What is the National Team Development Program?
The National Team Development Program (NTDP) is an extended pathway for elite high school players to be a part of the to the U.S. National Team program beyond our current U20, senior, and box teams. The NTDP allows USA Lacrosse to build a pipeline of potential athletes to compete in elite competitions, while also creating an opportunity for lacrosse athletes around the country to be exposed to holistic, elite-level training and development, pillars of the National Team brand. We're looking for future players for our national teams, and want you to be a part of it. With lacrosse in the Olympics as a goal, NTDP is the vehicle to the future.
Is this a replacement for the national team tryouts?
No! We are still planning on hosting tryouts for all of our teams that participate in World Lacrosse championships. Those team tryouts usually occur one year prior to the world championship for each respective team.
Our hope is that with the NTDP, we will begin to identify, development and work with those potential U20 athletes and senior athletes as early as their high school years, instead of meeting them for the first time a year before the team championships.
How old do I need to be to participate in the National Team Development Program?
To be eligible for the 2021 National Team Development Program, individuals must be born before August 31, 2007.
U18: The player must be born on or between September 1, 2002 and August 31, 2004.
U16: The player must be born on or between September 1, 2004 and August 31, 2007.
What if my age does not line up with the U20 requirement for a competition year?
The World Lacrosse U20 World Championships generally occur every four years. In the first couple of years of the NTDP, the U20 cycles will not match up perfectly for all; unfortunately, a lot of it relies on the luck of when a player is born. Players will move in and out of the NTDP annually. One could be accepted at age 15, not make it at age 16, and then make the U.S. U20 team at age 18 (given they are still age eligible).
The NTDP is not the one and only way into the U.S. National Team system but is an advantage at a future U20 or Senior team tryout if the player has been working in and training in the NTDP since their freshman year in high school versus someone who is new to the program at a later age.
Can you give me an overview of each phase of the process and the price points?
The NTDP is a 3 phase journey. It starts with a Regional tryout, followed by an invite-only National Combine event, finally leading to U16 and U18 USA Select Teams who compete in along with our Men's and Women's Senior USA National Teams at Fall Classic.
In the first phase to the selection process, USA Lacrosse will host regional tryouts (usually in conjunction with tournaments). USA Lacrosse membership is required to participate and there is a $200 fee.
Following the Regional tryouts, USA Lacrosse will be inviting the top 150 men and 150 women to a National Combine. The cost to attend the 2021 National Combine is still to be determined. This fee will include housing, meals, apparel and the three-day tryout.
If selected to a USA Select U16 or U18 team from the National Combine, players will be brought back to compete at USA Lacrosse headquarters for the Fall Classic. Once named to the USA Select Team, players’ travel, housing, equipment, gear, and apparel will be covered in full by USA Lacrosse.
What will I see at the regional tryouts?
The regional tryouts will be a one day, 150 minute evaluation. During this session, players will work hand and hand with past and current U. S. National Team coaches and players. We have created a standard, well-organized curriculum to be used at every regional tryout where players be evaluated and developed on both technical and tactical skills.
The curriculum for the regionals tryouts will be fast-paced, focusing on position-specific, as well as team skills through a series of drills including competition in 1v1’s, 2v2’s, transition drills, and 6v6. Competition, drills and playing situations are specifically designed to give our evaluators insight to the following areas where they will be rated: Athleticism, Stickwork, Positional Skill, Game IQ, Decision Making, and On-Field Presence.
Do I have to try out in my region?
No, players are nationally ranked. We select the top 150 women and 150 men to the National Combine no matter where they live, where they go to school, or what team they play for. Players can try out at whichever regional tryout they prefer, and as many times as they want.
What if I can't make a regional tryout or there isn't one in my area?
There's an option submit a virtual application. There is a $50 fee for this option.
What's this national combine all about?
The National Combine is a three-day tryout opportunity and overnight training camp (invite only), at the USA Lacrosse National Headquarters in Sparks, Md. This three-day event will be operated by current and past U.S. national team players and coaches.
Women's National Combine: August 10-12, 2021
Men’s National Combine: August 17-19, 2021
During National Combine, athletes will be taken through elite level training of both individual and team skill development as well as sessions on strength and conditioning, recruitment, student athlete advisory, social emotional learning, and leadership training. Combine players will live, breathe, eat and sleep nothing but USA lacrosse for three days.
The tryout process is built in line with the qualifying steps for the U.S. National Team. As such, the experience will be challenging physically and mentally. Those that participate in the process will better understand the rigors associated with playing at the highest level. They will also receive a first-hand look at how the world’s most elite lacrosse team trains, prepares and operates. Skill development will be a huge focus for this program.
As a team, it is the highest priority for USA Lacrosse to make sure participants have a great experience, learn, have fun, and walk away with a better understanding of the U.S. National Team culture - and what it takes to compete at the highest level. Our hope with this program is to provide greater connectivity between the next generation of athletes and the sport’s highest honor. Additionally, we aim to further develop elite athletes at a young age - preparing them for the next step in international competition.
What happens after the national combine?
At the conclusion of the National Combine, USA Lacrosse will name 4 teams: a men’s and women’s USA Select U16 team, and a men’s and women’s USA Select U19 team.
If selected to a USA Select U16 or U18 team from the National Combine, players will be brought back to compete against international competition in Maryland in the Fall of 2021. Once named to the USA Select Team players’ travel, housing, meals, equipment and apparel will be covered in full by USA Lacrosse.
What if I'm not selected?
You will be notified either way if you’ve been invited to the next round or not. If you’re still age eligible, we encourage you to tryout again next year! The number one priority of the National Team Development Program is your development. It is our hope that you will continue to development and train throughout your lacrosse journey.