This year, for the first time, US Lacrosse published age appropriate youth rule sets to support the new Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LADM). These rule modifications, for both boys and girls, support appropriate physical, cognitive, and emotional development of youth players at the 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U levels. 

In previous years, the youth rules were contained as a list of modifications to the high school rules in the back of the US Lacrosse Women’s Rulebook and the National Federation of State High School Associations Boys’ Rulebook.

US Lacrosse strongly encourages the use of these age appropriate rules, with the rules committee prepared and ready to issue periodic updates and clarifications as needed to assist leagues and organizations in adopting the new youth rules.

“The Men’s Rules Committee is proud to embrace the principles of the LADM that other sports have incorporated so successfully,” said David Seidman, chair of the committee. “While we expect lots of questions, we are confident that the kids are going to love playing under these conditions, and coaches and parents will appreciate the simplified rules.” 

US Lacrosse has issued two clarification memos in recent weeks to help further explain the 2017 boys’ youth rules. Among the items of note:

• At the 14U level, the rules state that one of the ways an illegal body check can occur is “…(5) An excessive body-check in which the player lowers his head or shoulder with the force and intent to put the other player on the ground.”  The penalty for this definition of an illegal body check shall be a 2 or 3 minute non-releasable penalty. The penalty for exceptionally violent illegal body check may be expulsion from the game. 

• Since there are no face-offs at the 8U and 6U age levels, alternate possession rules shall be followed to start play after halftime.

• A player that has a slightly deep pocket at 10U and below should not be penalized by officials. The pocket is only illegal if it is significantly deep and causes the player to gain a distinct advantage over others. In this case, the pocket is to be removed from the game until it is corrected. At 12U and above, a player that is found to have a deep pocket should be penalized with a 1-minute non-releasable foul.  

• Any time a game is played on a cross field format (60 x 35), substitutions are to be made after goals, during dead ball situations, or with permission of the officials. Any time a game is being played in a full field format or 10v10, substitutions can be made on the fly in addition to dead ball situations. 

• Offside only applies to ages 12U and above. Offside in the 12U cross field format (7v7) is defined as having more than four (4) players on the offensive half of the field or more than five (5) players on the defensive half of the field during an even man situation. Offside in 10v10 format remains the same as the NFHS rules. 

Additional rules clarifications and rules interpretations are available for review online at Future clarifications will also be posted on this page.

“We hope that this information is helpful for all game participants,” said Rick Lake, men’s game senior manager at US Lacrosse. “It’s certainly the intent of the Men’s Rules Committee to clarify the rules as much as possible so that we assist in their continued adoption and proper implementation at all levels of play.”

Lacrosse Athlete Development Model

The Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LADM) provides every athlete the opportunity to enter, enjoy and excel by learning and playing lacrosse in a way that’s best for each stage of growth and development.

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