7v7 Lacrosse for U9-U8-U7 | Boulder Valley Lacrosse
Youth lacrosse program for boys in Northern Colorado, including Boulder, Broomfield, Erie, Lafayette, Louisville, Longmont, Superior, and Westminster.

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Boulder Valley Lacrosse is excited to announce that our U9-U8-U7 teams will play in a new format beginning with the 2016 spring season, as the CYLA (Colorado Youth Lacrosse Association) approved 7v7 lacrosse for these age groups. 

This means that players born between 6/1/2006 and 5/31/2009 will play smaller-sided games on a shorter field than their older counterparts, who play 10v10 lacrosse.  This new format was adopted in line with progressive thinking about youth sports development, which emphasizes the value of smaller fields to increase the number of “touches” per player.  Many other sports, including soccer, hockey, and football, have adopted similar measures for their youngest players.  

Basic elements of what 7v7 play will mean for BVL teams & coaches:

  • Team rosters will be smaller than our standard 10v10 rosters— we will likely carry a maximum of 14 players per team as opposed to 18-20 players on older teams.

  • This means we will need MORE head coaches at these age levels. Please consider volunteering to coach with BVL this spring— email for more details.

  • Field will be effectively turned sideways on a full-sized field—approximate field will be 60 yards long (standard width) by 35 yards wide (offensive box depth).Creases will remain 9 ft radius.

  • Goal size is reduced to 5' tall by 6' wide (normally 6' by 6').

  • On-field players will consist of 2 attack, 2 middies, 2 defenseman, and 1 goalie. Offsides would be enforced, so we will play 4 on 4 in either end.

  • Faceoffs will be held only to start quarters.  After a goal is scored, the team which was scored upon will likely take possession at midfield.

  • The CYLA will attempt to organize a separate U7 division, depending upon how many teams will participate.  We have organized a U7 team this spring. 

  • All U9 teams should expect to play full field in 2017 when they move up into the U10 age bracket at that time.

We believe that this change will ultimately improve the quality of game play and accelerate the pace of skill development for younger players.   Please read on for more information about this change...


CYLA Adopts Reduced Squad/Reduced Field Boys’ Lacrosse for 7v7 at U7/U8/U9

On November, 3 2015 CYLA member clubs approved motions to implement 7v7 play at U7/U8/U9 effective Spring 2016


Reduced squad/reduced field lacrosse is appropriate, especially for new or younger players.  For players, reduced squad lacrosse can be more fun and contribute more to their development than standard 10v10 play because each player is more involved… has more “touches.” Also, lacrosse on a reduced size field is more proportionate to younger players’ size, speed, and endurance. Further, the pace of play in reduced squad/reduced field lacrosse is often faster, enhancing fitness and fun.

Reduced squad/reduced field lacrosse is consistent with best practices of other sports – specifically box lacrosse, hockey, and soccer. USA Hockey has emphasized cross-ice play for several years and it is now in practice within their model clubs across the U.S. (http://www.usahockey.com/crossice).  Reduced squad/reduced field play is also part of the U.S. Soccer Player Development Initiative http://www.ussoccer.com/coaching-education/resources/2015-player-development-initiatives . Adjustments were made in hockey and soccer to increase participation, player retention, player development and fun, especially at the youngest age levels.   Please take ten minutes to watch the following three videos to gain a visual understanding of the benefits of small sided play through other sports.

Hockey – U8 Analytics - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB_Ygapyl7c

CYLA implementation of reduced squad/reduced field lacrosse has been under consideration for approximately two years.  US Lacrosse recently published guidelines for this game (http://www.uslacrosse.org/portals/1/documents/pdf/rules/boys-reduced-squad-2015.pdf) that prompted implementation consideration.  7v7 play at U9 was piloted this past fall in Colorado Springs with great success.  Club Administrators were given the USL guidelines in early October to review impact on their respective clubs.  Nineteen clubs participated in spirited discussion of implementation on November 3, 2015.  The vote to implement it in spring 2016 was unanimous at U7/U8 with vote at U9 level having one dissenting vote.

While CYLA believes this move is in the best interest of the players, coaches and parents, we do acknowledge that there may be some impact to existing teams at the U9 level.  Much like when CYLA implemented age based play four years ago, a small number of players were inconvenienced due to relocation to a different team.  CYLA is confident that Club Administrators will work with affected players, parents and coaches to make this transition positive to all involved.

For additional details or questions please contact


Mike Stears

CYLA President