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MSSLax
Annual Meeting Minutes
November 9, 2009
 
Board Members Present: Alex Christiansen, President; Phil Becker, Treasurer; Sharon Hawkins, Past President, Maria Slusser, Secretary
 
Members Present: 
Chrysauan Buan, Chaska
Joni Canney, Lakeville
Julie Carlson, Umpire Coordinator 
Paul Brick, Umpire Association
Julie Carpenter, ACYLA
Nancy Colford, Eden Prairie
Al DeVries, St. Paul
Kevin Dunnigan, White Bear Lake
Steve Fox, Edina
Marc Jolicoeur, Farmington
Beth Klute, Blaine
Steven Logan, Minnetonka
Josie Mely, Andover
Margaret Monson, Bloomington
Mark Montgomery, Minnetonka
Tim Ranagan, Prior Lake
Andrea Schulzetenberg, MAYLA
Lisa Shands, Mahtomedi
 
The meeting was called to order by Alex Christiansen, President at 5:35 pm and was followed by introductions of the members present.
 
Old Business
 
Elections:  Sharon Hawkins presided over the election process.  Alex Christiansen, President; Phil Becker, Treasurer, and Maria Slusser, Vice President. Open call on the floor for a secretary and Joni Canney volunteered. The election of the slate of officers passed with a voice vote.
 
Recap of Spring and Summer seasons: There were 22 teams registered at the 7th/8th grade level and 10 at the 5th/6th grade level for the spring season. The summer season had 30 teams at the 7th/8th grade and 10 at the 5th/6th grade level.   The spring season went well and the teams were successful. Almost all of the teams attended the spring Play Day at Blake in May. The summer season had a few more challenges with scheduling and attendance. The summer Play Day was not as well attended but the summer season competes with family vacations, camps, and other scheduling conflicts. We attempted a one-time payment system for the referees too. All of the teams paid the MSSLax a fee and it was distributed by Julie Carlson. There were some logistical problems with the payments and we will probably go back to each team being responsible for paying the refs at all of their home games.
 
Volunteer Jobs: Alex offered many options for members to volunteer at the MSSLax level. A sign-up sheet was passed around and the following jobs identified: Spring Play Day Coordinator, Summer Play Day Coordinator, Webmaster, Referee Coordinator, Summer Coordinator
 
Referees:  Julie Carlson also thought our spring season went well. The summer season had a few more challenges with the ref scheduling but some of the problems were due to the MSSLax web site not being current for the summer season. Better communication between Arbiter and the MSSLax will eliminate these problems and the new MSSLax web site should help with this. Julie would like to see more on-field training for the refs compared to training that is done in a classroom setting. If any associations are planning scrimmages before the spring season starts, please contact Julie so she can use these to train some of the new refs. or would like a training session for the players/parents/coaches
 
The referee rates for 2010 will be: 
Certified Refs: $65 if only one ref, $50 if two refs are on the field
Trained Local Refs: $50 if only one ref, $35 if two refs are on the field
Apprentice: $25 fee – these refs should never be doing a game alone
 
Registration: We will be strict on the registration deadlines, submitting USLax Numbers, updating information and sending in payments. Please adhere to the dates set by the league.
 
Registration Fees for 2010 will be:
Spring $150
Summer $175
Play Day $175
 
Girls Playing Up:  The league will still allow up to three girls at each level to “play up” to the next level if players are needed. So a 6th grader could be moved to help at the 7th/8th grade level but only if they do not bump or replace an 8th grade girl.
 
 
 
New Business
 
Web Site: The MSSLax has signed up with League Athletics for a new web site. The site should be functional in the next month and the address is www.msslax.org   Joni Canney and Pam Dione will be working on getting this site up and running.   All of the associations will be given access to the web site and responsible for updating all of their information – coaches, fields, calendars, etc. Hopefully this will help to keep the web site current from season to season.
 
Game Scheduling: Some associations already know that scheduling fields for the spring season will be difficult as they compete with the high school lacrosse teams and other sports. They asked if it would be possible for other association to play games on Sunday afternoons/early evenings. This question will be added to the registration form to match teams that may have the same problem.
 
Invitational Days: Discussion about the possibility of associations hosting “Invitational Days” for girls lacrosse teams. The MSSLax is committed to providing a developmental program to the girls in our association and want to continue to offer the Play Day as a celebration of the growth and progress of lacrosse in Minnesota instead of traditional tournaments.  
 
Splitting Players by Ability: Some associations expressed frustration with the slow growth of leveling the teams at the 7th/8th grade level. This frustration is felt more in the bigger associations – those with two or more teams at the middle school level with girls who have played for 4-5 years.   The associations with new programs or small programs do not have the same frustrations but acknowledged that it could be an issue in the future. This is all a byproduct of a sport that is new to Minnesota and one that attracts girls who have never played so the range of ability can be quite large. It was suggested that a plan be developed to see what this would look like and how girls could be split in the future.   Hopefully this can be done before our association gets too big and we can develop a plan that all of the associations can agree on and start all of our teams on the same page. A subcommittee will be looking into this so if you want to be on it, please contact Joni Canney at or 952-469-5321.
 
Important Dates:
February 20 – Intent from teams
March 1 – COMPLETED registrations (fields, times, payment)
March 14 – Spring schedule draft to teams
March 24 – Final spring schedule posted
April 5 – Spring games begin – all rosters/US Lacrosse Numbers due before this date
May 1 – Summer team intent from teams
May 7 – COMPLETED registrations (fields, times, payment)
May 17 – Summer schedule draft to teams
May 22 – SPRING PLAY DAY
May 24 – Final summer schedule posted
May 28 – End of Spring season
June 14 – Summer games begin – all rosters/US Lacrosse Numbers due before this date
July 17 or 24 – SUMME R PLAY DAY
July 24 – End of Summer season