What is Northern Rhode Island Lacrosse Association (NRI_LAX)?
NRI_LAX or NRI is a youth lacrosse organization dedicated to the great sport of lacrosse. Our members are include youths from the towns of Smithfield, Johnston, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Scituate, Foster, Glocester, Burriville, North Smithfield, North Providence and Central Falls. NRI is associated with the US Lacrosse (USLAX) organization, which is the national governing body for the sport of lacrosse and the Rhode Island Youth Lacrosse League (RIYLL).
When NRI was first established in 1998, Cumberland was a part of NRI. As the sport grew in Cumberland, we were able to help the town establish their own program (called CYLAX) with their own Board of Directors. We continued to shared resources (website, storage space, etc.) with them for a couple of years, but they now operate 100% independently from NRI_LAX. Establishing CYLAX as its own chapter is the first step in acheiving one of NRI's objectives, which is to eventually create self-run individual lacrosse youth associations in each of the northern Rhode Island cities and towns, much like the evolution of other youth sports organizations on local communities.
Who is eligible to play?
The youth league is open to boys & girls in grades K through 8. and who meet the US Lacrosse age guidelines are eligible to play.
Can my child play other sports concurrently with youth lacrosse?
We strongly recommend that if your child decides to join lacrosse, that he or she makes participation in lacrosse their #1 sport priority for the spring season. We have found that those children who treat lacrosse as a second priority do not develop their skills at the same rate as their teammates and this can be very discouraging for them and lead them to give up on the sport. Another reason for #1 priority dedication to lacrosse is that the team depends upon each and every player. Those children who do not attend practices commit a disservice to the rest of the team come game day. Players who do not attend practices, especially at the older age levels, do not learn team plays and strategies and therefore do not help the team on game day. We ask players interested in lacrosse to establish lacrosse as their top sports priority during the spring season. If they cannot make that commitment, then we ask that they not register in fairness to themselves and their teammates. It is only fair that the team be able to count on its full roster for participation and dedication. Please click on the "Commitment" tab on the left side of this page.
What are the team structures?
The NRI program include boys and girls assigned to teams within their appropriate age group and school grade. Teams practice two nights each week and play games on Saturday mornings against other NRI teams and teams from the other 11 organizations that are part of the Rhode Island Youth Lacrosse League (RIYLL). Those programs are:
CLCF - Cranston
COV - Coventry
CYLAX - Cumberland
EBAY - Barrington
EG - East Greenwich
IYL - Middletown
NK - North Kingstown
PROV - Providence / Seekonk
PYL - Portsmouth
SC - Narragansett / South Kingstown
WPAL - Warwick
The teams play against other teams within the same age group.
Can my son / daughter be on a team with his friend?
Generally teams are formed by where your child lives. We do are best to keep Smithfield kids with Smithfield kids, Scituate kids with Scituate kids, etc. But this is not always possible. Please understand that lacrosse is a regional sport, not like baseball or soccer where there are enough kids in each town to support teams at each age group. We draw players from several towns to create teams. Therefore we can not make any guarantees about friends being on the same team.
Where do practices and games take place?
NRI teams play in Smithfield and Johnston and perhaps additional locations to be confirmed such as Lincoln, and Scituate.
Unfortunately at this time we do not know which evenings each team will practice. The assigned practice nights will depend upon the total number of teams that we have at each field location. That is something that we cannot establish until early March. We know that it would be easier for parents if they knew prior to registration which evenings their kids’ teams will practice. It is impossible to assign practice nights this early especially with the substantial annual increase in the number of participants. It is similar in other sports such as youth soccer or hockey where you discover after registration which evenings the practices are held. Your options are to either wait until the end of Feb to contact us to see if we have determined the days of week each team will practice and hopefully still have available roster spots in your child's division or you can register now but possibly lose $25 if you withdraw your child prior to March 1st. (see refund policy on website).
What is the cost to participate?
NOTE: All NRI Members must first become a member of US Lacrosse. This is an annual membership fee of $25. If you signed up your children for US Lacrosse in March last year and are signing up for NRI again in January this year, you will be required to renew the membership for each returning child, as the US Lacrosse membership must run through the end of the season.
The registration process will take you to the US Lacrosse website to confirm / renew the US membership for each child that is signing up for NRI. This fee goes directly to US Lacrosse and supports the growth of the game, the national teams that compete in world tournaments, etc.
After completing the US Lacrosse registration and payment, then you will pay a registration fee for NRI. The NRILAX registration fee structure is as follows:
$125 for players in the three older age divisions (grades 7,8&9, grades 5&6, Grades 3&4)
$75 for players in the Grade 1&2 division.
$25 for players in the Instructional division (grades K&1)
[There are discounts for families with more than one child participating, as well as a maximum fee of $400 for families with 5 or more children participating. The discounts will be automatically applied during the online registration process.
Division eligibility is as follows:
- H/S Club team: For H/S players (grades 9 - 12) that want to practice / play against other H/S teams and clubs. Practices are generally at 3:00 PM in North Providence.
- Grades 7, 8 & 9 - "Senior" Division (formerly called "U15")(not eligible if born before Sep 1,1996) - Note: Players on any H/S Varsity, Junior Varsity or H/S Club team may not participate in this division.
- Grades 5 & 6 - "Junior" Division (formerly called "U13")
- Grades 3 & 4 - "Lightning" Division (formerly called "U11")
- Grades 1 & 2 - "Bantam" Division (formerly called "U9")
- Instructional - For beginners in grades K & 1
Where does the registration fee go?
Volunteers run NRI and therefore all proceeds from registration fees go towards running the program. This includes uniforms, indoor fees, state RIYLL dues, referee fees, goals, hundreds of balls per season, field paint, misc equipment (goalie, scoreboards, cones, first aid supplies etc), end off season supplies for the NRI end of season activities, etc.
- Scholarships are provided for select families upon request - Please reference the Financial Aid link for details
What about equipment?
All registrants are required to provide their own equipment. Click on the "Equipment & Uniforms" tab on the left for a full listing of equipment required by gender age division.
Click on the "Exchange" tab on the left to locate used equipment that you can buy or trade with other players who have outgrown their equipment.
Click on the "Equipment Retailers" tab on the left to find onlone retailers where you can purchase new equipment packages at low prices.
When does the season begin and end?
Lacrosse is a springtime sport. The NRILAX teams begin practice the week of April 1st, depending upon the weather and field conditions. Games usually begin on the first Saturday in April and run into the first or second week of June.
Does NRILAX have any coaching and parent assistance needs?
Definitely. We are always in need of coaches, assistant coaches, team parents, and members of the Board of Directors to help run the organization. Anyone can participate in any of these positions. You don’t need to have played lacrosse in your younger years to get involved. We welcome parents with no lacrosse experience who wish to assist the coach with a team and learn about lacrosse along the way. Hopefully they will eventually coach teams of their own or at least be assistant coaches for many seasons. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to play lacrosse in years past, please share your enthusiasm and knowledge with the kids and step forward to coach or assistant coach.