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Cherokee Youth Lacrosse Association was developed 6 years ago by Rob Duncan and Ken Brown.  CYLA initiated with three starter teams, and since then, has grown to and average of 16 teams offering experiences from the starter player through the elite class.  We offer lacrosse from U9 through High School.

CRPA: Cherokee Parks and Recreation Authority.  
We pay field usage fees to the CRPA. This amounts to 20% of our fees collected.  We are required to have all our coaches, team parents, and board members do a national background check for your child’s safety above and beyond what the state or schools require.  Field allocation is determined by CRPA each season. Our fields are meticulously maintained by their crews. They are some of the best around! Demands by all the sports within the county make field space a premium.

MAYLA:  Metro Atlanta Youth Lacrosse Association
CYLA is under the organizational umbrella of MAYLA.  It was reorganized in 2009 to incorporate the Recreational and Middle School Select levels of play.  It streamlined the Bylaws of GMS and GYLA by doing so. MAYLA charges a fee per player for management of the league.  MAYLA oversees the rules specific to our league play within Georgia.

GLL:  Georgia Lacrosse League/ High School Level
The CYLA High School Club team  is regulated under GLL.  It is a club level recreation play with an A and B divisions, and is a separate from the league the varsity high school programs are associated with.  CYLA is working very hard to convince the schools to incorporate booster clubs (Varsity/JV) for lacrosse in Cherokee county.  Currently, only Woodstock and Etowah High Schools have established Booster Club Programs. Once the number of players feeding into the various high schools is high enough to support the financial obligations,  the schools are  more likely to get Booster Clubs at the other county high schools. But the Athletic Directors of those schools still need to agree to establish Booster Programs.  CYLA tracks what high schools our players feed into to help in this endeavor.   When all the schools get programs established, then the county has money that can be released to help fund the sport.

On top of the hierarchy is our membership to US Lacrosse.  Every playing member in the United States must belong to US Lacrosse (renewed annually).  Each player/coach/organization is provided with their own membership number.  It provides the players and organizations with insurance. Every family should refer to the website, as it has valuable information such as drills, certifications of coaches, coaching drills, referee information, tournament opportunities, discounts for merchandise for members, rules, etc.  US LACROSSE also has a National Converntion each year for training and important governing body discussions and votes.  CYLA sends a representative member to this invaluable event every year.  Most attendees choose to return annually after experiencing this powerfully motivating convention.

The Board is made up of volunteers working very hard to expand the sport and provide a quality experience for your family.  The Board is lead by an Executive Board (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer).  The Board also includes such vital positions as Registrar, Marketing Director, Webmaster, Competition Director, Boys Director, Girls Director, Middle and High School Director, Fall/Summer Director, Team Parent Coordinator, and  High School Liason (non-voting).  The Board is elected for a 2 year term, with half the board going up for elections each alternate spring.  The Board meets roughly once a month, but is constantly working to create a progressive program for your players. 

CYLA provides opportunity for kids ages U9 to U15, both girls and boys, a chance to play lacrosse.  We stress the importance of good sportsmanship and skill development with play as equal as possible.  Our main season occurs in the Spring.  Fall League is generally more focused on player development, but also provides a good opportunity for quality play for the year round player.  The cost for Fall League is substantially reduced as there are no uniforms only reversible pinneys.  Full uniforms are provided in Spring play.  Practices can occur at Riverside Fields, Kenny Askew or Weatherby Park at present.  Rec games are scheduled for play at Riverside Park in Woodstock. The High School programs usually play at Weatherby  Park.  The season ends with the MAYLA Tournament which is the second weekend in May.  Games run all day and parking is limited, so carpool if you can, and get there plenty early. Games may be played Friday night (Some have started as late as 10 PM).  And yes, they schedule games on Sunday morning on occasion.   Select teams are not allowed in this tournament. CYLA will again try to get a pavilion for everyone to gather and cookout between games. 

CHEROKEE RAPTORS: Middle School Select and High School Club Play
CYLA has a county wide middle school and high school competitive teams.  This year the middle school divisions consist of a Jr. Select team (6/7th graders) and a Sr. Select team (7th/8th graders).  The teams have tryouts in late fall.  They take about 22- 24 players per team.
The Atlanta Crush is a girls select team with tryouts happening in early winter.  They attend tournaments in the Southeast and eastern seaboard to give players quality play in a higher level of competition. Players from outside of Cherokee County are limited but not excluded from playing on our teams.

Our coaches are unpaid volunteers.  CYLA insists that all head coaches get online training, and offer many opportunities to attend classes to get further certified.  Training is offered by US Lacrosse and local leagues.  The feedback from the coaches who have done training say it was well worth the time and have made great connections with other programs in Atlanta.  Again, each coach must have a national background check done for your child’s safety filed with the county.
Please contact the appropriate Girls’ or Boys’ Director, or see the website to get information on how to become a CYLA coach. Head coaches must be over 18 years of age.  Coaches are selected at the end of registration once the number teams in each age bracket is determined.  All coaches (head and assistants) must fill out an application form.  Consideration for head or assistant coaching is weighed with training/qualifications, other coaching experiences, playing experience, and especially, parent feedback forms. All coaches must be board approved. CYLA is always looking for coaches and will walk interested people through the process.  

New this year is a Team Parent Coordinator position to promote better communication from the Board to the teams.  The Team Parent will have information such as picture day, fundraisers, and feedback forms for your team. 
Per feedback we received in the past, desired season end rewards varied widely depending on the age group (younger players wanted a trophy/medal, older players wanted a party or a t-shirt), so the price of the season end award was excluded from your fees. Your team parent will have access to suggested area vendors for reward ideas.  Permission is needed for logo use please.

The Coach and/or Team Parent will assign a Sideline Official. The Sideline Official is a person who manages to keep the spectators reminded that we respect the game and the players, coaches, and officials with our supportive sideline behavior.  By doing so, we Honor the Game!  The Sideline Official can present an unruly spectator with a yellow card as a reminder to change their behavior, or ask a patron to leave.  It is all about the kids, so we know you will support us in keeping the sideline respectful, safe, clean, and fun.  Reminder, no parents can watch the game from the team sideline, unless asked to help with the officials scoring table.  We appreciate your service, but reminder that no comments can be made from the table.

All of our referees have received special training in the classroom and on the field from the state officials governing board.  Their job is to keep the game safe, then to call the game.  If you disagree with a call, please do not speak directly to the referees.  If they are paying attention to you on the sideline, they are not paying attention on the field to keep your kids safe.  Issues can be directed only through the coaches at breaks. Each team splits the cost to pay for the referees.

We take our commitment to have a safe, fun, learning and playing experience very seriously.  All players/parents agreed to the US Lacrosse Code of Conduct upon registration.  Please be familiar with this policy.  Please do not jeopardize playing time or team eligibility by breaking the Code.
Discipline and conduct violations should be handled first by the coach if possible. For serious offenses, please notify the Girls or Boys Director.  If necessary, a special review board with the player/parent/coach can convene to address the problem and set forth a plan to remedy the behavior.  Please see the Conflict Resolution Pathway Policy located in the field side boxes and parent representative handbooks for more details. 

Only a few manufacturers of lacrosse uniforms exist in the country, and none are in the South to date.  We try our best to estimate numbers and jersey sizes of our players, but with such rapid growth our sport has seen, it is a difficult task at best. BSN Sports in Woodstock has helped us this past Fall and we were pleased with the results.  We look forward to working with them moving forward.

The County is very protective of our fields at Riverside Athletic Complex, Kenny Askew and Weatherby Park. CRPA has restricted access to the fields in inclement weather.  CYLA adheres to teh CRPA policy in order to keep our fields in playable condition as much as possible by keeping the grass healthy.  Cherokee County adheres to a S.O.F.F.T. policy which when in effect, requires players practice in turf shoes (with tiny rubber nubs instead of cleats) or tennis shoes instead of cleats.  Metal cleats are NEVER allowed.  Cleats or Turf Shoes are allowed for games only when SOFFT is in effect.  We ask that each player keep appropriate shoes in their bags and police themselves.  CYLA rents the diesel powered lights for winter and early spring practices.  Please keep your kids safe and do not let them play near the units.  Please report anyone trying to tamper with these. We have already had vandals discharge the fire extinguishers.  In Spring, Fields 3 & 4 are exclusively for use by lacrosse.  If you see other unauthorized groups out on our fields, please bring it to the Board's attention.  Any abuse or overuse of the fields may limit our accessibility to them even if we are not the ones doing the damage.  For practices, we have 2 teams per time allotment.  To save the fields, we are asked to move our goals side to side to protect the ground areas around the goals from too much wear.  We are very proud that our players and families keep our fields so neat.  Please remind everyone to pick up their trash after every practice and game.  CYLA has installed retention netting around the fields.  It is very expensive, please refrain from having children climb or menace these in any fashion.  

CYLA is unique in that we have provided new and existing players with free clinics at registrations so that families can try the sport before making the monetary commitment to lacrosse.  We realize it is an expensive past time, so we want people to feel comfortable with what they are getting into.  It usually does not take long to catch the “fever”.  
CYLA is proud to partner with Coach John Snow from Reinhardt University right here in Cherokee County to run a summer clinic for our youth.  Dates and locations are released in late April or early May. 
CYLA partners with area high school programs to provide CYLA fun nights at the local high school games. Our best guest behavior is expected.  No sticks allowed in the stands. Look for dates on our website soon.

Our new website is MUCH easier to post information.  Please refer to it often.  You can get information about equipment, field status, upcoming events, scores, rules and policies, and directions to visitor’s fields.

We appreciate our families!  Please let us know if there is something that we can do to improve your experience at CYLA.  Comment cards are available at the table during games, and feedback forms are available online as well as our email addresses.  Your comments help us know what to improve on and what we are doing right!  Please think about volunteering.  We need volunteers in large and small capacities.  You will learn so much about the sport, locally and nationally.  In our humble opinion, lacrosse parents are the best around!  We hope we were able to answer some of your questions.  Feel free to contact us for any concerns.

The CYLA Board