15. NCJLA Certified Coach Program
NCJLA Certified Coach Rules and Enforcement
- Coaches Certification Template spreadsheets are due to the NCJLA:
- A & HS teams: 2nd Saturday in February
- 14UB & 12UB: 2nd Saturday in February
- 10UB & 8U: 1st Saturday in March
- Only an NCJLA Certified coach with a valid and visible coach's badge may stand with the team and coach during an NCJLA game. Up to 4 coaches per team are allowed on the sideline.
- If a coach does not have the badge, but has a legible photocopy or picture of it on their mobile phone accompanied with a valid photo ID, that person may participate as a coach.
- Any person who does not have their NCJLA coach’s certification badge or a legible copy or picture of it on their mobile device along with a photo ID must leave the team’s side of the field and move to the spectator’s side. Coaching from the spectator side of the field or end lines is not permitted. No “NCJLA Certified Coach” badge means no standing on sidelines during games.
- Any argument with an official about coaches certification can result in a penalty or foul up to and including an ejection/red card.
- A team may enlist an NCJLA certified coach from the same club or another club to serve as head coach for that game; however, the temporary coach is responsible for certifying that all of the team’s players are equipped to play per the rules.
- If a team does not have an NCJLA certified coach, the game will end in a forfeit 1-0 in favor of the opposing team. No scrimmage will be allowed.
- If a team has only one NCJLA certified coach and that coach is ejected from the game that has already started, the game ends in a forfeit 1-0 in favor of the opposing team.
- Should the NCJLA request coach certification documents as part of the Sportsmanship Incident Reporting process the club will have the amount of time specified in the SIR process to submit proof of certification (see process graphic HERE). If the requirements have not been met, and were falsified on the roster, the coach may be suspended for the remainder of the season, and the club may be put on probation. (See NCJLA Bylaws.)
The NCJLA reviews the following requirements for every coach and assistant coach. The NCJLA annually issues laminated “NCJLA Certified Coach” badges that coaches are required to present to officials and wear on a lanyard around their necks while on the field for games. See above coaches rules and enforcement for mobile coach card verification requirements.
There are three levels of NCJLA Certification:
- Platinum (completed USL in person Level 1 clinic and eligible to coach 8U-HS)* NEW
- Gold (eligible to coach 8U to HS)
- Silver (eligible to coach 8U-10U)
The NCJLA recommends that all head coaches continue to become US Lacrosse Certified after becoming USL members. In order to be US Lacrosse Certified, NCJLA coaches need to meet all NCJLA Certification requirements PLUS attend an in-person US Lacrosse Level 1 Clinic and be processed by US Lacrosse.
The NCJLA coordinates USL Level 1, 2 and 3 clinics as a service for the NorCal region. Please see Section 24 Special Events and Jamborees for more information. Additionally, the insurance coverages for USL Member Coaches versus USL Certified Coaches varies. To Learn more: US Lacrosse Certification.
Please see below for optional coaches education courses. The NCJLA highly recommends that clubs adopt a coaches education policy that addresses the diversity, inclusion, equity and safety initiatives. The NCJLA Board of Directors supports the development of these goals at the local club level. Should your club need guidance on these activities please email
or the commissioner of Diversity and Inclusion.
NCJLA Requirements Detail
1. US Lacrosse Coach Membership (Annual Requirement)
- Must have the COACH membership designation in order to access all other requirements below. Renew annually, and valid through the end of the season.
- Go to http://www.uslacrosse.org to establish or renew membership. Be sure to add your CLUB's NAME to your list of organizations so that the club administrator can view your membership background check results, completion date of Safe Sport training and rule tests scores. All of which are required below.
- * SafeSport Online Course is required by USL and must be completed before attempting to take Age Level Rules Tests or USL Coaches Education Clinic or online course.
- Help Document: Click here to access the NCJLA Rules Tests and Instructions
2. Cleared Background Check* (Annual requirement, included in USL membership process)
- USL contracts with the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) for background checks and they are valid for one year. When joining or renewing your US Lacrosse coaches membership, adults must choose to join as a “coach” and complete an annual background check at no additional charge.
- When reporting the US Lacrosse background check clubs are to list the expiration date rather than the completion date.
- Help Document:2019_Coach_Background_Check_Process.pdf
- *Coaches under the age of 18 are not required to undergo a background check.
3. NCJLA Age Level Rules Test (Annual requirement, located in USL E-Learning Portal)
- The NCJLA Boys and Girls Directors develop annual rules tests that cover NCJLA game protocols, reporting procedures and NCJLA modifications to the NFHS and USL rules.
- Coaches for 12U and above are required to complete the test for the highest age level that they will be coaching that season.
- It is highly recommended that 10U and 8U coaches take the tests so that they are prepared to coach in the NCJLA that season.
- Only NCJLA Coaches who have completed the US Lacrosse Coach membership, background check and SafeSport training will have access to the NCJLA Age Level Tests in the US Lacrosse E-Learning Portal.
- See below for information on how to take the NFHS and USL Rules Tests. Some clubs may require their coaches to take these tests so that they are prepared to coach at multiple levels.
Please remind your coaches that USL membership (background check and Safesport course) must be completed first.
4. US Lacrosse Coaches Education Course (One-time requirement)
All coaches must complete at least one of the following USL coaches education courses.
- The US Lacrosse Level 1 in person clinic Curriculum is focused on teaching the small sided games and introductory skills for all levels of play. Coaches participate in live drills in a gymnasium or on a field. The US Lacrosse Level 1 Coaches Education Clinic will be offered annually on select dates in Dec, Jan, Feb. Registration dates for a clinic may be entered on the coaches certification spreadsheets. The NCJLA will verify all clinic attendance before issuing an NCJLA Coaches Certification Badge.
- The US Lacrosse Online Level 1 Coaching Course- found in the US Lacrosse E-learning portal once a coach has a USL Coach Membership and has completed the background check, and SafeSport Certification course.
5. Concussion Certification (Annual Requirement)
- The online course can be found HERE.
- Individual clubs must document the certificate of completion (including issue and expiration dates) for their personnel. The completion dates should be included on the coaches' certification rosters that are submitted to the NCJLA webmaster.
- CIF coaches may submit their NFHS concussion training certificate in lieu of the HeadsUp CDC training.
Each coach and club administrator (who would be an authority on a playing field) shall be required to successfully complete the online concussion and head injury education offered by the Center of Disease Control before supervising an athlete in an activity sponsored by the NCJLA.
6. Signed Code of Conduct Agreement (Annual Requirement)
The NCJLA requires that all participants agree to and sign the Code of Conduct that applies to their role in Honoring the Game of Lacrosse. Clubs are required to keep copies of these documents and have readily available for the NCJLA to review. Clubs may opt for hard copies or to have coaches sign electronically. Copies of the code of conduct can be found in the NCJLA Operations Guide section Codes of Conduct.
How to Submit Coaches for Certification
It is up to each club to collect and verify, for all coaches who wish to be certified by the NCJLA, their coaches training requirements and have one club administrator submit the Coaches Registration Template spreadsheet to the NCJLA webmaster email@example.com. NCJLA certification is in addition to US Lacrosse certification, they are two separate organizations.
Keep in mind that coaches are to be submitted twice to the NCJLA, once via the template spreadsheet, and then again with team roster submissions. For emergency reasons please list accurate contact information for each coach submitted. Club administrators can request, via email, a copy of their previous season’s coach certification records from the NCJLA webmaster (
Once the NCJLA Webmaster verifies the club’s Coaches Registration Template spreadsheet they will email the club administrator to confirm all of the coaches who will receive an NCJLA Coaches Certification badge and the approximate date for shipping those badges. Club administrators will be contacted via email if information submitted on the template spreadsheet is unverifiable and requires additional information from the club in order to be processed. Coaches badges with lanyards will be mailed to the address in the NCJLA Club Profile on our website. Please be sure that the club’s mailing address is accurate. Club profiles can be updated by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due Dates and Late Fees
Clubs may send their Coaches Registration Template spreadsheet in at any time after team registration closes.
Coaches Registration Template spreadsheet for boys and girls are due:
- 14UB, 12UB, A and HS teams are due by the second Saturday of February.
- 8U and 10UB teams are due by the first Saturday of March.
- Late fee of $20 applied to any coach certification requests submitted after the due dates above.
Verification and Records Requests
Clubs are responsible for confirming the accuracy of and maintaining all documentation that their coaches have successfully completed all NCJLA Certification requirements. The NCJLA may require proof of completion of the requirements at any time. The NCJLA recommends that coaches save a copy and send the certificate of completion to their club administrator for their records.
Failure to confirm the accuracy of and maintain all documentation of requirements could expose the club and the league to unnecessary liability risk. Prior to the season start date the NCJLA verifies that the submitted Coach USL memberships are active and valid for the entire NCJLA season.
Should the NCJLA request coach certification documents as part of the Sportsmanship Incidence Reporting process the club will have 48 to 72 hours to submit proof of certification. If the requirements have not been met, and were falsified on the roster, the coach may be suspended for the remainder of the season, and the club may be put on probation. (See NCJLA Bylaws.)
Optional Coaches Education Courses
These optional education courses are recommended for coaches that wish to expand their knowledge base and to be better prepared to support players from diverse backgrounds or who are experiencing hardship.
- PCA: Double Goal Coach Course
- USL Cultural Competency Course
- RisetoWin.org Coaches Leadership Course
- Up2UsSports Coaches Training
- NFHS Rules Tests
- USL Rules Tests
- USL Coaches Education Clinic (level 2 and 3, in person or virtual)
- Red Cross First Aid and CPR course
or email@example.com if you have another optional course to add to this list.
NFHS and USL Rules Education: Not Required
The NCJLA recommends that coaches take the NFHS or USL Rules test so that they are familiar with the differences between the NCJLA modifications and their rules publications. Click here for instructions on how to find and take the NFHS or USL rules tests. All tests, NFHS or USL Youth (U8 through HS) can be accessed through the USL member portal.
Helpful hints before taking the Supplemental Rules Education tests:
- You will need your US Lacrosse Member ID to sign on for the test.
- Please listen carefully to the directions for completing the test. The audio portion is very helpful.
- The test has multiple modules designated "Rule 1", "Rule 2", and so on. Each module has 1 or more multiple choice questions. You must pass each module to earn your certificate.
- The "Back to Menu" button will allow you to access the modules you have not yet completed.
Read each question carefully, remember that the answers are NOT based on NCJLA modifications.
All rights reserved. Use of NCJLA materials are limited to the NCJLA approved activities only. NCJLA Clubs and outside organizations must request permission from the NCJLA.