Boys’ Youth Lacrosse Rules

The following rules are written by the US Lacrosse Youth Council as exceptions to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ (NFHS) 2010 Boys’ Lacrosse Rules. All rules not modified below are to be considered standard Youth rules for the 2010 lacrosse season. Those with questions about the US Lacrosse Rules for Boys’ Youth Lacrosse should contact the chairman of the US Lacrosse Youth Council Boys’ Youth Rules Committee, Chase Howse, at boysyouthrules@aol.com. Please do not contact NFHS about the following rules.

Age and Eligibility Guidelines

US Lacrosse establishes eligibility guidelines in order to promote the game of lacrosse among the youth of America in a safe and sportsmanlike environment. US Lacrosse believes that this goal can be best achieved by facilitating playing opportunities that seek to establish a “level playing field” among players of similar age, size and ability.

Age and Eligibility Guidelines are not considered “game-day rules” and are not enforced as game-day rules by officials. Specific age and eligibility requirements are established by the lacrosse league or association in which a team participates.

League and Association Play

US Lacrosse recommends that leagues should be organized by age. Existing leagues or associations may maintain their current groupings. Physical and cognitive maturity should be considered when grouping players. If your program has enough players, physically disparate groups should play separately, if possible. US Lacrosse also recommends that players that have participated in any high-school level program as a member of a high school freshman, JV-B, junior varsity, or varsity team should not be considered eligible for U-15 competition.

• Printable Field Diagram (PDF)

mensfield_youthhs06NFHSA Rule 1, Section 1 — The Game
Lacrosse is played by two teams of 10 players each.

Number of Players

RULE 1 SECTION 1.
10 players per side on the field, however games can be played with as few as 7 per side on the field if coaches agree. All USLYC sponsored events will be played with the regulation 10 players per side.

Field – RULE 1 SECTION 2.
Play on regulation size field is preferred; however the coaches and officials can agree to play on any size field available. USLYC sponsored events will be played on regulation size fields for all groups.

Equipment – RULE 1 SECTIONS 6 & 9.
Equipment will conform to NFHSA crosse dimensions and equipment requirements, including NOCSAE — approved helmets, with the following modifications:
a. The length of the short crosse may be 37 to 40 inches for offensive players in the Lightning and Bantam Divisions and defensive players in such divisions may use a stick with a length of 37 to 72 inches.
b. Rib pads are strongly recommended

Game Jerseys – RULE 1 SECTION 9 ARTICLE 1.
The provisions of the referenced rule subsection need not be strictly enforced at the youth level. A team’s game jerseys should be of a single, dominant color with numbers on the front and back of sufficient size to be clearly visible by game officials anywhere on the field.

RULE 1 SECTION 12.
Spectators and fans will be placed on the opposite side of the field from the table and bench areas. If the field is laid out in a manner that does not allow spectators and fans to be located on the far side of the field, the referee can waive this requirement. When stands or seating facilities are not provided on the opposite side of the field, spectators, fans, and parents will observe the 6-yard spectator limit line on the far side of the field.

NFHSA Rule 2, Section 4 — Home Team’s Responsibility
Responsibilities of the home team – RULE 2 SECTION 4.2

a. Home teams are responsible for contrasting jersey colors and will wear pinnies if needed.

b. Sideline Managers – Each team will be asked to provide a designated Sideline Manager (one adult per team, on site, per game-day contest) to help encourage, maintain and manage the sportsmanlike behavior of spectators and fans. See the “Boys’ Youth Rules Addendum”, below, for further information.

NFHS Rule 3 – Sections 1, 3 and 4 – Time Factors and Overtime
Length of Game – RULE 3 SECTION 1.

a. Senior and Junior Division — Four 10-minute stop-time quarters. In the event of a tie, two 4-minute sudden-victory overtime periods will be played. If after two overtime periods the score is still tied, additional sudden-victory overtime periods may be played until a winner is determined (provided time permits and coaches and officials are in agreement).

b. Lightning and Bantam Divisions — Four 12-minute running-time quarters. In the event of a tie, one 15-minute running-time overtime period will be played, with the team in the lead at the end of the overtime declared the winner. This is not a sudden victory period. If the score is still tied at the end of the overtime period, the game will end as a tie.

Stalling – Final Two Minutes of Regulation Play
RULE 3 SECTION 3.

This stalling rule shall be enforced for the Junior and Senior Divisions; however this rule will be waived for Lightning and Bantam Divisions.

The game is to be played with emphasis on the proper development of stick, team and sportsmanship skills. All divisions will follow NFHS “Play of Game” rules with the following modifications:

Facing Off – RULE 4 SECTION 3
In any game, at any point during a game when there is a four-point lead, the team that is behind will be given the ball at the midfield line in lieu of a face-off as long as the four-point lead is maintained, unless waived by the coach of the trailing team.

Advancing the Ball – RULE 4 SECTION 14 & 15
• No offensive 10-second count will be used.
• No defensive 20-second count will be used.

If a game official detects an effort to stall the advancement of the ball in either the defensive clearing area or the offensive zone outside the offensive box, the official will give a verbal command to“advance the ball” followed by a visual 5-second hand count. If the team so warned does not attempt to advance the ball within the 5-second count, a turnover will occur with restart at the point of the stalling infraction.

Time Out – RULE 4 SECTION 28
Timeouts — two (2) timeouts are permitted per half. The number and length of team timeouts will be agreed upon before the game starts by the coaches and officials, particularly in running-time game situations, and will not exceed 2 minutes.

NFHS Rule 5, Section 3 — Illegal body check NOTE: Spearing
NFHS Rule 5, Section 3.1 — Body checking within 5 yards of a loose ball

Body Checking – RULE 5 SECTION 3
Body checking is permitted in Senior and Junior Divisions; however, no take-out checks are permitted by any player. A take out check is defined as any check in which the player lowers his head or shoulder with the force and intent to put the other player on the ground.

Players in the Junior and Senior divisions may make contact in an upright position within five yards of the ball. No body checking of any kind (including man/ball “clear the body” type pushing) is permitted in the Lightning and Bantam Division. If a loose ball is not moving, the referee may re-start play following the alternate possession rule.

NFHS Rule 5, Section 6 — Slashing

Slashing – RULE 5 SECTION 6
Personal Foul/Slashing – For Lightning and Bantam Divisions: Any poke check making contact with an opponent (other than the gloved hand while holding the stick) will be considered a slash. Also, any one-handed check will be considered a slash for the Bantam Division.

NFHS Rule 5, Section 9 — Unsportsmanlike conduct

Unsportsmanlike Conduct – RULE 5 SECTION 9
Personal fouls are to be taken seriously. In addition to the NFHS rules, any player or coach who uses derogatory or profane language (starting with “damn”) on the field or bench, whether addressing a player, coach or referee may receive: first offense, 1 to 3-minute non-releasable unsportsmanlike conduct penalty; second offense a 3-minute non-releasable expulsion foul.
NFHS Rule 5, Section 11 — Ejection

Ejection Fouls – RULE 5 SECTION 11
Players illegally playing down to any division will be ejected for the season and the team will be eliminated from any playoffs and ineligible for any titles or awards.

NFHS Rule 6, Section 10 — Stalling

Stalling – RULE 6 SECTION 10
Senior and Junior Divisions: the team with the lead must keep the ball in the goal area during the last two minutes of the game. Lightning and Bantam Divisions are excused from this rule.

NFHSA Rule 7, Sections 1, 2 & 3

Time Serving Penalties – RULE 7 SECTIONS 1, 2 & 3
Time serving penalties are enforced and man up situations are permitted in all divisions except the Bantam Division, where there are no time-serving penalties; instead the player must be substituted for and the ball awarded to the other team at the point of the infraction.Game Termination
Officials will have authority to terminate a boys’ youth game in response to flagrant acts of unsportsmanlike behavior by coaches, athletes, spectators, or fans. A game termination will be the last resort in insuring the players’ safety and preserving the integrity of the game. If possible, game officials will issue at least one strong warning that the game is in danger of being terminated. However, it is conceivable that games may be terminated on the first instance of a flagrant unsportsmanlike act. Every effort should be taken to avoid game termination, including the enforcement of existing rules for team-conduct penalties, unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties, and ejection fouls. Mechanics for terminating a game for flagrant unsportsmanlike behavior can be found at the US Lacrosse webpage referenced above. All games terminated by a US Lacrosse Official, will result in a 1-0 victory for the team that is innocent of the terminal offense(s). It is recommended that the game should count in league statistics as a full game, and all goals, assists, saves, and other team statistics should count toward team and league records.

Boys’ Youth Rules Addendum
The US Lacrosse Youth Council has endorsed the addition of the following guidelines intended to address the issues of proper conduct both on and off the field at boys’ youth lacrosse events. These guidelines are designed to support the kind of environment for our youth athletes that will keep them playing lacrosse and provide them with such a positive experience that they will remain in the game and later give back to the sport as coaches, officials, and parents who encourage their own children to play.

Guideline 1 — Game Administration (Refers to Rule 1-12) Spectators and Teams on Opposite Sides of Field
Spectators and fans will be placed on the opposite side of the field from the table and bench areas. If the field is laid out in a manner that does not allow spectators and fans to be located on the far side of the field, the referee can waive this requirement. When stands or seating facilities are not provided on the opposite side of the field, spectators, fans, and parents will observe the 6-yard spectator limit line on the far side of the field.

Guideline 2 — Game Personnel [Refers to Rule 2-11] Sideline Managers
Each youth lacrosse team will be asked to provide a designated Sideline Manager (one adult per team, on site, per game-day contest) to help encourage, maintain and manage the sportsmanlike behavior of spectators and fans. These adults would be responsible for insuring that the spectators and fans support the athletes, coaches and officials in a positive manner and refrain from behavior not in conformity with the US Lacrosse Code of Conduct. The Sideline Managers will receive training prior to these contests by reviewing the document “Sideline Manager Job Description” provided by US Lacrosse and the US Lacrosse – Positive Coaching Alliance, available online, or by requesting a paper copy of this document through their local US Lacrosse Chapter. Sideline managers will introduce themselves to the officials prior to the coin toss, and follow those procedures outlined in the Sideline Manager Job Description, found at the referenced US Lacrosse website location. Sideline Managers will notify an unruly fan or spectator that unsportsmanlike behavior may lead to ejection and/or a game cancellation by the officials, under Game Termination – Guideline 4.

Guideline 3 — Game Personnel [Refers to Rule 1-12] Auxiliary Officials
Each youth lacrosse team will be asked provide one adult who will be trained as an Auxiliary Youth Official. In the event that one or both of the scheduled officials does not appear to perform officiating duties, the Auxiliary Official(s) would be asked to referee the game. The Auxiliary Official could be an active parent attending his or her child’s game or another adult affiliated with the organization or town hosting the event. The Auxiliary Official will have completed US Lacrosse Level 1 Officials Training for boys’/men’s lacrosse and have active membership status in US Lacrosse as an official, but will not be assigned a schedule of league games.

Guideline 4 — Game Personnel [Refers to Rule 7-14] Game Termination
Officials will have authority to terminate a boys’ youth game in response to flagrant acts of unsportsmanlike behavior by coaches, athletes, spectators, or fans. A game termination will be the last resort in insuring the players’ safety and preserving the integrity of the game. If possible, game officials will issue at least one strong warning that the game is in danger of being terminated. However, it is conceivable that games may be terminated on the first instance of a flagrant unsportsmanlike act. Every effort should be taken to avoid game termination, including the enforcement of existing rules for team-conduct penalties, unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties, and ejection fouls. Mechanics for terminating a game for flagrant unsportsmanlike behavior can be found at the US Lacrosse webpage referenced above. All games terminated by a US Lacrosse Official, will result in a 1-0 victory for the team that is innocent of the terminal offense(s). It is recommended that the game should count in league statistics as a full game, and all goals, assists, saves, and other team statistics should count toward team and league records.