Lacrosse was one of many varieties of indigenous stickball games being played by American Indians at the time of European contact. Almost exclusively a male team sport, it is distinguished from the others, such as field hockey or shinny, by the use of a netted racquet with which to pick the ball off the ground, throw, catch and convey it into or past a goal to score a point. The cardinal rule in all varieties of lacrosse was that the ball, with few exceptions, must not be touched with the hands. Native Americans have played it since long before the colonies were settled, and at the club and collegiate level it has been played since the late 1800's. Lacrosse has commonly been referred to as 'the fastest game on two feet!'
The GBYLA first started as the Birmingham Youth Lacrosse League in the late 1990's and has grown from two U15 boys teams to over 94 participating teams for boys & girls in 2016. The GBYLA has multiple participating communities that operate under the GBYLA umbrella, but service their own community lacrosse programs understanding the importance for a sense of community amongst those who play, coach, work and follow the game of lacrosse. All community programs as well as the GBYLA as a whole strive for the same vision; to be recognized communities of players, coaches, officials, parents and volunteer/staff leaders that foster strong competition, superior sportsmanship, and personal growth for all participants. The GBYLA's mission is to develop & support our youth lacrosse community programs in the greater Birmingham area.
In 2010, the GBYLA partnered with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA); a national non-profit developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience. Our relationship continues into 2017 with ongoing workshops for coaches, parents & players as well as the continued reinforcement of the PCA principals for good sportsmanship.
The Greater Birmingham Youth Lacrosse Association offers the following lacrosse programs throughout the calendar year:
Spring Season - Our main lacrosse season and in 2016 it involved 94 teams of boys and girls from 1st grade through high school. In season play runs from early January thru early May.
Summer Clinic Series - A series of clinics for new and experienced players, boys and girls, ages u9-u17. Clinics will be conducted in a camp format with emphasis on skills. Specialized Clinics will vary depending on program input and demand including but not limited to; new players, defenders, goalies, offense as well as more specialized positions such as LSM & faceoff.
Fall Lacrosse - Having now completed twelve years, Fall Lacrosse offers an opportunity to introduce new players to the sport and provides existing players a chance to refine their skills in scrimmage play. Fall Lacrosse 2015 registration produced over 435 boys and girls ranging from 1-12th grades. Two venues are utilized; Rathmell Sports Park in Mountain Brook & Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex in Vestavia.
The GBYLA Website also contains information on local camps and clinics as well as out of state camp opportunities during the summer months. Information on recruiting showcases and tournaments can also be found on our website.
We are constantly working on new and exciting programs for our youth players, so please stay tuned to the website for up to date program information. We can also be found on Facebook & Twitter!