New to Lacrosse

The Boys Game

Boys’ lacrosse is a contact game played by ten players: a goalie, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent’s goal and to keep the other team from scoring. The team scoring the most goals wins.

youth-headtapEach team must keep at least four players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and three in its offensive half. Three players (midfielders) may roam the entire field.Collegiate games are 60 minutes long, with 15-minute quarters. Generally, high school games are 48 minutes long, with 12-minute quarters. Youth games vary by level; please refer to the Boys’ Youth Rules section from the main index. Each team is given a two-minute break between the first and second quarters, and the third and fourth quarters. Halftime is 10 minutes long.Teams change sides between periods. Each team is permitted two timeouts each half. The team winning the coin toss chooses the end of the field it wants to defend first.The players take their positions on the field: four in the defensive clearing area, one at the center, two in the wing areas and three in their attack goal area.Men’s/boys’ lacrosse begins with a face-off. The ball is placed between the sticks of two squatting players at the center of the field. The official blows the whistle to begin play. Each face-off player tries to control the ball. The players in the wing areas can run after the ball when the whistle sounds. The other players must wait until one player has gained possession of the ball, or the ball has crossed a goal area line, before they can release.Center face-offs are also used at the start of each quarter and after a goal is scored. Field players must use their crosses to pass, catch and run with the ball. Only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hands. A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent’s crosse with a stick check. A stick check is the controlled poking and slapping of the stick and gloved hands of the player in possession of the ball.Body checking is permitted if the opponent has the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball. All body contact must occur from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders, and with both hands on the stick. An opponent’s crosse may also be stick checked if it is within five yards of a loose ball or ball in the air. Aggressive body checking is discouraged.

If the ball or a player in possession of the ball goes out of bounds, the other team is awarded possession. If the ball goes out of bounds after an unsuccessful shot, the player nearest to the ball when and where it goes out of bounds is awarded possession.

An attacking player cannot enter the crease around the goal, but may reach in with his stick to scoop a loose ball.A referee, umpire and field judge supervise field play. A chief bench official, timekeepers and scorers assist. There are personal fouls and technical fouls in boys’ lacrosse. The penalty for a personal foul results in a one-to-three minute suspension from play and possession to the team that was fouled. Players with five personal fouls are ejected from the game. The penalty for a technical foul is a 30-second suspension if a team is in possession of the ball when the foul is committed, or possession of the ball to the team that was fouled if there was no possession when the foul was committed.The US Lacrosse Youth Council has adopted modified rules for play by youth ages 15 and under. The official rules can be found by following the rules link on the main index. The rules are provided as modifications to the National Federation of State High School Associations rule book, which governs high school play. College play is governed by the NCAA rulebook. To order these rulebooks, please visit the US Lacrosse online store.

Field Positions

The attackman’s responsibility is to score goals and help his teammates score goals by passing the ball. The attackman generally restricts his play to the offensive end of the field. A good attackman demonstrates excellent stick work with both hands and has quick feet to maneuver around the goal. Each team has three attackmen on the field during play.
The midfielder’s responsibility is to cover the entire field, playing both offense and defense. The midfielder is a key to the transition game, and is often called upon to clear the ball from defense to offense. A good midfielder demonstrates good stick work including throwing, catching and scooping. Speed and stamina are essential. Each team has three midfielders on the field.
The defenseman’s responsibility is to defend the goal. The defenseman generally restricts his play to the defensive end of the field. A good defenseman should be able to react quickly in game situations. Agility and aggressiveness are necessary, but great stick work is more essential to attack. Each team has three defensemen on the field.
The goalie’s responsibility is to protect the goal and stop the opposing team from scoring. A good goalie also leads the defense by reading the situation and directing the defensemen to react. A good goalie should have excellent hand/eye coordination and a strong voice. Quickness, agility, confidence and the ability to concentrate are also essential. Each team has one goalie in the goal during play.
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.

Rule 1 – The Game, Field & Equipment

• Printable Field Diagram (PDF)

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NFHSA 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.

Rule 2 – Game Personnel
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.

Rule 3 – Time Factors and Scoring

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.

Rule 4 – Play of the Game
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 3In 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 28Timeouts — 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.

Rule 5 – Personal and Expulsion Fouls

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 3Body 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 — EjectionEjection Fouls – RULE 5 SECTION 11Players 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.

Rule 6 – Technical Fouls
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.

Rule 7 – Penalty Enforcement
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.

Attack Goal Area:
The area around the goal defined by the endline, the Goal Area Line and the two broken lines located 20 yards on either side of the goal. Once the offensive team crosses the midfield line, it has 10 seconds to move the ball into its attack goal area.

Body Check:
Contact with an opponent from the front – between the shoulders and waist – when the opponent has the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball. At no time should a player initiate or receive body contact with his head.

Box:
An area between the two team benches used to hold players who have been served with penalties, and through which substitutions “on the fly” are permitted directly from the sideline onto the field.

Check-Up:
A call given by the goalie to tell each defender to find his man and call out his number.

Clamp:
A face-off maneuver executed by quickly pushing the back of the stick on top of the ball.

Clearing:
Running or passing the ball from the defensive half of the field to the offensive half of the field.

Crease:
A circle around the goal with a radius of nine feet into which only defensive players may enter. Deffensive players may not take the ball into the crease.

Crosse (stick):
The equipment used to throw, catch and carry the ball.

Defensive Clearing Area:
The area defined by a line drawn sideline to sideline 20 yards from the face of the goal. Once the defensive team gains possession of the ball in this area, it has 10 seconds to move the ball beyond the Goal Area Line. Once beyond the Goal Area Line, the defensive team may not pass or run the ball back into the Defensive Clearing Area.

Extra Man Offense (EMO):
A man advantage that results from a timeserving penalty by the other team.

Face-off:
A technique used to put the ball in play at the start of each quarter, or after a goal is scored. The players squat down and the ball is placed between their crosses.

Fast-Break:
A transition scoring opportunity in which the offense has at least a one-man advantage.

Ground Ball:
A loose ball on the playing field.

Handle (shaft):
An aluminum, wooden or composite pole connected to the head of the crosse.

Head:
The plastic or wood part of the stick connected to the handle used to catch, throw and shoot.

Man Down Defense (MDD):
The situation that results from a timeserving penalty which causes the defense to play with at least a one man disadvantage.

Midfield Line:
The line which bisects the field of play.

On-The-Fly Substitution:
A substitution made during play.

Pick:
An offensive maneuver in which a stationary player attempts to block the path of a defender guarding another offensive player.

Play On:
If a player commits a loose-ball technical foul or crease violation and an offended player may be disadvantaged by the immediate suspension of play, the official shall visually and verbally signal ³play on² and withhold the whistle until such time as the situation of advantage, gained or lost, has been completed.

Pocket:
The strung part of the head of the stick which holds the ball.

Rake:
A face-off move in which a player sweeps the ball to the side.

Riding:
The act of trying to prevent a team from clearing the ball from the offensive half to defensive half of the field.

Release:
The term used by an official to notify a penalized player in the box that he may re-enter the game occurs at the conclusion at a time-serving penalty.

Unsettled Situation:
Any situation in which the defense is not positioned correctly, usually due to a loose ball or broken clear.

equipboysThe Crosse:
The crosse (lacrosse stick) is made of wood, laminated wood or synthetic material, with a shaped net pocket at the end. The crosse must be an overall length of 40 – 42 inches for attackmen and midfielders, or 52 – 72 inches for defensemen. The head of the crosse must be 6.5 – 10 inches wide, except a goalie’s crosse which may be 10 – 12 inches wide. The pocket of a crosse shall be deemed illegal if the top surface of a lacrosse ball, when placed in the head of the crosse, is below the bottom edge of the side wall.

The Ball:
The ball must be made of solid rubber and can be white, yellow or orange. The ball is 7.75 – 8 inches in circumference and 5 – 5.25 ounces.

The Helmet:
A protective helmet, equipped with face mask, chin pad and a cupped four point chin strap fastened to all four hookups, must be worn by all players. All helmets and face masks should be NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) approved.

The Mouthpiece:
The mouthpiece must be a highly visible color and is mandatory.

The Glove:
All players are required to wear protective gloves. The cutting or altering of gloves is prohibited.

Other Protective Equipment:
All players, with the exception of the goalkeeper, must wear shoulder pads. Arm pads are required and rib pads are strongly recommended, and often required, as are athletic supporters and protective cups for all players.The goalkeeper is required to wear a throat protector and chest protector, in addition to a helmet, mouthpiece, gloves and a protective cup.

The Girls Game

Girls’ lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders. Seven field players may cross the restraining line and four stay behind. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent’s goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.

youthgirlGirls’ and women’s lacrosse begins with a draw, which is taken by the center position. The ball is placed between two horizontally held crosses (sticks), placed back-to-back, at the center of the field. At the sound of the whistle, the ball is flung into the air as the crosses are pulled up and away. The sticks must come up over the players’ head. A draw is used to start each half and after each goal, and it takes place at the center of the field. Only five players from each team are permitted between restraining lines at the time of the draw. Once the signal for the draw occurs, the players behind each restraining line may cross over.The collegiate game is 60 minutes long, with each half being 30 minutes. The high school girls game is 50 minutes long, with each half being 25 minutes. In both collegiate and high school play, teams are allowed two timeouts per game, only after a goal. The restraining line, a solid line 30 yards up field from each goal, extends across the width of the field. Solid/hard boundaries were added to the game in 2006. Total length can be from 110 to 140 yards, while total width can be from 60 to 70 yards. There must always be at least 10 yards of space between the goal line and the end line at each end of the field. There is a circle in the center of the field where the draw occurs. Two arcs are marked from the center of the goal line. The eightmeter arc with hash marks four meters away from each other bisect the arc. The 12-meter fan runs out from the goal line extended. Substitution area, used by both teams, is in front of the scorer’s table and is indicated by two hash marks placed 5 yards on either side of the midfield line.Seven attacking players only are allowed over the restraining line in their offensive end and only eight defenders are allowed over the line in their defensive end. The additional defender is the goalkeeper. Players may exchange places during play, but the player should have both feet over the line before the teammate enters.

When a whistle blows, all players must stop in place. Rough checks, and contact to the body with the crosse or body, are not allowed, however, incidental body contact may occur.
Field players may pass, catch or run with the ball in their crosse. A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging nt0528it from an opponent’s crosse with a check. A controlled check (crosse to crosse contact) is an attempt to knock the ball free. No player may reach across an opponent’s body to check the handle of a crosse when she is even with or behind that opponent. A player may not protect the ball in her crosse by cradling so close to her body or face so as to make a legal, safe check impossible for the opponent.All legal checks must be directed away from the player with the ball and cannot come withina 7″ sphere of the head. No player is allowed to touch the ball with her hands except the goalkeeper when she is within the goal circle. A change of possession may occur if a player gains a distinct advantage by playing the ball off her
body.Fouls are categorized as major or minor, and the penalty for fouls is a “free position.” For major fouls, the offending player is placed four meters behind the player taking the free position. For a minor foul, the offending player is placed four meters off, in the direction from which she approached her opponent before committing the foul, and play is resumed.When a minor foul is committed in the 12-meter fan, the player with the ball has an indirect free position, in which case the player must pass first or be checked by an opponent before the team may shoot.A slow whistle occurs when the offense has entered the critical scoring area and is on a scoring play and the defense has committed a major foul. A flag is displayed in the air but no whistle is sounded so that the offense has an opportunity to score a goal. If the offense is capable of getting a shot off, the flag is withdrawn. A whistle is blown when a goal is scored or the scoring opportunity is over. An immediate whistle is blown when a major foul, obstruction or shooting space occurs, which jeopardizes the safety of a player.The Youth Council of US Lacrosse has adopted rules for girls youth play. To get a complete copy of the rules for girls’ lacrosse, please visit the US Lacrosse online store.

Field Positions

THE ATTACK:

The first home’s responsibility is to score. Located in front of the goal, the first home must continually cut toward the goal for a shot, or cut away from the goal to make room for another player. She should have excellent stickwork.
The second home is considered the playmaker. She should be able to shoot well from every angle and distance from the goal.
The third home’s responsibility is to transition the ball from defense to attack. She should be able to feed the ball to other players and fill in wing areas.
The wings are also responsible for transitioning the ball from defense to attack. Wings should have speed and endurance and be ready to receive the ball from the defense and run or pass the ball.

THE DEFENSE:

The point’s responsibility is to mark first home. She should be able to stick check and look to intercept passes.
The coverpoint’s responsibility is to mark second home. She should be able to receive clears, run fast and have good footwork.
The third man’s responsibility is to mark third home. She should be able to intercept passes, clear the ball, run fast and have good footwork.
The center’s responsibility is to control the draw and play both defense and attack. She should have speed and endurance.
The wings are responsible for marking the attack wings and bringing the ball into the attack area. Wings should have speed and endurance.
The goalkeeper’s responsibility is to protect the goal. She should have good stickwork, courage and confidence.

The Crosse:
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The crosse (lacrosse stick) is made of wood, laminated wood, or synthetic material, with a shaped net pocket at the end. A girl’s crosse must be an overall length of 35.5 – 43.25 inches. The head of the crosse must be seven to nine inches wide. The pocket of the stick must be strung traditionally; no mesh is allowed. The top of the ball when dropped in the pocket must remain above the side walls.* The goalkeeper¹s crosse may be 35.5- 48 inches long. The head of the crosse may be mesh and up to 12 inches wide.

* Modified Pocket allowed in girls youth rules
The Ball:
The game ball must be yellow and made of solid rubber, smooth without dimples for games and must be visible color, other than clear or white. The ball must be 7.75 – 8 inches in circumference and weigh 5 – 5.25 ounces.

The Mouthpiece:
All players must wear mouthguards.

Protective Equipment:
Close-fitting gloves, nose guards and soft head gear are optional and may be worn by all players. All field players must properly wear eye protection that meets ASTM specification standard F803 for women’s adult/ youth lacrosse for the appropriate level of play.

wdnt_girl05The Goalkeeper’s Equipment:
The goalkeeper must wear a helmet with face mask (NOCSAE approved), separate throat protector, padded gloves, mouth piece, and chest protector. The goalkeeper may wear padding on arms, legs, and shoulders which does not excessively increase the size of those body parts. High school level and below must wear padding on thighs and shins. Youth level must wear some form of abdominal and pelvic protection.Goalies are required to wear padded gloves.

Girls’ Lacrosse Field Set-up & Measurements

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Those with questions about the Official Rules for Girls’ Youth Lacrosse should contact US Lacrosse Women’s Division Rules Committee Chair Pat Dillon at pdillon656@aol.com.

Guidance — No Checking/Modified Checking
US Lacrosse is attempting to send a consistent message regarding checking to youth players. It is the hope of the Rules Committee that mandating no full checking will allow the beginning player to work on the basic fundamentals of the game – passing, catching, footwork, proper positioning, and marking – before they are introduced to the more advanced skill of stick checking.Once players have mastered the basic fundamentals, programs will want to introduce modified stick checking. Players on 5th through 8th grade teams will be allowed to use modified checking as an intermediate step towards full checking. Modified checking is defined as checking the stick if it is below shoulder level, using a downward motion away from the other player’s body. Use of modified checking will allow the older youth player to learn proper checking skills, while at the same time encouraging good cradling and stick handling skills for the attack player. Umpires and coaches should strictly enforce this rule, never allowing checks near a player’s head or face.It should be noted that stick-to-stick contact is not necessarily a violation of the no checking/modified checking rule. A defender who is holding her stick in good defensive position may force the attack player to cradle into her stick causing contact. This is not considered a stick check, as the attack player initiated the contact, not the defender. A similar situation would exist when the defender puts her stick up in an attempt to block or intercept a pass and the attacker makes contact while in the act of passing or catching the ball.Please note that it will be left to individual school districts, counties, and leagues to determine appropriate grade/age level groupings. For summer leagues and tournaments, 8th graders may be considered rising 9th graders as of June 1.

Official Rules for Girls Youth Lacrosse
The purpose of the Official Girls Youth rules is to familiarize young players with the sport of women’s lacrosse by introducing them to the terms, the field, the playing positions, the concept of teamwork and the skills required to play the game safely and fairly. These rules were written by the US Lacrosse Women’s Division and ratified by the US Lacrosse Youth Council in an effort to standardize youth rules for girls throughout the United States.Youth leagues may decide on age or grade divisions of play that best suits their needs. If age divisions are used, we suggest the following guidelines: 6-8 year olds (Under 9), 9-10 year olds (Under 11), 11-12 year olds (Under 13), 13-14 year olds (Under 15). If grade level divisions are used, we suggest the following guidelines: grades 1 and 2, grades 3 and 4, grades 5 and 6, grades 7 and 8. Using a player’s year of graduation from high school is also acceptable.The girl youth rules are divided by levels (A, B, and C). Level B and Level C rules do not allow checking and do allow certain stick modifications to make throwing and catching easier for the beginning or younger player. Level A rules allow for modified checking and require the use of a regulation crosse and pocket. Leagues, tournaments and programs with players below the 5th grade level must use either Level B or Level C rules. Players from the 5th grade through the 8th grade should progress from Level B or C to Level A rules.

Equipment
Goals
– regulation lacrosse goal cages; smaller (street hockey type) cages may be used for indoor play and for Level C playing outdoors.

Ball– may use a regulation ball (yellow), or a “soft” ball. It is highly recommended that new or beginner programs use the soft ball until players have developed their throwing and catching skills. If a soft ball is used, it should be approximately the same size as a regulation ball. A regulation ball may be used for indoor play, however a “no bounce” ball is recommended.

Sticks – Level C may use a youth stick with mesh or traditional stringing or regulation women’s crosse and may have a modified pocket. With a modified pocket, only half the ball may fall below the bottom of the sidewall. Level B must use a regulation women’s crosse with either a regular or modified pocket. Level A must use a regulation women’s crosse with regular pocket.

• Legal Sticks for Women’s LacrosseProtective equipment – mouthguards are mandatory at all levels. Eye protection requirements for all levels must be the same as outlined in Rule 2-9 of US Lacrosse Women’s Rules. Close fitting gloves and soft headgear are permitted; no hard helmets may be worn except by the goalie. Goalie must wear helmet with face mask, separate throat protector, chest protector, abdominal and pelvic protection, goalie gloves, and leg padding on the shins and thighs. The protective helmet, designed for lacrosse, must meet the NOCSAE test standard. All protective devices used should be close fitting, padded where necessary, and not be of excessive weight.

Protective eyewear updatePlaying Area
The field should be marked according to US Lacrosse Women’s Rules, including a restraining line. (See Rule 1). Team benches should be placed opposite spectators where possible.Level A – desirable field length is 100 yards between goal lines, 10 yards behind each goal, and 70 yards wide.Level B – desirable field length is 90 yards between goal lines, 10 yards behind each goal, and 50 yards wide.Level C – desirable field length is 50 yards between goal lines, 10 yards behind each goal, and 25 yards wide. Field markings should include two goal circles (radius 2m) with a goal line in each, two 8m arcs around each goal circle and a center line.Coaching Area
Level A and B – Coaches may move along the full boundary line on the bench/table side of the field only, except for the area directly in front of the opposing team and either team’s substitution area. Coaches may not stand near or walk in front of the opposing team area. Coaches must remain behind the level of the scorer’s table extended. Violation of this rule is a misconduct foul.Level C – Coaches are permitted on the field for the purpose of instructing players.

Sideline Manager
Each team (home and away) will provide a sideline manager whose duty shall be to control effectively the actions of spectators not in conformity with the standards of proper conduct.

Start of the Game
The procedure for the start of the game/draw shall be the same as outlined in Rule 5-1, 5-2 of the US Lacrosse Women’s Rules with the following modification: for all levels, if score is kept, a free position will be taken at the center by the team with fewer goals if a four or more goal differential exists. When this occurs positioning for the draw will apply with the defender standing 4m away at a 45 degree angle and all other players must stand. The player taking the free position may run or pass, but may not shoot until another player has played the ball.

Start/Stop Play
All play is started and stopped with the whistle. All players must stop and stand when the whistle blows (to stop play). All may move again when the next whistle blows.

Scoring
A goal is scored when the ball passes completely over the goal line and into the goal cage. Scoring must be by an attacker’s crosse, and not off the body of an attack player. A goal may be scored off the defender’s body or crosse.

Substitution
Substitution is unlimited and the substitution procedure should be the same as outlined in Rule 5-20 and 5-21 of the US Lacrosse Women’s Rules, i.e. substitute any time during play, after goals, and at halftime.

Duration of Play
Level A – 25-minutes running time per half (maximum)
Level B – 25-minutes running time per half (maximum)
Level C – 20-minutes running time per half (maximum)At all levels, the clock will be stopped on every whistle (to stop play) in the last two minutes of each half. Teams may choose to play four quarters, but total playing time should not exceed the maximum time for each level. The clock will stop on every whistle (to stop play) in the last minute of each quarter.

Fouls
Fouls shall be the same as those outlined in Rule 6 of the US Lacrosse Women’s Rules with the following modifications:1. No shooting on free positions, unless using a goalkeeper or modified goal opening (Level C). (Major Foul)
2. No checking (Level B and C). (Major Foul)
3. Modified checking only (see definitions) (Level A). (Major Foul)
4. No holding the ball for more than 3 seconds when closely guarded/marked (see definitions) and the defense has both hands on her stick and is in position to legally check were checking allowed. (All levels). (Minor Foul)

Note: If the player with the ball takes the stick to the other side of her body and thus away from the defender making a legal check impossible, the 3-second count would be over. If the defender adjusts her position to where a legal check could be made, or the stick is brought back to a checkable position, the count starts again. If another teammate joins the defender and that second defender is in good position to check, the count starts again. The umpire will give an audible 3-second count. The purpose of this rule is to encourage good defensive positioning and to make the offensive player aware of her defender. The attack player must try to keep the stick away from the defender, and, if she does not she will be forced to pass or she will lose the ball. Even when the defender may not check, if she is in good defensive position she will force the attack player to pass. This will give her team a chance for a play on the ball either by interception, by blocking the attempted pass, or by forcing a bad pass and causing a ground ball.

Penalties for Fouls
The penalty for fouls is a free position with all players, including the offender, moving 4m away from the player with the ball. For specifics on major, minor, and goal circle fouls and carding, see Rule 7 in the US Lacrosse Women’s Rules. A 3-second count violation is considered a minor foul with the closest defender to the ball carrier being awarded the ball. The only modification for these youth rules is in Level C, where all free positions are indirect (i.e., the player with the ball may never shoot directly from the free position).

Closely Guarded – player with the ball has an opponent within a sticks length.
Free Position – penalty awarded for a foul. Player who has been fouled gets the ball and all others must move 4m away.
Indirect Free Position – no shot on goal may be made until the player with the ball passes the ball to another player.
Checking – checking the stick only if the entire stick is below shoulder level. The check must be in a downward direction and away from the body.
Pass – exchange of the ball through the air from one teammate’s crosse to another.
Possession – a player has the ball in their crosse.
Position to Check – player has an opportunity to legally check the stick without fouling (the 3-second count starts when the umpire deems that the player with the ball could be checked legally if checking were permitted.)

Level A Specifics1. Eleven field players, one goal keeper.
2. Field size: 100 yds. x 70 yds. is recommended.
3. Regular field markings, including restraining line.
4. Regular women’s crosse, regulation pocket.
5. Modified checking only.
6. 25-minute halves (max.), running time.
7. May shoot from direct free positions.

Level B Specifics
1. Eleven field players, one goal keeper.
2. Field size: 90 yds. x 50 yds. is recommended.
3. Regular field markings, including restraining line.
4. Regular women’s crosse, modified pocket allowed.
5. No checking.
6. 25-minute halves (max.), running time.
7. May shoot from direct free positions.

Level C Specifics
1. Seven field players, use of a goal keeper is optional.
2. Field size: 50 yds. x 25 yds. is recommended.
3. 8m arc, no 12m fan, no restraining line, center line (no circle).
4. Youth sticks (mesh allowed) or regular women’s crosse, modified pocket.
5. No checking.
6. 20-minute halves (max.), running time.
7. May not shoot from any free position, unless using a goalkeeper or modified goal opening.
These rules were written with the safety of all the players being of utmost importance. Youth lacrosse should be fun, challenging and safe. To that end, the umpires shall have the authority to penalize any foul, unsafe play, or unacceptable behavior not covered specifically in these rules. Play should be as continuous as possible, and any foul which does not gain an advantage for the offender or her team should result in a “held” whistle whenever possible.

Clear:
Any action taken by a goal keeper from within the goal circle to pass or carry the ball out of the goal circle.

Critical Scoring Area:
An area 15 meters in front of and to each side of the goal and nine meters behind the goal. An eight-meter arc and 12-meter fan are marked in the area.

Crosse (stick):
The equipment used to throw, catch, check and carry the ball.

Crosse Checking:
Controlled stick-to-stick contact in an attempt to dislodge the ball from the crosse.

Deputy:
A player who enters the goal circle when the goalie is out of the goal circle and her team is in possession of the ball.

Draw:
A technique to start or resume play by which a ball is placed in between two sticks held back to back and drawn up and away.

Eight-Meter Arcs:
A semi-circular area in front of the goal used for the administration of major fouls. A defender may not remain in this area for more than three seconds unless she is within a stick’s length of her opponent.

Free Position:
An opportunity awarded to one player when a major or minor foul is committed by a player from the other team. All players must move four meters away from the player with the ball. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run, pass or shoot the ball.

Free Space to Goal:
A cone-shaped path extending from each side of the goal circle to the attack player with the ball. A defense player may not, for safety reasons, stand alone in this area without closely marking an opponent.

Goal Circle:
The circle around the goal with a radius of 2.6 meters (8.5 feet). No player’s stick or body may “break” the cylinder of the goal circle.

Grounded:
Refers to any part of the goalkeeper’s or deputy’s body touching the ground for support outside of the goal circle when she attempts to play the ball from inside the goal circle.

Indirect Free Position:
An opportunity awarded to the offense when a minor foul is committed by the defense inside the 12-meter fan. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run or pass, but may not shoot until a defender has checked her crosse or she passes to a teammate.

Marking:
Being within a stick’s length of an opponent.

Penalty Lane:
The path to the goal that is cleared when a free position is awarded to the attacking team inside the critical scoring area.

Scoring Play:
A continuous effort by the attacking team to move the ball toward the goal and to complete a shot on goal.

Stand:
All players, except the goalkeeper in her goal circle, must remain stationary following the sound of any whistle.

Sphere:
An imaginary area, approximately 18 cm (seven inches) which surrounds a player’s head. No stick checks toward the head are allowed to break the sphere.

12 Meter Fan:
A semi-circle in front of the goal used for the administration of minor fouls.

Warning Cards:
A yellow card* presented by an umpire to a player is a warning which indicates that she will next receive a red card and be suspended from further participation if she continues to play dangerously and/or conduct herself in an unsportsmanlike manner. A green card is presented by an umpire to the team captain indicating a team caution for delay of game.

* When a yellow card is given, the player must come off of the field for three minutes of elapsed playing time.