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SPARKS, Md. —The US Lacrosse Board of Directors has recently approved girls’ youth lacrosse rules that align with the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LADM). The new rules are based on the core values of the LADM, which is to encourage skill development and grow participation by promoting a safe and fun playing environment through developmentally appropriate rule sets tailored to specific age groupings.

In early 2016, the US Lacrosse Board of Directors tasked the Women’s Game Rules Subcommittee to develop rules of play that support the LADM. The new rules follow the LADM recommendation that small-sided games be played at younger ages, with size of field and numbers of player progressively increasing as players develop both physically and cognitively. The rules also align with the new recommended player segmentation groupings that will take effect in September 2017.

“I am excited to see the LADM initiative become an integrated part of our game,” said Marti Fessenden, a chair of the Women’s Game Rules Committee. “I commend the extensive work that the youth and rules subcommittee volunteers put in to take youth developmental principles and marry them with the traditions and safety that are part of our girls’ rules. The resulting rule sets represent what is great in the girls’ game while providing a simpler framework that will help the game grow in new areas as well as heighten skill development at all levels.”

A youth-specific rulebook will available digitally later this fall and hardcopies will be available in early 2017. The following summaries of play at each level are provided to assist clubs and leagues as they plan for their spring seasons.

6U

Players: 3v3 with no goalie
Field Size: 60-70 yards by 35-45 yards (cross field)
Equipment: Sticks, mouthguard and soft ball; no eyewear required
Goal Size: 3 feet by 3 feet
Fouls: For major fouls, player leaves field for a brief time; team does not play short
Other notes: No draw – after a goal the defense is given the ball for a clear; no score is kept; one pass rule before shooting; teams must play 1v1 defense.

8U

Players: 4v4 with no goalie
Field Size: 60-70 yards by 35-45 yards (cross field)
Equipment: Sticks, mouthguard, eyewear and soft ball
Goal Size: 3 feet by 3 feet (4x4 is allowable)
Fouls: For major fouls, player leaves field for a brief time; team does not play short
Other notes: No draw – after a goal the defense is given the ball for a clear; no score is kept; one pass rule before shooting; teams must play 1v1 defense.

10U

Players: 8v8, includes goalie
Field Size: 60-70 yards by 35-45 yards (cross field)
Equipment: Sticks, mouthguard, eyewear and NOCSAE ball
Goal Size: 3 feet by 3 feet (4x4 or 5x5 is allowable)
Fouls: Time serving cards, team does not play short
Other notes: Traditional lineup for draw; officials are required and score can by kept; introduction of the 8-meter arc and restraining line; after goal, goalkeeper clears; no checking and 3 seconds closely guarded applies; no pass rule before shooting; teams must play 1v1 defense.

12U

Players: 8v8 or 12v12, includes goalie
Field Size: 60-70 yards by 35-45 yards (cross field) for 8v8; 60-70 by 110-140 (full field) for 12v12
Equipment: Sticks, mouthguard, eyewear and NOCSAE ball
Goal Size: 6 feet by 6 feet
Fouls: Time serving cards, team plays down
Other notes: Draws after goals (mercy rule can be applied); modified checking is allowed; 3 seconds closely guarded applies; no pass rule before shooting; must play 1v1 defense outside of the critical scoring area (unless playing shorthanded).

14U

Players: 12v12, includes goalie
Field Size:  60-70 yards by 110-140 yards (full field)
Equipment: Sticks, mouthguard, eyewear and NOCSAE ball
Goal Size: 6 feet by 6 feet
Fouls: Time serving cards, team plays down
Other notes: Draws after goals; modified checking is allowed; 3 seconds closely guarded applies; no pass rule before shooting.

Questions concerning the new US Lacrosse girls’ youth lacrosse rules can be addressed to Caitlin Kelley, women’s game senior manager, at