In January 2011, the US Lacrosse Board of Directors directed the US Lacrosse staff and volunteer structure to develop age-appropriate, national playing rules for youth boys’ lacrosse and youth girls’ lacrosse effective for the spring 2012 season. Below please find a timeline of key dates and events during the process.
|US Lacrosse is developing age-appropriate, national playing rules for youth boys and girls.
US Lacrosse begins surveying youth lacrosse leagues around the country for input on what rules are being used, best practices, age eligibility, and other topics in the youth game. The surveys ultimately include 53 youth leagues across 29 states, representing roughly 168,000 youth members of US Lacrosse.
The US Lacrosse men’s and women’s game rules subcommittees, each consisting of officials and coaches from round the country, begin reviewing survey feedback and the youth rule manuals used by several well-run youth leagues across the country. The US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee, a robust group of medical professionals across a variety of sports medicine disciplines, begins drafting a position paper to serve as medical guidance on the development of age-appropriate youth rules and best practices.
US Lacrosse solicits input from the general membership via emails to the Men’s and Women’s Game Committees and staff. The rules subcommittees meet separately and begin drafting age-appropriate playing rules for youth boys’ lacrosse and youth girls’ lacrosse.
US Lacrosse executes a second round of surveys, this set to individual lacrosse coaches and officials across the country, for input on the project. The input from roughly 2,500 respondents in over 30 states helps the subcommittee leaders better identify areas in rule drafts that need further review. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) hosts US Lacrosse at the NFHS boys’ lacrosse rules meeting, where youth rules are discussed. Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse, delves into the initiative with a feature article, and uslacrosse.org creates a homepage for information related to the process. Drafts of youth rules begin circulation among the various committees and subcommittees of the US Lacrosse volunteer leadership structure and staff. US Lacrosse schedules visits to several youth lacrosse leagues for later in the summer and fall to discuss the project and rules implementation for 2012.
The US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee finalizes its position paper. Taking into account input from the lacrosse and medical communities, the men’s and women’s game rules subcommittees forward age-appropriate, national playing rules for youth boys’ lacrosse and youth girls’ lacrosse to the US Lacrosse Men’s and Women’s Game Committees, respectively. The Men’s Game Committee schedules an Aug. 18 vote on the boys’ rules. The Women’s Game Committee schedules an Aug. 25 vote on the girls’ rules. Game subcommittees begin working with staff to drive adoption of the youth rules through youth leagues and tournaments across the country. US Lacrosse schedules a photo and video shoot for the new youth rules and best practices guidebooks.
Lacrosse Magazine updates the US Lacrosse membership on the project. The US Lacrosse Board of Directors meeting is set for Sept. 10-11 in Baltimore, and included on the agenda is a vote on the new youth rules as approved by the Men’s and Women’s Game Committees in August. The board voted to adopt the youth rules, moving the project into the implementation phase for the spring 2012 season. Rules are scheduled to be published in various US Lacrosse media. Production on new youth rules and best practices guidebooks for boys and girls is scheduled to begin. Approved US Lacrosse youth rules also will be published in the NFHS boys’ lacrosse rule book and in the US Lacrosse Official Rules for Girls’ and Women’s Lacrosse book. The Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse League (boys) and Mass Bay Girls Lacrosse League, which field roughly 21,000 players, become the first two leagues to adopt the new youth rules.
Lacrosse Magazine and other US Lacrosse media continue their coverage of the new youth rules, including rule changes and video instruction posted to uslacrosse.org.
December 2011 - January 2012
US Lacrosse publishes "Youth Rules & Best Practices for Boys" and "Youth Rules & Best Practices for Girls." The books are available for free to the general public in PDF format on uslacrosse.org's Youth Rules 2012 page.
All 2012 US Lacrosse youth events, including the Regional and National Championships, will be played under the new rules.