Description automatically generatedNepean Knights Minor Lacrosse Association 
Executive Meeting
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
@ 7:00 pm
Lee Valley Boardroom
1090 Morrison Drive


Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Welcome and Call to Order conducted by: Mark Lange (land acknowledgement)

Motion to start:, Al Brown Second motion: C. Hipwell

Present: Al Brown Chris Hipwell, Derek Herfst, Jessica White, Sheldon Spears, Jeff Zywicki, Mark Lange, Phil Ziazyk, Jill Balcom, Jo-Ann Green, John and Nicole Zywicki, Paula McNaught, Lisa Nowostawski, Dan Leduc, Cheryl Scott

Absent: Jason Bosomworth, Marty McFarlane, Stuart McFarlane

  1. Welcome and opening remarks – Al +Jess

New appointments include;

  • John Zywicki – Director
  • Nicole Zywicki – Treasurer
  • Lisa Nowostawski – Manager liaison (title tbd)
  • Paula McNaught – Operations (title tbc)
  • Jill Balcom– house league director (new?)

Association Shout-outs

  • Tristan Thompson –2022 Ottawa Sports Award, Individual award winner
  • Thomas Kiazyk –Hampton Hammerheads, PBLA
  • Zack Poirier – Drafted in the first round, OJLL
  • NKMLA has been nominated in Faces Magazine – Youth Sports Program (remember to VOTE)
  • NKMLA is presently second in registration numbers! 
  1. Registrar Update – Jess


  • NKMLA is open for business and off to a great start.
  • Sheldon and Kyle have created and posted new PR posters which are informative, and mitigating many questions. The girls social media is being updated with their own version, plus additional information (as required).
  • Our registration numbers are significantly higher compared to last year, same time (48 vs 95). 
  • As of 10am January 24, 2023 we have the following numbers registered:   

U5:5, U7: 9, U9 HL: 6/Rep: 11, U11 HL: 11/Rep: 4, U11G: HL 2, U13 HL: 8/Rep: 14, U13G: HL 2/Rep: 1, U15 HL: 5/Rep: 20, U15G: HL 2/Rep: 2, U17 HL: 1/Rep: 11, U17G: 0

  • Participants should be encouraged to sign up for rep. If you receive any questions regarding registration, let Jessica know and she can provide information. 


  • Please note the groupings in TeamSnap are random until teams are actually made, and the season is activated in the app. This information should be relayed to parents so there is no confusion when players are reassigned to their actual teams in the system. Parents will receive a link when teams are formed/ready (she maintains an Excel spreadsheet and sends out emails regularly). 
  • Each level now has a distinguishing group title so there is no confusion between teams (i.e., U15 Rep, U17 Rep). Numbers will not be utilised (i.e., U15-1, U17-2).

Coach Applications

  • Coaching applications have not opened in Sportzoft, however, once up, the requirements for coaches will be updated. Jess will let coaches know the requirements via a google doc designed to be evergreen and reused annually. 
  • When the House coaches are confirmed please send Jessica the list, and she will provide the appropriate information sheet on requirements. All coaches should be encouraged to take all the free courses offered. The House coaches have to take the Making Headway course, however if they did it last year, they don’t need to take it again. They may have to obtain a new PRC they if they didn’t coach last year. To note, OPS is faster now and cheaper (potentially free with volunteer letter – which is available via Jessica). 


  • U22 numbers will likely change after the Junior B & C tryouts. All players who do not make the junior teams will be encouraged to try out for rep. 
  • All players who plan to request a release must be fully registered (paid). How can this be tracked? Are there other options (i.e., register for B & C, and then receive a credit for U22, or use a Google doc instead of Sportzoft)?
  • If we can encourage players to fully register, we can determine how many potential players we have, and thus establish a coach for the potential team. U22 refunds – Anyone who registers for U22 will be refunded if they make Jr B or C.
  • We are anticipating a U22 team, and we’ll do whatever we can to adjust if the numbers appear to be low (i.e., keep registration open longer, and cuts won’t be made until after junior cuts).

Action Items: NA

  • Determine how to track players requesting releases and confirmation they are fully registered (Jessica).
  1. Tournament News – Al + Jess + Mark + Jon

Return of the Nepean Knights Capital Showdown

  • Tournament is confirmed to be back as an A/B level tournament, and we are currently solidifying plans. To note, the plan is to start with boys, and eventually add girls’ teams.  
  • Registration for tournaments will be through Tourney Machine application but the association is planning to use GameSheet for our tournament. We will be looking to borrow iPads for the tournament, however, will bring it up at the SAGM to discuss. We should be able to get all info on Game Sheet (once posted on Tourney Machine its costly). GameSheet does have a self-directed training guide located on the OLA website. To follow up with OLA, we usually pay scorekeepers at tournaments, if we need to use the app, will they be training the people, or will we be responsible for this?


  • It was discovered on Friday last week that the tournament list was open, and at this time we discovered that there is a 3-tournament limit established (this was unknown to us). Typically, Al would sign up all team 1 and 2s for four tournaments, so they did have to go back and rework the plan with this new information. Subject to coaches preference, the tournaments are scheduled. They have been spaced out to avoid player injury and fatigue. 
  • 30k spent on tournaments to get all teams registered, but this money will come back to the association. 
  • Ranking: U9 and U11 are ranked B, U13 and U15 both ranked A. 
  • Peterborough tournament is confirmed. Although the level of play is high, we believe having the kids play there from a young age shows they can grow and compete against this level of play by the time they are at the U13 level. 
  • Cornwall tournament is confirmed. To note, Gloucester got a girls tournament, but it is the same weekend as the boys tournament.
  • Al talked with OLA today and although we got our tournament back, the odds are stacked against us as there are 5 A/B tournaments scheduled (including ours) all on the same weekend. Its historically been hard to fill our tournament so we need to include B, but now we’re scheduled against the Guelph tournament (same weekend). Al reached out and asked them to consider the impact this has. Al also reached out to the Guelph president who has been very amicable. The Guelph tournament is almost full at every level, and she forwarded us the names of U17 teams they can’t accept. We’ll be proactive to reach out to them to invite them to consider participation in the Knights tournament.

Action Items:

  • Al to provide an update when he hears back from the OLA.
  1. Winter Lacrosse Update – Chris + Jess + Mark
  • Three sessions have taken place so far, lasting 80minutes over two sessions. 
  • The 8am (Tyke/Peewee) group is the larger one in size. Mark is successfully leading it and keeping it fun by starting the session with stations, then spending the second half playing a game. The second group (Peewee/Midget) do drills then full floor games.
  • We may want to consider expanding the winter sessions to three hours to include more kids (if needed next year). 
  • Thanks to Mark for setting things up each Sunday for the sessions. There is a great group of coaches and volunteers showing up including older kids (approx. ten) who are showing up and actively participating. 
  • During winter sessions posters will be put up to encourage registration (so parents view it while they’re there). We continue to have people asking about registration. 

Action Items:

  • NA
  1. Junior C Report – Chris
  • Met on the weekend to get the season started. The Jr C will use GameSheet for their games this year (being set up now). 
  • Need to discuss with Al and Jason location for Jr C to play this season. Bell may not be available due to construction (still unconfirmed with the City). Ideally, Jack Charron or Richmond Arena would be good locations to consider (JC has large stands and a sports bar we can affiliate with), both are easy to get to with lots of parking. Chris will talk to Jason to see what the City has available (for games). It may make it difficult to affiliate up if games are not in the same building regularly. There is lots of pressure from Jr Bs and the Axeman to be in one building. 
  • The Jr B team has historically been in the same location, so we may not want to consider moving them. 

Action Items:

  • Chris to discuss Jr C location with Al and Jason.
  1. Try Lacrosse Program – Al + Jess
  • We need to revive this program and expose as many new families to lacrosse as possible, but we need help to do so.
  • Traditionally we’ve tried to conduct three sessions pre-season, lets aim to do two or three this year, for at least one hour in duration.
  • Consider conducting them in gyms, or off turf like Gloucester does. This saves cost, however not all gyms will allow lax balls. 
  • Jr Cs and Carleton Ravens will help run it.

Action Items:

  • To discuss offline (Mark, Chris and Jill)
  1. Social Media and Website – Sheldon + Kyle 
  • Website has been cleaned up, updated and look great. 
  • Change was made to tournament link – tab moved due to logistical reasons (character limit and presentation).
  • MegaCity link to be placed on website, along with a link for buying/selling used equipment (to make it easier for parents to find/buy things). 
  • Faces magazine – Sheldon is working to get that back in fold.
  • Plan to create a sponsorship page where all sponsors can be presented on a rotating banner.

Action Items:

  • NA
  1. Release Committee – Al + Jess

Release Process

  • February 15th is the opening date for release (although many associations will indicate releases are not until try outs). Any fully registered (paid) youth may request a release. 
  • This year we will use a committee of at least three people for release hearings. Last year it was Al alone, so having three people in the sitting at hearings will aid with the workload and pressures related to the situation. 
  • There is a ten-day window from when the release request is received, to when a decision is written/provided, then it would move to appeals (if the requestor decides to do so). 
  • The release committee must meet with applicants in person (not virtual). 
  • The competitive players must be registered by the 3rd Saturday in March (fully paid), as this is when the release window is over. 

Expectation / History

  • We expect some requests (not a great amount but some), some may be more difficult than others. We played nice last year with Gloucester, but they weren’t always as considerate in return. We need to be fair, but we don’t want to be handing kids over unnecessarily.
  • Last year we had several U17 players released, who moved to Gloucester, in which we had no grounds to deny since we did not have a U17-2, however these players were provided a one-year conditional release. Parents of these players have started to reach out for this upcoming season. Unfortunately, we will not have the ability to release these U17 players (if requested) on February 15th, as we wont know our final registration numbers to determine if we’ll have enough players for a U17-2 team this season.  We also have parents of a released U22 player reaching out so this will start to occur. U22, Al has also advised that players must be released by both the Jr B and C clubs, regardless of our decision. 

Action Items:

  • If interested in supporting and participating in the release process, please send Al and Jessica an email.
  1. Coach Selection – Al + Mark + Jo-Anne
  • Coaching application receipt will close at end of month (31st).
  • Interview timelines are planned for Feb 7th to 15th.
  • Posting of selected coaches (social media) will occur the 3rd week of February.  
  • Coaches committee will consist of established NKMLA names (i.e., Tasse, Firth, Sweet etc.) as well as other knowledgeable people (Mark, Al etc.) so the committee is made up of a balanced mix of experience. Eventually this approach may not work (as parents youth age out), but a succession of youth who went through the program can slowly be considered as replacements. Something to keep in mind moving forward. 
  • Presently, there are only a handful of coaches registered but more are expected closer to the 31st

Action Items:

  • Compilation and finalization of selection committee
  • Scheduling of interviews
  1. Completive Director’s Report – Jo-Anne


  • Girls program registration will start the same time as boys, but we should plan to keep the girls registration open longer as the girls start late (don’t start until the first week in may/first tournament). We need to be flexible with girls’ program and dates to encourage registration as we want to accept girls who want to play. There are often overlaps that delay registrations and/or participation (i.e., house league season always overlaps with hockey tryouts annually). 
  • We want to continue to grow the girls program, and continue to blend rep and house teams as required.
  • Sophie is running the girls social media. Jessica will email her a poster to use. 
  • Achante (sp?) has agreed to run the U9G program. 
  • Registration for Girls – Novice, peewee and bantam are always together. We’ll need to look at registration numbers to blend however a consideration, Gloucester did their numbers the opposite from us, but then we just bridged ages to address gap on our side. We had a good bubble of kids at U13 and U15 so hopefully that will continue, we’ll just need to group accordingly.

Girls & Co-Ed option

  • Girls should register for the girls program, and if they want to play with the boys, they can reach out to coaches/association to indicate this, and they will be accommodated. This will be up to the player/parents to do (won’t be offered via registration).
  • We’ll need to consider the approach for girls who identify as wanting to play co-ed. Its essential we accommodate both preferences (girls only vs co-ed) so we don’t lose female players at this age. We’ll need to explore how to proceed accordingly (i.e., female sessions on day X and co-ed session on day Y for those who want to play co-ed). 
  • Cost – To explore costing for girls, and the co-ed play option. We could consider similar pricing for U7 as the U9 &U11s, with the caveat that those who do not want to play co-ed are refunded or credited the difference. 
  • Once coaches are identified, we have no reason to wait to form teams. Registered girls will be placed on teams, so commitment is made. If we can have the girls’ teams start at the same time as the boys, we can then include the co-ed option for those who want it, while ensuring the blend of teams occurs early in the season. This also addresses shortages on both sides (girls vs boys).
  • Reminder – there are no boundaries in House league, however Rep is different (register in house, can’t play in rep).

Action Items:

  • Al, Jill, and Jess to work together to sort out the plan for the girls registration date(s).
  • Jessica to email Sophie a poster to use for girls social media.
  • Determine methodology/approach for girls only and co-ed team amalgamations.
  1. House League Update – Jill

House League Length

  • House league season typically runs until the week of June 19-24th with a blackout week, however this was considered to be much for players, parents and coaches. Suggestion to shorten the season (not necessarily removing the blackout week but this could be a consideration).   
  • Would like to keep the days of week for play consistent. We can’t commit to specifics as of yet, however we can advise people (if they ask) that we will try to set up consistent dates as a goal. Once Jason has confirmed input, we can share it. 

Medals U5 & U7

  • Are medals necessary? Can we consider other items (i.e. gift card, patches, t-shirt)? Medals are 6$/7$ and kids seem to love the, but what else can we consider that kids will enjoy, while also promoting the program? T-shirts are often enjoyed (i.e., Cornwall tournament), lax balls may be a good idea (Nemesis did this successfully). The competitive program had shirts at approx. 8$, we could consider doing something similar (one version for house league vs rep) and get them oversized, so youth wear them longer. Jill will look into options (we do have a credit that can potentially be transferred over from when we ordered medals last year but had to cancel, he did not charge us so we should consider this when ordering). 
  • John made a note to talk to his promo company contact to discuss potential options. Jill to send him a budget and he’ll follow up (while he is also following up on tournament gifts). 

Action Items:

  • Jill to forward the proposed dates for house league season to Jason.
  • Jill to follow up on options other then medals.
  • Jill to provide John budget so he may follow up with his contact(s).
  1. Treasurer’s Report – Jeff


  • All reported that Jessica, Jeff, Nicole and he will start the treasurer transition upon her return. Everyone is looking forward to this new relationship, but Jeff will be missed. 
  • Jeff continues his amazing work to ensure all the etransfers for tournaments were done, often last minute (i.e., U13, U15, U17 were all confirmed in for the Brampton tournament, but we needed to pay immediately). He continues to work with Al and Mark on these.

Action Items:

  • Treasurer transition to commence upon Nicole’s return.
  1. Scheduling – Jason 

City slab allocation proposal in the process

  • No update on the City slab allocation. Jason is working on it to the best of his ability but is waiting on the City for input. 
  • If anyone has any issues with scheduling, please reach out to Jason. 

Action Items:

  • NA
  1. Equipment – Phil + Derek + Chris

House league Jerseys

  • Three quotes have been received with indication that Megacity is the best offer (at 23$ per jersey). Sample of jersey provided (at meeting). The proposed jerseys for purchase are light weight and well vented. The Knights logo will be on the front with number on the back. Plan is to obtain four sets per team/group.
  • Jersey order needs to be placed asap due to long lead times (6-8 weeks). 
  • We’ll need jerseys mostly for U9, U11, U13 as well as the girls teams. We will not order jerseys for U17 at the moment (on hold until we know registration numbers). 
  • These jerseys will be gifted to players (not collected at end of season). 

Competitive Polos/Shorts

  • Competitive shorts and polos need to be ordered asap (again due to unavoidable long production times). 
  • The vendor no longer makes the polos we usually buy. The same company does our shorts as well however, they continue to make these (so we can order from them). If we do an adult polo order, Rob needs to work something out to make it happen.
  • All costs have risen so the increase in our fees takes this into consideration (i.e., equipment, clothing, jerseys etc.). We don’t have a cost analysis as of yet, but we knew going into the season it needed it to increase with all the new line items. We had ballooned cost, but we’re not for profit, so we should have enough to pay for equipment, jerseys, tournaments, and essentials, but that’s all. 
  • John has a contact for polos and will share it with Phil for quotes. 

Other Equipment (Shot clocks, balls, sticks)

  • Phil will send the information regarding shot clocks. The deadline for Trillium is coming up (Dan sent it). Phil will continue collecting quotes however minimum is two.
  • Quote from Rob for balls was received, however Steve was cheaper so this is likely the direction to go.
  • Free sticks – we’ve always provided these to new players as it promotes play. It entices returns and promotes sport. Helps get kids out other kids see it. We will continue to do so.
  • Suggestion to reach out to the City to request they provide shot-clocks and/or nets was proposed considering we use their facilities yearly, yet we’re bringing our own nets and clocks. They should be proving nets at minimum. Gloucester uses City nets (not their own) so we should inquire about it. All City run arenas should have shot clocks and nets provided. At the very least, the City should provide us with mesh for our nets if we’re using our own so we can replace mesh when required. Al will send a letter with this request. 

Action Items:

  • Al to send the City of Ottawa a letter requesting shot-clocks and nets be provided for NKMLA use.
  • Phil to proceed with process to order house jerseys and balls
  • John to share contact info with Phil (for polos).
  • Joanne to work with Jess to sort out numbers for Rep polos and shorts this week.
  1. Sponsorship – Dan + Sheldon
  • Sheldon has two potential sponsors in the works. There is a mortgage person who looks like may sponsor 1k, but the goal is to obtain closer to 5k (to cover jersey costs). If it works, we will brand the house league program with the sponsorship (online and/or on jerseys?). Second sponsorship is pending (with a physiotherapy center) and likely will be 6-800$, plus a discount for Knights players who need treatment. 
  • Sheldon will be reaching out to local franchises to gather additional potential sponsors.  
  • Additionally, added to the registration confirmation email will be a section for potential sponsors with Sheldon’s information should anyone want to reach out. 
  • Discussions will be held with Krista to get a list of the planned Junior C sponsors so we don’t overlap and bother anyone.
  • Dan is working on Trillium. We need a large sum for capital expenditures to run the program (i.e. jerseys and equipment), we may not be successful in bid but there may be another window, slightly easier to get later in our season (July/Aug), in which case the funds would be for the following season. 
  • This is a lot of work and adds to the day-to-day pressures of busy lives, so we much appreciate the time and effort that goes into this work. 

Action Items:

  • NA
  1. Zone Update – Al + Jess

Zone Director

  • There is still no defined zone director identified. Beth in Cornwall stepped up to disseminate info (Beth) and is taking the lead but, there will be a running committee of presidents rotating (maybe a month each) to run the zone. This may have an impact on discipline, and releases. 

Coaching Clinic

  • We did put in for hosting a coaching clinic but unfortunately did not get it, Cornwall did due to location. 
  • Unknown if there will be a repeat of last year (addition of clinic hosted in Gloucester after the Cornwall session). 
  • If you need to do a workbook, please do so, along with the Making Ethical Decisions course (required this year). Tests are included in the course. Jessica will share this information with everyone. Chris and Phil have taken it if you have questions. 

Action Items:

  • NA
  1. NEW BUSINESS – open to all

TeamSnap account is still on Krista’s credit card and should be moved.

Action Item(s): Jessica to investigate if we can etransfer funds for cost instead of use of credit card.

Hotels – A volunteer is already working on booking hotels for both boys and girls tournaments. Brampton and Peterborough are already booked. All historical relationships established for tournaments are being contacted, however there has been some turnover so we may have to start from scratch in some locations, as well as the cost of rooms has significantly increased, resulting in changes in hotel selections (i.e., the Holiday inn won’t be an option for provincials due to significant increase in pricing). Goal for tournament accommodations is to maintain pricing at $145 to $175/night. All rooms will be double occupancy for all tournaments.  See photos

Action item(s): NA

Player social media blitz being considered (Twitter and Instagram). Sheldon will work on this situation. Player selection will be specific and careful with emphasis on players restricting access to their phones and code of conduct guidelines for postings.  

Action item(s): NA

NKMLA Threads – It has been confirmed that Megacity has our official colors for logo threads.

Action item(s): NA

  1. Next Meeting: TBD

Closing Remarks

Motion to adjourn: Al Brown  Second motion: Sheldon Spears