Hopewell Valley Lacrosse (HVL) is a not-for-profit organization open to all Hopewell Valley (Pennington and Hopewell boroughs, and Hopewell Township) girls and boys in grades 3 through 8. Girls and boys play separately, and follow different rules of the game.
HVL is a hybrid of both a recreational and travel program. As the players get older, they can expect to play more games throughout the season.
All participating players are assured of learning the fundamentals of the game of lacrosse and minimum playing time in all games. HVL is NOT a select program - there are no tryouts. Everyone who signs up plays.
The HVL program is based on three core principles:
Fun through exercise
Development of lacrosse skills to prepare for participation in high school competition
Positive individual growth through the experience of teamwork, sportsmanship, competition, and commitment.
HVL is a member in good standing of US Lacrosse (South Jersey Chapter). The boys program is a member of and competes in the Central New Jersey Youth Lacrosse League while the girls program participates in the New Jersey Junior Girls Lacrosse League (NJJGLL). HVL traditionally schedules opponents from town programs located within one hour of Pennington.
HVL coordinates two seasons for boys and girls, and can connect interested players with local club teams who offer other playing opportiunities when the HVL is not offering an active session.
Spring: The popular spring season runs from early March to early June, usually with one or two practices during the week, and games on the weekends.
Fall: Depending on interest, there may also be an instructional program for various age groups for a number of Sunday afternoons through October.
The HVL approach for implementing the core principles evolves with each grade level. For instance:
Grades 3 and 4: The emphasis is on skill development. Participants will be taught basic rules of the game, proper stick handling technique, and basic team play. Most of the time will be spent on practice and intra-squad scrimmages, although some games will be scheduled with local area teams. Teams will meet twice each week for practice and/or games. The number of games will be minimal. The focus is on learning the basics.
Grades 5 and 6: The emphasis is on continuing skill development and more advanced team play. Participants at this level should know all rules of the game, feel comfortable using the stick (e.g. cradle, pass and catch with both right and left hand), and will learn more advanced team play (e.g. offensive and defensive formations, ball movement, etc.) There will be more games, and they will be more competitive. Travel is required. In addition, our teams may play in invitational tournaments. Commitment to the game and team becomes more significant, and may impact playing time, although all participants will play in the games they attend.
Grades 7 and 8: The emphasis is on greater skill development and more advanced team play. Participants at this level should know all rules of the game and feel comfortable using the stick (e.g. cradle, pass, shoot with both right and left hand). Team play is emphasized. Practices will focus on offensive and defensive strategies. Consequently, player commitment (e.g. attendance) is essential and will impact playing time, as will level of skill development. Games will be competitive, including invitational tournaments against some of the better teams in the country. Travel is required.
For more information, please contact one of the HVL Committee members in charge of the boys or girls program, or send an email to