let me be clear- all those points above are valid however, i am focusing on the younger age teams. at some point middle school maybe, it makes sense to play club lacrosse if your end goal is college lacrosse. here is the dilemma i see in westchester right now , too many club teams, not enough "A" players. however programs like Primetime will take their 3/4 team down to long island and get demolished. its not as if we dont have the high quality players, we do, its just that we dont have as many. primetime 3/4 last year got beat something like 160 goals against 50 goals scored. that cannot possibly be a good experience for most players. if you have a quality town team, that is a big if, then why not keep those kids together for as long as possible, put them in the B brackets and let them have a chance at winning while also teaching them . no reason you still cant pay for higher level coaching
I APOLOGIZE, IMHO TRAVEL SHOULD START AT 5TH GRADE. THE BELOW IS FOR 5TH AND ABOVE PLAYERS WILL COME AND GO ON THOSE TEAMS FOR THE NEXT 4/5 YEARS.
understand your points, lived through it. Just please do not limit your child's learning curve and experience if you can help it. If you have the means and the logistics work, you should try the travel route. Just be a wise consumer don't set your wallet or child up for failure.
Now, I just said don't do one or the other. I am a fan of doing both. Playing as a town does build a future and is great, nothing like playing with your friends; and if your child plays travel there is nothing better than playing against your travel buddies.
BUT, That good town team only has a handful of special players; those special players can and will benefit from playing with and against other players that are better. The worst thing you can do is make your child the best player on any team especially at the younger ages.
I will disagree with you about the term winning. When you play, whether it is sports, cards or tag, you play to win. I get that. You have fun in the pursuit to win. You just may not always win. That said, You wouldnt play a sport, cards or tag if you didn't think you had a chance to win or if you knew you'd lose all the time. You play something with the hopes you will win (if at least only once).
In any sport I don't care if you happen to lose every game. It is all relative, it is the spread of the win or loss that means something (score differential). IT IS ABOUT THE CHANCE TO WIN. Sure, it is good to blow team outs, but I also think it is healthy to get blown out, but it is the best when your teams play and the goal differential is within 5 your team, that means your placed against the correct opponents.
but as you said you don't have as much talented players, well if you don't have as much talented players on club then your town teams are just as diluted and the experiences for the better kids on town teams is just not going to enhance their play, as well, their being "forced" to play solely with the town... doesn't necessarily bring up the level for the developing players. That instead may led to those developing players taking aback seat and losing interest.
I love the concept of the town sticking together, but not at the detriment of advancing the better players. If each player plays a level above their usual play the town team will become that much better. Although you do need to become wary that some of those special players go another route all together and you may loose them forever, just remember that is their parents call and you cant dictate what one parent does for their child. where you think it is right wrong or indifferent)