In the past 20 years the club phenomenon has exploded in numbers. Years back there were a few clubs that really dominated the so called club scene. Most of these clubs are still around and playing quality ball at different age groups. When the Long Island Club scene was only a few programs they dominated almost every tournament and recruiting events at every age. This is not to say that they were not great programs in other areas but it seemed the talent level was off the charts on these teams from Long Island. Some of these programs were started out of pure love for the game and others were started out of necessity due to a lack of quality lacrosse in an individuals town. They were started by lacrosse guys who had lacrosse friends and who knew the game inside and out that were willing to have 3 practices a week. When there werent 500 distractions like travel soccer,travel hockey, and all the other distractions kids face today. When it was limited to 1 or even 2 teams per age group and even sometimes not having a team in a certain age the lacrosse was amazing. I am sorry to say the evolution of clubs has resulted in a diluted product on Long Island. There are only so many great coaches and only so many great players to go around who truly are committed to the teams. That is why you see some programs with stronger age groups than others when it used to be a program had strong teams across all age groups. There are so many club teams and town only teams that it makes it difficult for Long Island to put the same quality product on the fields like it used to. Now factor the money aspect. So many people saw and see the $$$$$ and start programs just for the money. That is why you see 3 to 4 teams per age group from one club and they claim AA, A, B, and C ratings of these clubs. When this is occurs you have all the complaints we hear on this site
1. Poor coaching
2. Not enough practices
3. Not enough kids showing up
and a whole slew of other issues. As parents we want to give our kids the opportunity to play. Playing on a club team might be the only way to go for some due to lack of lacrosse in an individuals town or the need to play better caliber with better players for that stud kid who just has it. I know we all think our kids are great but there is a small handful that are the 1% that play the game at an elite level. For the most part these were the kids that used to play on club teams 20 years ago. Now everyone is afforded the opportunity to play club ball and thats fine but remember this, its a diluted product and you always dont get what you pay for. As long as people are willing to pay there will always be club teams of all different calibers.
The expansion of the sport has resulted in clubs popping up across the country. You see these teams doing well because they have 400 kids from a whole state tryout for 25 slots and 1 team. These are like our Long Island programs 20 years ago. It just goes with the territory of the game expanding and being introduced to areas and athletes that never played or heard of lacrosse until recently.