2017 Youth Development Program Information
Benefits of Membership
The APA Youth Development Program (YDP) works to encourage and develop skills in youth polocrosse players. The APA currently supports U16 and U21. U16 members are those players who are under 16 on January 1. U21 members are those players aged 21 or under.
Members of the YDP are automatically “long listed” for any international exchange tours arranged by the APA (inbound or outbound). These tours are exceptional opportunities for youth to improve their level of play and engage with players from other countries. The U16 program has held alternating annual inbound and outbound exchanges with New South Wales, Australia; 2017 is an inbound year for this exchange. U16 members may also have opportunities to exchange with players from Great Britain, Zambia, or South Africa. In recent years, U21 has exchanged with Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Members who are selected for tours are responsible for the costs of travel associated with the tour.
While the historical focus of the youth development program has been on international exchanges, the program also is committed to providing domestic clinics and coaching for youth players.
The YDP is dedicated to building the future leaders of polocrosse. The YDP will provide a minimum of 2 youth clinics annually, at a free or low cost to members. These clinics focus on skill building, horsemanship, strategy, and sportsmanship – all critical elements for improving play and performance. When feasible, the YDP will provide tournament coaching for members, recognizing that coaches are typically also players and scheduling conflicts may arise. YDP members may also be called upon to coach/assist with peers and less experienced members.
Members are expected to uphold the APA Code of Conduct at all times. As youth representatives of the APA and of the USA, YDP members are visible to the national and international communities. A high level of sportsmanship and excellent behavior is required.
The YDP is an all‐volunteer program. Members and their adult supporters are expected to fully participate in programs and activities of the YDP, including assisting with fundraising, equipment/field setup, helping coaches/managers, and other tasks that may be necessary to conduct activities.
Members are required to have access to 2 qualified horses. A qualified horse is one that plays at or above the member’s current level of play. The extra horses are needed regardless of whether the member is participating in an inbound tour. Extra horses may be used at clinics for members flying across the country to participate, as spare horses for incidences of lameness or injury, for members to experience riding/playing other horses, and other such support of the YDP members. When inbound tours are held, extra horses will be provided to international players. Horses for inbound tours are expected to be fit and capable of play at the B or A grade level.
For all international exchange tours, the APA’s Player Development Committee will select a coach and at least one manager. These adult APA members will be responsible for planning the details of the tours, communicating with parents and YDP members about the tours, overseeing the delivery of the tours, and ensuring the well‐being of players and horses during the tours.
The tour staff – coach and manager(s) – will be responsible for team selection for tours. The staff will plan and hold a clinic for members to try out for the team. The staff may also watch members play at tournaments, in person or video, to assess member’s skills.
Selections for tours will be made as soon as feasible. The YDP will make every effort to select teams early so that members have ample time to plan, fundraise, and work together as a team.