For the 2019 playing season, US Lacrosse has introduced a new checking category for 14U and 13U girls players. Called transitional checking, this rule is intended to provide a middle ground between full checking at the high school level and the modified checking for 12U. Transitional checking will help maintain the safety of youth players to check sticks held above shoulders and provide the rule structure for a player development pathway into full checking at the high school level. 

The new 12-inch sphere at the youth level was adopted for safety reasons to protect players’ heads from stick contact and to emphasize for the women’s game community the importance of the sphere to the integrity of the game.

There will be no “3 seconds good defense” calls at this level, since checking is allowed above the shoulder.  While the 12-inch sphere is applicable to all youth play, an illegal cradle will still be based on the 7-inch sphere. The holding of the head of the crosse within a 7-inch sphere or close to her or a teammate’s body, will be called as it has been.

This definition of an illegal cradle is consistent with the illegal cradle rule in the past and also consistent with the illegal cradle rule for high school play. This definition would prohibit defensive players from checking a crosse when a cradle is within 12 inches of a player’s head. This creates a 12-inch safety zone around a player’s head. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) If a player is cradling between 7 and 12 inches, can she be checked?  
No, she cannot be checked. 

Q2) If a player is cradling between 7 and 12 inches, can she be called for an illegal cradle?  
No. This may create a short term advantage for the ball carrier but the rules committee felt that the safety and developmental concerns were the priority in the rules development. 

Q3) Does modified checking still exist?  
Yes, modified checking is for 12U and 11U players, which allows a player to use her stick to make controlled contact to the ball carrier’s stick if the contact (and checking motion) is below the shoulder and away from the body.