The founders of NJ Riot are parents just like you. The Founders have collectively been involved with numerous other local lacrosse programs over the years and felt like there were things that we could change and improve, and things that we didn’t feel were being offered elsewhere. Every program has its merits. We decided to eliminate things we disliked from our experiences with other lacrosse programs and combine the merits we liked from our experiences and incorporate them into what is NJ Riot Lacrosse.
Other than geography – No. Our program originated in the Morris County area. As more players in Bergen County and NY expressed interest in NJ Riot, we expanded and added the NJ Riot North teams. As such, the original Morris-based teams are typically referred to as NJ Riot and the teams based in Bergen County are known as Riot North. Uniforms for both our NJ Riot and Riot North teams are identical.
In January 2019, NJ Riot took over operation of Matrix Lacrosse, which was based out of Rockland County, NY. Riot North now offers a unique opportunity to players in Rockland, Westchester, and Orange County, NY to join the Riot organization.
This is an incredibly important question and one that we realize is of immense importance to you as parents and to your sons as players. We do not utilize parent coaches ever. Many of our coaches are professional educators and have played high-level lacrosse in high school and college. Our coaches have extensive experience coaching at all levels of lacrosse.
All items with regard to coaching are reviewed and considered so as to provide our players and families with the quality that we expect for our kids. We vet all our coaches and perform detailed background checks
Communication is a staple of why NJ Riot was created. We pride ourselves in our communication as that is a key in any successful relationship. One of our staff will ALWAYS return calls and/or emails promptly, and we are ALWAYS available to discuss items regarding your sons.
Each NJ Riot team has a volunteer Team Parent Manager, who serves as your primary “go-to” for communications and team matters. For routine matters, e.g., practice times or practice changes, food for tournaments, etc., the Team Parent Manager will be the source of information to the team as a whole. For personal and other matters, players and parents are always invited to contact their team coach and/or a member of NJ Riot management.
NJ Riot Lacrosse has a Parent-Player Code of Conduct that must be executed by all our players and their parents upon registering for our teams. The Code of Conduct provides clear guidelines a to address the standard issues of player, parent and coach conduct, playing time, team policies, etc.
Our “summer season” starts with practices commencing in mid-June and extending into mid-late July with tournaments on the weekends during this period.
Our high school and youth teams in grades 4-8 attend 4 summer tournaments. Our 3rd grade team plays in 3 summer tournaments. We are constantly working on our schedules and offerings. We realize people would like to have their son’s schedules (especially Summer) as early as possible. We take a little extra time evaluating the tournament offerings (especially for the Youth teams) so they are slotted properly. We want them to have a quality experience and play against tough competition.
We are a tournament travel team organization. Most of our tournaments are out-of-town and may require overnight hotel stays. In past years our teams have traveled to events in Long Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts and Connecticut. We believe that tournaments that require travel and overnight stays provides a great experience for the players to spend a weekend away with teammates and for families to bond. Players are responsible for their own transportation to and from the tournaments.
Our NJ Riot teams typically practice at the Morris County Central Park Turf Facility in Morris Plains, NJ.
Our Riot North teams practice at various sites in Rockland County, NY and/or Bergen County, NJ.
Teams will practice 2 evenings a week. Prior to the first tournament of the summer, teams will typically have a practice on Saturday or Sunday. Practice times will be provided to the teams in the early Spring.
Yes. Practices are mandatory. It is essential that players are at practice to develop team chemistry and to learn from and work with the coaches.
Most of the tournaments we attend are "Stay-To-Play" events that require the families to book in partnered hotels through the tournament's travel service (usually found on the tournament website). Sometimes the travel service provides us with a block of rooms and if they do, we will provide the links to our teams. Parents are always free to book on their own to reserve rooms that are best for their families.
Every tournament is different, but the trend over the past few years is for tournaments to provide us with the game schedule anywhere from 3 to 7 days prior to the first day of the event. Riot Lacrosse has NO say into a tournament's scheduling and is unable to provide any information prior to receiving the schedule from the Tournament Organizers.
The NJ Riot Lacrosse staff expects a full commitment from all of its players. Every player is expected to attend all practices and tournaments. Players who do not meet this commitment will lose playing time.
All updates will be posted on our website and Team Parents will also communicate with their team.
The cost to participate on a Riot team varies from year to year and from level to level. The summer elite team fee includes coaching, a custom Riot Lacrosse uniform (game jersey, game shorts, and practice jersey) 4 tournaments, 10-12 team practices, team winter training and college recruiting assistance. The Riot Lacrosse fee does not include travel, hotel, or meal costs at each tournament. To discuss our current fees, please send an email to [email protected].
Team tryouts are typically held in mid-July after the completion of the summer tournaments. We find that this is the most opportune time since players have just completed high-level play and their skills are at the highest level. In addition, tryouts in mid-July allow our players and their families to complete the “summer lacrosse season” and then have the remainder of the summer for family time, vacationing, etc.
Separate tryouts are held for our NJ Riot and Riot North teams. Our tryouts may comprise a first tryout followed by a call-back tryout.
Selected players will be notified via email or phone call and a list of players selected to the team will be posted on the NJ Riot website.
The reality is everyone cannot make the team. A lot of players tryout for our teams, which means A LOT of players do not make a team at NJ Riot Lacrosse. Our process is not perfect, there is no perfect process. Everyone has an opinion on the right way to do things. We have ours, it has been successful, we tweak each year and we take this process very seriously. If you or your son is not prepared to hear the news that they did not make a team, then they should not tryout. We have seen MANY times, players who do not make a team one year and come back the following year and have improved immensely and are selected. Not making a team one year is in no way an indication that a player is a poor player, but rather should provide an incentive to work hard to improve.
For our 3rd - 8th grade teams, playing time will be as equal as possible during regular pool play in a tournament. There are situations during games that make getting equal playing time impossible (too many penalties, flow of the game, etc.) Our coaches are very experienced and do their best. Once teams reach the playoff portion of a tournament the coaches have the flexibility to shorten their bench. They are not required to do this and each coach makes that decision on their own. Any concerns about playing time are to be addressed to the coach by the PLAYER ONLY! Coaches will not discuss playing time with parents. NO EXCEPTIONS. Part of being an elite level player is being able to communicate with your coach. At this high school there are no playing time guarantees. Game situations, player skill set and ability will all dictate playing time.
Roster size varies for each team depending on the grade. Our goal is to maximize the playing time for every player on a roster so we will typically cap our rosters at 22-23 players (depending on grade and unique team needs).
Riot Lacrosse is a full-year program. Players who have been selected to our summer teams (following the mid-July tryouts) will play 2 Fall tournaments (typically in November). Tournaments are on the weekends. Fall teams will have a number of practices prior to and during the Fall season. We do not offer pro-rates if a player chooses not to play in the Fall tournaments.
NJ Riot Lacrosse will also direct players to Box Lacrosse opportunities over the winter if a player wishes to participate in Box Lacrosse.
Additionally, there are multiple team practices, training sessions, and position-specific sessions over the Winter and in Spring.
Yes! ALL Riot Lacrosse players must have valid, up-to-date U.S. Lacrosse membership. It is each player's (or player's parents') responsibility to be certain that the player has a valid, up-to-date U.S. Lacrosse membership at all times.
All fees are non-refundable. When you accept an invitation to a NJ Riot team you also accept the financial responsibility of the team fee. The team fees are established based on the number of players we accept each season and incorporates organizational expense, coach salaries, team equipment, field rentals, tournament fees, etc.