Boys Youth Lacrosse Guide For Parents
In 2017, US Lacrosse has produced a stand-alone boys youth lacrosse rule book for ages 14U and below. The rule sets in this book align with the principles of the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LADM), helping to ensure age-appropriate rules that allow athletes to progress and reach their maximum potential. Each youth level has different rules, which includes number of players, field size, equipment, goal size, penalties, body checking and stick checking. At the 6U level, the game is played 3v3 with no goalie. There is no body checking or stick checking at this level. At the 8U level, the game is played 4v4 with no goalies or 3v3 with goalies. There is no body checking but some contact is allowed. A full line of protection for your child is required at this level.
The goal of youth boys lacrosse is to build strong fundamentals, and understand teamwork. Throwing, catching, scooping, shooting and defensive positioning are fundamentals that are concentrated on the most. Once a player develops these strong fundamentals, they can be more easily taught strategy and higher-level skills. By the time your player gets to the 10U level you will need to consider upgrading his complete stick and lacrosse gloves to improve his skills. When your player gets to the 12U level, they will be honing their technical skills and developing tactical skills needed in lacrosse. The play is 10v10 or 7v7, and will include stick checks, face-offs and technical fouls. At this level your players will either be one of four types of players:
Attackmen typically spend the entire game at the opponents’ end of the field. They cannot cross the midfield line during play unless they are replaced by a midfielder so that there are always at least 3 players in the offensive end.
Midfielders (also commonly known as Middies) roam the entire field. Middies need to be good defenders, and they need to be able to be strong on the attack, but their real value is in their ability to transition the ball from the defensive to the offensive ends of the field. Some coaches choose to have defensive and offensive midfielders.
Defensemen (long poles) are the enforcers. They are the players who are capable of dictating to the opponents attack where they can go. Longpoles like the attackmen must stay on the defensive half of the field unless replaced by a middy. The defenders job is often also to “Clear” the ball down the field after a turnover out of the defensive zone. Younger players use shorter poles prior to using a long pole.
Goal Tender (also known as the goalie, goalkeeper, or the keeper) is the last line of defense between the opposing offense and the goal. The goaltender’s primary roles are to defend the opposing team’s shots on goal and to direct the defense. In lacrosse, the goal is surrounded by the “crease”. This is a circle around the goal that provides a protective area for the goalie. The crease rules provide the goalie a short amount of time to make saves or pick up a blocked shot and initiate a clear.
Boys lacrosse starts with a face-off, that require a specifically designed lacrosse head. During a face-off, two players lay their stick horizontally next to the ball, head of the stick inches from the ball and the butt-end pointing down the midfield line. Face-off players battle for the ball, often by “clamping” it under their stick and flicking it out to their teammates. Attackers and defenders cannot cross their “restraining line” until one player from the midfield takes possession of the ball or the ball crosses the restraining line.
This is a brief overview of the youth boys lacrosse game. To learn more, read our eBook for parents. If you would like to speak to one of our Pro’s about lacrosse and what beginners should know, feel free to give us a call at 855.255.5294. We are a company of lacrosse players, current and past, and can offer advice on any topic. To learn more valuable information about the game of lacrosse visit our LAX Insider page. Welcome to the game of lacrosse, we will see you on the fields!
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