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Frequently Asked Questions About the Tomahawks Club and Lacrosse

Q. What is the Tomahawks Lacrosse Club and what is its history?
A. The Tomahawks were founded in 1990 as the first Youth Lacrosse Club in Northern California. We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization. We sponsor 13 boys and girl's lacrosse teams with over 300 players in the following divisions:

  1. U9 ( Boys)
  2. U11 ( Boys, Girls)
  3. U13 ( Boys, Girls)
  4. U15 (Boys, Girls)


Q. Who can join the Tomahawks Lacrosse Club?
A. Any boy or girl who meets the age and grade criteria (1st-8th grade for boys and girls). There are no geographic restrictions on any Club team. However, most of our players come from Palo Alto, Woodside, Portola Valley, Los Altos, and Mountain View.

Q. What is the difference between a Club and a School team?
A. Club Teams are private organizations not affiliated with any school or school district. In California, lacrosse is now an approved CIF high school sport, and most schools have started a team. Club teams are the only way for youth younger than High School to play organized lacrosse.

Q. When is the lacrosse season?
A. Practice typically begins in early February (weather permitting). Games begin in March, and continue through early May. The playoffs, for those teams which qualify, are in May. Teams typically play about 12 games a season.

Q. Do Boys and Girls play together on the same team?
A. No, Boys and Girls Lacrosse have different rules, and therefore we sponsor teams for both.

Q. Is Lacrosse popular in California?
A. Traditionally popular on the East Coast, lacrosse is now extremely popular in Northern California. There are now 68 Youth Club Teams in Northern California, and the number continues to grow each year. Sports Illustrated recently called lacrosse the 'fastest growing sport in America.'

Q. Who determines Tomahawks policies?
A. The Tomahawks Board of Directors is responsible for management of the Club.

Q. Where do practices and games take place?
A. Since we have so many teams, we practice at many facilities in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, and Woodside. Most of our games take place at Gunn High School on Arastradero Road in Palo Alto.

Q. How are teams determined?
A. In many Divisions, we field multiple teams. At the beginning of each season, there are skill evaluations, and players are placed on a team based on their ability.

Q. My child has never played lacrosse before. Will he/she be able to play and compete?
A. About 30% of our players every year are new to the sport – even more at the younger levels. Lacrosse is an easy game to pick up and learn, and you should expect your child to be able to compete well. Generally, new players are on the less experienced, lower level teams, so they compete against kids with similar backgrounds.

Q. Are there camps held locally for my child to attend?
A. There are many camps and clinics, sponsored by both the Tomahawks and other private organizations, where your child can attend and play and improve their skills in the game.

Q. What equipment is needed and where can I purchase it?

A. Boys need a helmet, shoulder pads, arm guards, a stick, cleats, an athletic support and cup, and a mouthpiece. Rib guards are optional. Girls require a stick, eye goggles, a mouthpiece and cleats. Starter kits are available for about $200 for boys at SlingIt Lacrosse at 1538 El Camino Real, Belmont (650) 595-1538, SlingIt Lacrosse at 700 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose (408) 423-9937 or at Goetz Brothers 2629 Broadway St, Redwood City (650) 366-4082.

Q. How can I learn more about lacrosse?
A. Check the Lacrosse Links section of our web site, where you can learn more about the extremely interesting history of lacrosse.

Q. How can I find out more about volunteer opportunities with Tomahawks?
A. Every family is required to volunteer for a position to help manage the club, or to pay a Volunteer Buyout fee ($250). During registration, you will see the list of available positions, most of which take from 10-15 hours of time over the course of the season.

Q. How are coaches selected? What are their backgrounds?
A. Coaches are selected by the Board of Directors and reviewed annually. Most of our coaches have backgrounds in lacrosse, playing at high school, college and club levels.

Q. What are Tomahawks registration fees used for?
A. The three largest expense items are fields, coaching, and referees an insurance.  They are about 60% of our annual costs.  We are a non-profit organization.  

Q. Can I make a tax deductible donation to Tomahawks?
A. Yes, absolutely. Your contribution will be tax-deductible as we are a 501c(3) non-profit corporation.

Q. May my child receive a scholarship to play Tomahawks Lacrosse?
A. Yes. We offer full and partial scholarships for those families who are in financial need. Please contact our Registrar. The process is completely confidential.

Q. Why must my child join US Lacrosse in order to play Tomahawks?
A. US Lacrosse membership is included in your annual dues. US Lacrosse provides insurance to the all Youth Club Leagues, and provides backup medical insurance for all players.

Q. How can I register my child with Tomahawks?
A. Each season's registration begins in early October. Our registration is all done online via sPortability.

Q. If registration for my child's playing level is full, is there a waiting list?
A. Yes, we do maintain a waiting list.

Q. If my child is waitlisted, how will I find out if he/she gets on the team?
A. You will hear from the Club Registrar.

Q. Who should I contact with questions about registration?
A. Our registrar at registrar@tomahawkslacrosse.org.

Q. What is the difference between boys and girls lacrosse?
A. Women's lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders. Women do not wear helmets or pads. They do wear eye goggles.

Q. Will we have to travel far for games?
A. Each team plays half of their games at the field of the opposing Club. We try and schedule as many away games as possible in the South Bay – which is becoming easier because new teams are forming annually. They may well be trips to the East Bay or Marin County during the season. Games are mostly on weekends.

Q. What are the players' positions in lacrosse?
A. In Boys lacrosse, there are 10 people on the field on each side. There are three attackmen (placed near the opponents goal), three midfielders (in the center of the field), 3 defenseman (guarding their goal), and 1 goalie.

Q. Will my child get injured playing lacrosse?
A. Any competitive sport does result in injuries. Boys lacrosse rules allow contact at the Juniors and High School levels. Youth Boys and all Girls lacrosse does not allow contact. Injury rates are similar to soccer for comparison purposes.