Update to the Broward lacrosse Issue

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By Joey Aloha

Social media has become a big part of gathering the troops and sending out up to the minute information. Broward along with Dade county lacrosse Facebook pages have both gone over 500 members each. After what many thought was a back tracking on the BCAA’s decision to add lacrosse, the group decided to hold a meeting, face to face, to implement a successful and positive media and e mail campaign to the school board. The meeting was set for this past Wednesday at South Plantation High School in the Magnet Amphitheater. The overall turnout was a huge success as representatives and players showed up from Davie lacrosse, Weston lacrosse, SPHS, Western High School, Cypress Bay, Taravella, Cooper City, West Broward, Calvary Christian, and Douglas. The agenda was set to discuss the current status of lacrosse in the BCAA, the issues the BCAA has against lacrosse, what Title 9 issues there were, procedures for talking to the school board, photo sessions with the players, general Q and A sessions and strategies.
Parents, club presidents, students, coaches, and others stood up and offered all the ideas and information they had to help in coming up with a positive solution. In the end, some 140 people took part in this first ever meeting of the minds. All the kids wore their jerseys and club T-shirts and stood side by side as one family in these troubled times. On the same night was the opening date for Davie’s very popular Summer Lacrosse program. People were coming and going all night long as they were heading to their games or coming from them, and the excitement was taken to the field out at Bamford Park in Davie.
In the end, a solid strategy was developed to take our issues to the school board members. After a general consensus was taken here are the underlying issues Broward and Dade county faces. The general public is unaware of the Lacrosse community and its solidarity and support it has for one another. The folks opposed to lacrosse see it as a continuation of flag football, boys’ volleyball, and water polo, which are not doing so well and seem to only drain money from the athletic budgets. Also, the general public’s views Boys Lacrosse as hybrid of football and soccer, and deem it a game of big hits and hard collisions. This is due to ESPN and other sport shows that only focus on (the big hits of the day) versus the game as a whole. Another issue at hand is the BCAA is worried that the revenue neutral model is a pay to play model which the BCAA is against. Again, this is a lack of communication between the BCAA and the lacrosse community. The final issue for the BCAA is concerned that the idea of bringing a new sport on while folks are being laid off seems elitist. The overall feeling at the meeting was that these are hard times, but the school board, the BCAA, and the public needs to know that the lacrosse family is willing to put the time and money in, and that we are not looking for a hand out.
Every school has selected a representative to talk to the school board on this Tuesday’s board meeting. At the time of this update, we have received information that indicates that the lacrosse issue will not be on Tuesday’s agenda. However it will be on the agenda for the following meeting.  The lacrosse communities’ representatives have filled their allotted slots of 12 spaces for this Tuesday’s board meeting and were asked to reconsider rescheduling their time to speak to the next meeting later in the month.
We would like to think due to the positive email and phone calls to the AD’s, BCAA, and the school board members, there has been set a special meeting for this Monday night of the BCAA executive board meeting. This executive board will report its findings back to Mr.Notter so he and the board can make an educated decision and implication and funding for lacrosse. Two new members have been added to the BCAA executive board with one of them being a staunch supporter and believer in lacrosse.
In the end the lacrosse family has been spectacular and reliable. Any time someone stood up and volunteered the job got done. From flyers being made, to kids passing them out at parks and at local businesses. From parents making political connections, to a private school coach showing up at the meeting to lend his support for the cause. I am truly amazed at how swiftly we rallied as family and got to work. It now rests on the few shoulders of the powers that be. They signed up to make big decisions like these. I just hope the kids don’t get left out in the dark