Bear Creek Youth Lacrosse is dedicated to the development of lacrosse in the Southwest Metro, Bear Creek, Green Mountain, and Lakewood area by providing boys the opportunity to learn and play the game in a fun and challenging atmosphere.

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An Open Letter to Lacrosse Officials
by posted 02/03/2016



First of all, thank you.
Thank you for putting your safety on the line to make sure the game goes on. Thank you for sprinting up and down the field, even when you’re tired or injured, to ensure the game is fair. Thank you for putting player safety first, although we might fail to remember that when it comes to a call against our team. You know all the rules, but as the adults on the field, you pay attention to the safety rules first for the athletes’ protection, and that means more than any win should ever mean.
Thank you for putting up with the repercussions of a tough call (and sometimes even the easy calls). Close calls are a part of the game and having a call not go our team’s way is certainly not the end of the world, nor is it the deciding factor in the outcome of a game most of the time. You’re human, and sometimes we forget that.
Thank you for giving your time, energy, and patience to the sport. Often times we take for granted the effort it takes to officiate a game. Thank you for taking on the immense pressure placed on you from all corners of the field. It takes a lot to keep your eyes trained in all the right places in order to make those calls. It also takes a lot to learn all the rules in training, but even more to practice them on the field in the capacity of a lacrosse official. Thank you for helping to keep our sport alive. Without you, there would be no game to play.
Second of all, we’re sorry.
We’re sorry for the countless times you’ve been berated by coaches, players, and the peanut gallery for making a call you deemed the right call to make. We’re sorry that officials in all sports, not just lacrosse, have been increasingly dehumanized – seen as rule-keeping robots in black and white.
We don’t know that you might have taken this officiating job on the side to help pay off your mountain of student loan debt. We don’t know that you might have taken this job because you love this sport dearly. We don’t know that poor behavior by athletes, coaches, and the sidelines has shaken the foundation of that love to its very core. We don’t know that you may already be thinking about hanging up your stripes.
We have no idea that a “good” retention rate for an officials’ organization is just 30 percent. That means for every 10 new officials recruited, just three will stay in the game. Three.
Most importantly, we do know that an apology means nothing without the accompaniment of a behavioral change.
So lastly, we’re trying.
Standing up to someone who berates you from the sidelines, who is also setting a bad example for both kids, coaches, and other parents, is harder than it looks. But we can’t deny that it should be done. We also can’t deny that we should be the ones to do it.
We may not even realize that each time someone heckles an official, they’re doing nothing but driving another nail into the coffin that houses the integrity of the sport. But we need to. We need to realize that the future of lacrosse is dictated by our present behavior. We need to realize that by yelling at you for doing your job or blaming you for a loss teaches our kids that it’s okay to skirt responsibility for the game’s outcome by laying blame on an outside factor. We need to realize that this lesson could stay with them for the rest of their lives.
We also need to realize that every time someone heckles you, they’re contributing to a lack of consistent and confident officials, and doing nothing to improve the already poor 30% retention rate.
If you miss a rules violation while looking out for the kids’ safety and someone screams at you from the sideline, please know that you did your job well. A win means absolutely nothing when compared to player safety.
When a parent or parents confront(s) you unreasonably and persistently, do not be afraid to eject them from a game. The chances are that they’re annoying more than just you. We will do our best to confront them before it gets to that point. We will work on enforcing sportsmanship, positivity, and integrity in more ways than just the compulsory pre-game announcement about sportsmanlike conduct.
You were hired as an official to do just that: officiate. You keep the game fair and regulated to the very best of your abilities. You should not have to be made to feel like a horrible human being for doing your job. Keep your head up and move forward, doing the best that you can. And we will push forward, making sure everyone knows that too.
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Information on 7v7
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