Lacrosse is a tough sell in Brooklyn. There are many obstacles standing in the way for a kid from Bedford-Stuyvesant getting into the sport, as opposed to his or her suburban counterpart. Challenges include costs, logistics and perception. At Brooklyn Lacrosse, our main goal is to remove these “Barriers of Entry”.
Cost: Compared to many other sports, lacrosse can be expensive. Equipment and registration fees can quickly add up to a few hundred dollars.
The biggest ticket item in lacrosse is equipment (especially boys). A full set of boys equipment can cost a few hundred dollars (and wait until they grow out of it). Brooklyn Lacrosse was the winner of US Lacrosse’s National First Stick Award in August, 2012. Among other things, this grant provides Brooklyn Lacrosse with equipment that is made available to players in need. See our scholarship application for more information.
We also decided to have free clinics all throughout February, so that parents and kids can try the sport before having to dive in headfirst. See our free clinic schedule here.
At Brooklyn Lacrosse, we looked very hard at our registration fees. We then determined that a $99 registration fee would allow for us to purchase uniforms, enter tournaments, hire referees, buy equipment and have an operating budget. That’s cheaper than soccer and baseball. Once you get to the heart of what your organization is about (kids playing lacrosse), issues of money and ego are quickly swept away.
Logistics: There is an additional layer (or 6) to most everything we do as parents in Brooklyn. Parking, childcare, drop-offs and pick-ups. We searched long and hard for a location that is close to mass transportation and major roadways, yet also was pedestrian friendly and allowed for a lot of field level visibility from passersby. We don't have access to endless field complexes and endless parking, so we make do. We don't have a field? We (“we” being the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy) make one a pier! Our new field is the amazing Pier 5 Field at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Accessible, picturesque, with family amenities and at the center of our urban world, this field will make quite a home for us for many years to come.
Perception: Lacrosse has the perception of being a suburban sport played in the suburbs and at leafy private schools. Suburban athletes have many advantages in terms of fields and resources. There is no reason, once barriers are removed, that we won't see Brooklyn athletes achieve the scholarships and other opportunities that this amazing sport has to offer. Lacrosse is a sport that welcomes players in, and that creates bonds that last a lifetime.