I’m thrilled to have become the AYLA president at the beginning of June. I have very big shoes to fill as our outgoing president, Grace Saturnia, did an outstanding job with AYLA leaving the organization in a great position to continue growing our sport in our state. Grace has volunteered with AYLA for over a decade, with all three of her children playing at the youth level and onto the Punahou club. We thank Grace for her commitment and dedication to AYLA.
Some important league information:
AYLA Open House Day - Scrimmages / Equipment Return / Jersey Pick Up
Please mark your calendars for our AYLA Open House on Sunday, July 19th at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. We will have a truck in the parking lot at Paki Avenue from 9 AM to 3 PM to collect all outstanding rental equipment and hand out the 2020 uniforms. We will have the rugby field lined and host pick up games for the various age groups throughout the day. This is a good opportunity to pick up where we left off of our curtailed 2020 season. Please note, the Parks Department is not issuing permits for park usage until September. As such, the location within the park and format of these pick up games may change on the fly. We thought it important to get playing again and deal with the uncertainty – unfortunately we’ve all gotten used to uncertainty over the past few months – rather than waiting until the fall. The day’s schedule of events is as follows:
9 AM – Rental return and uniform pick up opens at the Paki Avenue parking lot. Elementary Girls pick up game.
10 AM – Middle School Girls pick up game.
11 AM – High School Girls pick up game.
Noon – Elementary Boys pick up game / Hawaii Lacrosse Wahine League exhibition game.
1 PM – Middle School Boys pick up game.
2 PM – High School Boys pick up game.
3 PM – Rental return and uniform pick up closes. Hawaii Lacrosse Men’s League exhibition game.
Please join us for what is sure to be a great day of lacrosse in the shadows of Diamond Head. If you cannot make it to the park on this day, please try your best to coordinate with someone from your team to drop off rental equipment and pass on the uniform size and number requests (we’ll do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee fulfilment of the requests) for your children.
Seeking Assistance with Shipping from Mainland
AYLA sincerely thanks Operation Baggataway, ReLax and Lacrosse Unlimited for the donation of significant amounts of lacrosse equipment to our league. We hope to take advantage of this equipment donation to reduce the total costs of playing lacrosse in Hawaii for years to come. Currently, this equipment is in Long Island, New York awaiting shipment to Hawaii. We have received bids for shipping that exceed any budget or even bank balance that AYLA maintains. We are seeking help from our lacrosse community to get this equipment to Oahu. If you have connections in the shipping industry that may be able to assist or have any ideas on raising the approximately $15,000 of shipping costs, please let us know. This is an enormous opportunity to grow the sport and reduce costs to our families – let’s do our best to take advantage of it.
AYLA Off-Season Schedule
We are planning another off-season of clinics and scrimmages during the fall and winter. As mentioned earlier, the permitting process is backed up through September. We will announce this off-season schedule as soon as possible – likely late-August or early-September with our first events in mid- to late-September.
I’m excited to be a part of AYLA and continue the growth of lacrosse in Hawaii. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or suggestions you may have to make ours a better league. As always, it takes a village, so we’re always looking for volunteers to help in every aspect of running the league. I look forward to working with you all and appreciate the trust you place in the league to teach your children this great sport.
After 5 years on the AYLA board and 3 seasons as AYLA president, I am "retiring" and passing the baton to the next generation of leaders. I want to briefly thank all the board members, coaches, volunteers and parents for the energy and work helping make youth lacrosse and AYLA what it is today. While it's disappointing that our season didn't happen, I am proud to say that the 2020 season would have been our strongest season yet, in terms of player participation and organization.
My involvement with lacrosse began when my 3 young boys started playing back in 2010. I had no knowledge of the game, but lacrosse and the community soon hooked my family. I became team parent for each of my boys' teams over the years, and eventually joined the AYLA board in 2015. In 2018, I became only the 3rd AYLA president and was the first "outsider" -- a non-player with no association with the local lacrosse community. I am grateful to be welcomed into the local lacrosse community.
To remain true to AYLA's original mission statement, to grow youth lacrosse and firmly establish lacrosse in Hawaii, my 3 main goals as President were :
I feel the board and I have achieved these goals and provided a strong foundation for the future. We did not always do things perfectly, but the hard work and sometimes frustrating moments, have made it a truly a worthwhile endeavor for me personally. Along the way I've met amazing coaches, parents, and kids. I've made some lifelong friends which I'm grateful for, and I'm proud of what we've all done together. It's been a great run and a true team effort.
In closing, I encourage and hope that parents and coaches volunteer where you can, and continue to grow lacrosse in Hawaii. We have many talents and resources in our AYLA community that we can harness. The future is bright!
All the best & good luck to Mike Barstis, new AYLA president, and his team! Go AYLA!
While it looks like Hawaii is doing well at this time during this pandemic, there are still a lot of unknowns regarding how government leadership will manage reopening our community, specifically the lifting of group restrictions and use of parks in the coming months. After much discussion and careful consideration, the AYLA board has decided to officially close this season out and work on possible options for mid-late summer, as state guidelines permit.
What are the Next Steps?
1. AYLA Fee Refunds
AYLA has incurred signficant expenses to begin the season including goals, balls, uniforms, coach USL fees, park permits, credit card processing fees, etc. As such, we cannot refund 100% of the 2020 fee. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Option A: 70% AYLA fee Credit for future participation in clinics/scrimmages & 2021 season - No action required.
AYLA Uniform Pinnies: All registered players will receive their AYLA pinnies, at a pick up date in the summer
USL membership fee: AYLA cannot refund this fee as this was paid directly to US Lacrosse; the membership is valid for a year and allows players to participate in AYLA sanctioned scrimmages & games in the off-season through early 2021. Membership is also valid if player transfers to another league on the mainland within the expiration date of the membership.
2. RENTAL Gear Refunds
70% of rental fee refund upon receipt of gear; deposit checks will be returned/destroyed
Return Date(s) is TBD, sometime mid-summer, as permitted by state guidelines
More information to follow
If you are leaving the state before June, please contact Tony Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. COACH Bags & Goals - Tony will be in touch with coaches with more information
4. SUMMER Play: As soon as permitted, we plan to organize games/scrimmage/clinics. We don't yet know how this will look like, so stay tuned.
HS players: Games to give our seniors the opportunity to play before going off to college
K-8 players; TBD
The AYLA Board greatly appreciates your patience, understanding and support during this unprecedented situation. The decisions we've had to make were tough and complicated. We hope to ensure the viability of AYLA as an organization and are hopeful for the future of youth lacrosse in Hawaii. We will post another update in a few weeks.