Mass Bay Girls Lacrosse League Rules
MBGLL follows the US Lacrosse Girls Youth Rules except as noted below.
US Lacrosse Girl Rules
The Girls Youth Lacrosse Rules are summarized on the US Lacrosse website. The US Lacrosse Girls Youth Rules refer to Level A, B and C. For MBGLL. Level A is 7/8 Grade teams
Level B is 5/6 Grade teams
Level C is 1/2 and 3/4 Grade teams
Field Preparation - No scoreboards are allowed at MBGLL games. (No scores are kept or recorded anywhere,
including on program or team websites.) Parents are to be on the opposite side of the field from players.
Field Players - Level A & B games, each team has eleven field players and a goalkeeper.
Level C games the MBGLL recommends seven field players and a goalkeeper. If a team does not have a
goalkeeper then some form of "goal mouth reduction" should be used in lieu of a goalkeeper. This
could include tipping the net over or using commercial shot nets. If a Level C team does not have a
goal keeper, then that does not mean that they can place an additional player on the field.
Checking - MBGLL allows NO stick checking for Level B & C teams. MBGLL allows only modified checking (as defined in
the US Lacrosse Girls Youth Rules) for Level A teams.
Three-Pass Rule - A team must not take a shot on goal until three passes, including the goalkeeper’s clear, are
completed or attempted. Umpires have the final say in determining 3-pass completion/attempts and will count
passes out loud. Once the offense has fulfilled the three pass requirement, a new three pass count is not necessary
as long as the ball has remained within the offensive half of the field (even if the defense plays the ball).
The purpose of this rule is to get as many girls involved in every play as possible. It was implemented because teams would get the ball into the hands of one strong player who would run up the field alone and shoot the ball. A team must make three bona fide pass attempts (the ball does not need to be caught to count).
MBGLL has asked umpires to use their judgment in assessing a bona fide pass. Typical criteria include requiring that the
ball go above the shoulder during the pass and that the players be six feet apart. Umpires will count passes out loud
and will tell the players when they have completed three passes. Coaches are NOT to count. NOTE that umpires will not
(as coaches should not) tell players that "they can shoot", because additional passes might be the right thing to do. The
intent of this rule is not to have teams make three passes and then, regardless of where the ball is, compel the player
run to the goal and shoot.
Once a team has completed three passes, this count is "reset" only when the opposing team gains possession of the ball in
the opposing team's attacking half of the field. This rewards teams for playing good defense in their attacking zone...if
they recover the ball they can immediately shoot. This rule also means that both teams can have three completed
passes at the same time (if the defending team completes three passes in their defensive half of the field).
MBGLL has a Zero Tolerance Policy for misconduct of players, coaches and followers (spectators). The Official Rules for
Girl's & Women's Lacrosse, Rule 18E and Rule 19B-2, states that team followers misconduct may result in a penalty
assessed to the coach. These carding procedures culminate in the suspension of the coach or team follower and
ultimately could result in a forfeit of the game.
MBGLL defines misconduct as any action taken by an individual that interferes with the safety and/or sportsmanship of
the game. This includes verbal comments about the performance of the players on either team, coaches and umpires.
Penalties assessed for misconducts to coaches and/or followers shall be reported to the MBGLL Rules and
Sportsmanship Director. Repeated incidents by an individual or a group of individuals will be reviewed by the MBGLL
Board of Directors and can result in the offending team or program being removed for the league. Questions about
specific incidents should be raised with the appropriate MBGLL Division Director or the MBGLL Rules and
US Lacrosse Girl Rules
Guidance — No Checking/Modified Checking - US Lacrosse is attempting to send a consistent message regarding
checking to youth players, whether they are using the regular women's lacrosse rules or following the girls' rules.
Players below the seventh grade level should not be stick checking. It is the hope of the Rules Committee that
mandating no checking will allow the beginning player to work on the basic fundamentals of the game - passing, catching,
footwork, proper positioning, and marking - before they are introduced to the more advanced skill of stick checking.
Once players have mastered the basic fundamentals, coaches will want to introduce stick checking. Players on 7th and
8th grade teams will be allowed to use modified checking as an intermediate step towards full checking. Modified
checking is defined as checking the stick if it is below shoulder level, using a downward motion away from the other
player's body. Use of modified checking will allow the older youth player to learn proper checking skills, while at the
same time encouraging good cradling and stick handling skills for the attack player. Umpires and coaches should strictly
enforce this rule, never allowing checks near a player's head or face.
It should be noted that stick-to-stick contact is not necessarily a violation of the no checking/modified checking rule.
A defender who is holding her stick in good defensive position may force the attack player to cradle into her
stick contact. This is not considered a stick check, as the attack player initiated the contact, not the defender. A
similar situation would exist when the defender puts her stick up in an attempt to block or intercept a pass and the
attacker makes contact while in the act of passing or catching the ball.
Please note that it will be left to individual school districts, counties, and leagues to decide what they consider a
seventh grade team and an eighth grade team.
Official Rules for Girls Youth Lacrosse - The purpose of the Official Girls Youth rules is to familiarize young players
with the sport of women’s lacrosse by introducing them to the terms, the field, the playing positions, the concept of
teamwork and the skills required to play the game safely and fairly. These rules were written by the US Lacrosse
Women’s Division and ratified by the US Lacrosse Youth Council in an effort to standardize youth rules for girls
throughout the United States.
Youth leagues may decide on age or grade divisions of play that best suits their needs. If age divisions are used, we
suggest the following guidelines: 6-8 year olds (Under 9), 9-10 year olds (Under 11), 11-12 year olds (Under 13), 13-14
year olds (Under 15). If grade level divisions are used, we suggest the following guidelines: grades 1 and 2, grades
3 and 4, grades 5 and 6, grades 7 and 8. Using a player’s year of graduation from high school is also acceptable.
The girl youth rules are divided by levels (A, B, and C). Level B and Level C rules do not allow checking and do allow certain
stick modifications to make throwing and catching easier for the beginning or younger player. Level A rules allow for
modified checking and require the use of a regulation crosse and pocket. Leagues, tournaments and programs with
players below the 5th grade level must use either Level B or Level C rules. Players from the 5th grade through the 8th
grade should progress from Level B or C to Level A rules.
Sideline Manager - Each team (home and away) will provide a sideline manager whose duty shall be to control effectively
the actions of spectators not in conformity with the standards of proper conduct.
Start of the Game - The draw - Each center opponent has one foot toeing the centerline. A maximum of five players from
each team may be between the restraining lines during the draw. All other players must be below either restraining
line. Players must not enter the circle or cross the restraining lines until the whistle blows. The crosse is held above
the hip, and parallel to the centerline. Each players' crosse will be between the ball and the goal they are defending.
The ball must attain a height higher than the heads of the players taking the draw. An illegal draw will result in a free
position. If both players draw illegally, or it cannot be determined which player was at fault, a throw will be taken.
The procedure for the start of the game/draw shall be the same as outlined in Rule 5-1, 5-2 of the US Lacrosse Women’s
Rules with the following modification:
For all levels - If score is kept, a free position will be taken at the center by the team with fewer goals if a four or more
goal differential exists. When this occurs positioning for the draw will apply with the defender standing 4 meters
away at a 45 degree angle and all other players must stand. The player taking the free position may run or pass, but
may not shoot until another player has played the ball.
Start/Stop Play - All play is started and stopped with the whistle. When the whistle blows players must stand (to stop
play), unless directed by the official. Play will resume on the next whistle. The goalkeeper may move inside the goal
Scoring - A goal is scored when the ball passes completely over the goal line and into the goal cage. A goal is scored when the
ball leaves an attack player's crosse, not off the attack player's body. A goal may be scored off the defender's body
or crosse. A goal is not scored when the ball enters the cage after a whistle, a crease violation occurs, an attack
player fouls the goalie, the attack's crosse is illegal, or the shot is ruled dangerous.
Substitution - Substitution is unlimited and the substitution procedure should be the same as outlined in Rule 5-20
and 5-21 of the US Lacrosse Women’s Rules, i.e. substitute any time during play, after goals, and at halftime.
Substitutions may be at any time during play, after goals and at halftime. Each team may substitute an unlimited
number of players at any time during play. During play, substitution must take place through the team substitution
area by the scorer's table. The player must be completely off the field before the substitute may enter the field.
This includes the goalkeeper.
Duration of Play - Level A - 25-minutes running time per half (maximum)
Level B - 25-minutes running time per half (maximum)
Level C - 20-minutes running time per half (maximum)
Time Outs - MBGLL teams are allowed one time-out per half.
Fouls - Fouls shall be the same as those outlined in Rule 6 of the US Lacrosse Women’s Rules with the following
1. No shooting on free positions, unless using a goalkeeper or modified goal opening (Level C). (Major Foul)
2. No checking (Level B and C). (Major Foul)
3. Modified checking only (see definitions) (Level A). (Major Foul)
4. No holding the ball for more than 3 seconds when closely guarded/marked (see definitions) and the
defense has both hands on her stick and is in position to legally check were checking allowed. (All levels).
Major Fouls: A player must NOT:
- Check roughly or recklessly. Checks will be controlled. A check to the head is an automatic card. No checking at the U11
or U13 level.
- Modified checking at the U14 level. Checks will be downward and away from the body. Checking will be below the shoulder
only. Both hands must be on the stick in a defensive position.
- Slash. Checks will be short and controlled; there must be recoil .
- Hold crosse within the seven-inch sphere around opponent's face and throat.
- Use the crosse in a dangerous or intimidating manor.
- Hook the bottom end of an opponent's crosse.
- Reach across opponent when level or behind.
- Block opponent; move in the path of an opponent with out giving her a chance to change direction.
- Obstruct free space to goal (shooting space), denying the attack the opportunity to shoot safely.
- Remain in the 8-meter arc for more than 3 seconds unless marking an opponent a stick's length away.
- Set a moving or stationary pick out of the visual field of the opponent, if she does not have enough space or time to
change direction and contact occurs.
- Detain by holding or pushing with body or crosse.
- Trip an opponent, deliberately or otherwise.
- While in possession of ball, try to force her crosse through an opposing crosse(s) in such a way as to causes her crosse
to contact her own body.
- Hold or cradle crosse within her own sphere or the sphere of an opponent.
- Charge, barge, shoulder or back into an opponent, or push with hand or body.
- Propel the ball or follow through with crosse in a dangerous or uncontrolled manner.
- Shoot dangerously or without control. A dangerous shot is determined by distance, force and placement. A shot may not
be directed at a field player or the goalkeeper's body (especially head or neck). A shot may be called dangerous
and a free position given to the goalkeeper even if it misses the goal.
- Shoot from an indirect free position.
- Violate the restraining line. Seven attack players are allowed in the offensive end, eight defensive players (7 field/1
goalkeeper) in their defensive end. Any part of the foot over the line is a violation; players may reach over with
their stick to play the ball. This call will result in a change of possession only if there is a trail official or if the
official can make the call before his/her attention is focused on the critical scoring area.
Minor Fouls: A player must NOT:
- Guard a ground ball with foot or crosse or cover the ball with the crosse.
- Check an opponent's crosse when she is trying to get possession of the ball (empty stick check).
- Guard the crosse with an arm. No warding off, or elbows with free arm.
- Touch the ball with hand or body.
- Use hand or body to keep the ball in the crosse.
- Use any part of the body to impede, accelerate or change direction of the ball.
- Throw the crosse in any circumstance.
- Take part in the game if she is not holding her crosse.
- Draw illegally; either player draws too soon, movement of the crosse is not up and away, moves before the whistle, or
the ball does not go higher than the heads of the players taking the draw.
- On the center draw step into the center circle before the whistle or be in violation of the restraining line rule.
- Play with a crosse that does not meet specifications.
- Adjust crosse after it has been checked and allowed into the game.
- Failure to be on the field immediately after a time out or at half time.
- Take part in the game wearing jewelry or illegal uniform.
- Substitute illegally.
- Move before the whistle, or failure to stand when the whistle is blown.
- Intentionally delay the game, failure to move four meters away, failure to wear a mouthpiece, or any behavior that the
referee determines is a delay of game.
- Deliberately cause the ball to go out of bounds.
- Score a goal with a crosse that does not meet the field crosses's specifications. (You may not score a goal using a goalie
- Take a shot on goal until three (aire time) passes, including the goalkeeper's clear, are completed or attempted.
Coaches / players may monitor three pass rule, but officials have the final say in determining 3-pass
completion/attempts. Once the offense has fulfilled the three pass requirement, a new three pass count is not
necessary - as long as the ball has remained within the fifty-yard line (even if the defense plays the ball).
- Hold the ball for more than 3 seconds when closely guarded (the defense must have two hands on the stick – if not,
the 3 second rule does not apply), when the defense is in a position to legally check if full checking were allowed.
- Players may not yell at their opponents. Any form of verbal intimidation, i.e., "Ball, ball, ball" will result in a change of
Goal circle fouls: A field player must NOT:
- Enter or have any part of her body or crosse in the goal circle at any time, unless deputizing for the goalkeeper.
A goalkeeper must NOT:
- Allow the ball to remain in the goal circle for more than ten seconds.
- Reach beyond the goal circle to play the ball in the air on the ground with hand.
- Draw the ball into her goal circle, when any part of her is grounded outside the circle.
- Goal circle reentry: Once the goalie leaves the crease with the ball, she MUST pass to a teammate who has the option
of rolling or throwing the ball into the crease. No longer can the goalie directly relieve herself of pressure and
regain a 10 second clearing count. However, if the goalie is checked, she may then reenter the crease.
- Step back into the goal circle when she has possession of the ball. She may toss the ball into the circle and follow it in.
- When outside the circle, she may not throw any part of her equipment to her deputy.
Penalties for Fouls - The penalty for fouls is a free position with all players, including the offender, moving 4 meters away
from the player with the ball. For specifics on major, minor, and goal circle fouls and carding, see Rule 7 in the US
Lacrosse Women’s Rules. A 3-second count violation is considered a minor foul with the closest defender to the ball
carrier being awarded the ball. The only modification for these youth rules is in Level C, where all free positions are
indirect (i.e., the player with the ball may never shoot directly from the free position).
Penalty for fouls is a free position:
Major fouls - For major fouls anywhere on the field, the offending player will stand 4m (4.4 yards) behind the player taking
the free position.
Minor fouls - For minor fouls anywhere on the field, the offending player will stand 4m (4.4 yards) away in the from which
she approached before committing the foul.
Penalty for fouls in the critical scoring area (inside the 8m arc):
Major foul by the defense will result in a free position on the 8M arc (shot on goal).
Minor foul will result in an indirect free position (no shot may be taken until the ball has been played by another player).
ISSUANCE OF WARNING CARDS
Green card: delay of game,(failure to stand with whistle, failure to move 4 meters, absence of mouth piece or presence of
Yellow card: rough, dangerous or unsportsmanlike conduct, abusive language, or to deliberately endanger the safety of an
opposing player will result in a 2-minute suspension from the game, with substitution.
Red card: second offense after issuance of a yellow card or flagrant foul resulting in suspension of player from game. A
substitute may take her place.
Any member of team coaching staff or team follower may be warned (yellow) or suspended (red). In the event that any team follower is to be warned or suspended, the head coach may be assessed the penalty.
SPECIFICS BY LEVEL
Level A (7th & 8th grade) Specifics: 1. Eleven field players, one goal keeper.
2. Field size: 100 yds. x 70 yds. is recommended.
3. Regular field markings, including restraining line.
4. Regular women’s crosse, regulation pocket.
5. Modified checking only.
6. 25-minute halves (max.), running time.
7. May shoot from direct free positions.
Level B (5th & 6th grade) Specifics: 1. Eleven field players, one goal keeper.
2. Field size: 90 yds. x 50 yds. is recommended.
3. Regular field markings, including restraining line.
4. Regular women’s crosse, modified pocket allowed.
5. No checking.
6. 25-minute halves (max.), running time.
7. May shoot from direct free positions.
Level C (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th) Specifics: 1. Seven field players, use of a goal keeper is optional.
2. Field size: 50 yds. x 25 yds. is recommended.
3. 8m arc, no 12m fan, no restraining line, center line (no circle).
4. Youth sticks (mesh allowed) or regular women’s crosse, modified pocket.
5. No checking.
6. 20-minute halves (max.), running time.
7. May not shoot from any free position, unless using a goalkeeper or modified
These rules were written with the safety of all the players being of utmost importance. Youth lacrosse should be fun, challenging and safe. To that end, the umpires shall have the authority to penalize any foul, unsafe play, or unacceptable behavior not covered specifically in these rules. Play should be as continuous as possible, and any foul which does not gain an advantage for the offender or her team should result in a "held" whistle whenever possible.