnpike Tryout Registration  Tryout Fee: $50.00

East Coast Lacrosse: Saturday 10/22 from noon-2pm at Wardlaw H.S. in Edison, NJ.  Info/Register here:   NO TRYOUT FEE

Good Luck!!

Posted in Summer/Elite Lacrosse | Leave a Comment »

Face-Off Clinic – 10/9

Posted by Barry Marenberg on October 2, 2011

2Knights Lacrosse is holding a Face-Off clinic on October 9 from 9am-11am at Bridgewater-Raritan H.S.  Details here: 2Knights Face-Off Clinic

Posted in Skills & Drills | Leave a Comment »