My my My my


Mass Bay Girls Lacrosse League Rules


MBGLL follows the US Lacrosse Girls Youth Rules except as noted below. This document provides a link to the US Lacrosse rules page and details MBGLL-specific rules.

US Lacrosse Girls Rules

The Girls Youth Lacrosse Rules are summarized on the US Lacrosse website at http://www.uslacrosse.org/rules/girls-rules. This page also includes links to ordering a rulebook. MBGLL-specific rules and MBGLL interpretation of the US Lacrosse rules are detailed below.

Note: The US Lacrosse Girls Youth Rules refer to Level A, B and C. For MBGLL,

  • Level A is Grade 7/8 teams, including MBGLL Select teams
  • Level B is Grade 5/6 teams, including MBGLL Select teams
  • Level C is Grade 1/2 and 3/4 teams

MBGLL-Specific Rules

Field Preparation

  •  Parents are to be on the opposite side of the field from players.

Field Players

  • For Grade 7/8 and Grade 5/6 games, each team has eleven field players and a goalkeeper.
  • For Grade 1/2 and 3/4 games, 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 Grade 1/2 or 3/4 team does not have a goal keeper, then that does not mean that they can place an additional player on the field.


  • MBGLL allows NO stick checking for Grade 1/2, Grade 3/4 and Grade 5/6 teams. MBGLL allows only modified checking (as defined in the US Lacrosse Girls Youth Rules) for Grade 7/8 teams.

Three-Pass Rule -  U9 & U11 ONLY


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 necessary after all turnovers (inlcuding goalie saves) regardless of whether the ball has remained within the offensive half of the field.

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" when the opposing team gains possession of the ball.

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 Sportsmanship Director.

US Lacrosse Girl’s 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 causing 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.


  • Goals - regulation lacrosse goal cages; smaller (street hockey type) cages may be used for indoor play and for Level C playing outdoors.


  • Ball - may use a regulation ball, or a “soft” ball. It is highly recommended that new or beginner programs use the soft ball until players have developed their throwing and catching skills. If a soft ball is used, it should be approximately the same size as a regulation ball. A regulation ball may be used for indoor play, however a “no bounce” ball is recommended.


  • Sticks - Level C may use a youth stick with mesh or traditional stringing or regulation women’s crosse and may have a modified pocket. With a modified pocket, only half the ball may fall below the bottom of the sidewall. Level B must use a regulation women’s crosse with either a regular or modified pocket. Level A must use a regulation women’s crosse with regular pocket.

Legal Sticks for Women's Lacrosse

Protective equipment - mouthguards are mandatory at all levels. In 2009, these mouth guards must be colored. Eye protection requirements for all levels must be the same as outlined in Rule 2-9 of US Lacrosse Women’s Rules. Close fitting gloves and soft headgear are permitted; no hard helmets may be worn except by the goalie. Goalie must wear helmet with face mask, separate throat protector, chest protector, abdominal and pelvic protection, goalie gloves, and leg padding on the shins and thighs. The protective helmet, designed for lacrosse, must meet the NOCSAE test standard. All protective devices used should be close fitting, padded where necessary, and not be of excessive weight.

Protective eyewear update

Playing Area

The field should be marked according to US Lacrosse Women’s Rules, including a restraining line. (See Rule 1). Team benches should be placed opposite spectators where possible.

Level A - desirable field length is 100 yards between goal lines, 10 yards behind each goal, and 70 yards wide.

Level B - desirable field length is 90 yards between goal lines, 10 yards behind each goal, and 50 yards wide.

Level C - desirable field length is 50 yards between goal lines, 10 yards behind each goal, and 25 yards wide. Field markings should include two goal circles (radius 2m) with a goal line in each, two 8m arcs around each goal circle and a center line.

Coaching Area

Level A and B - Coaches may move along the full boundary line on the bench/table side of the field only, except for the area directly in front of the opposing team and either team’s substitution area. Coaches may not stand near or walk in front of the opposing team area. Coaches must remain behind the level of the scorer’s table extended. Violation of this rule is a misconduct foul.

Level C - Coaches are permitted on the field for the purpose of instructing players. No coaches are permitted on the field at MBGLL’s Jamboree.

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 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 4m 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. All players must stop and stand when the whistle blows (to stop play). All may move again when the next whistle blows.

A goal is scored when the ball passes completely over the goal line and into the goal cage. Scoring must be by an attacker’s crosse, and not off the body of an attack player. A goal may be scored off the defender’s body or crosse.

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.

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 shall be the same as those outlined in Rule 6 of the US Lacrosse Women’s Rules with the following modifications:

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). (Minor Foul)

Penalties for Fouls
The penalty for fouls is a free position with all players, including the offender, moving 4m 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).

Definition of Terms

Closely Guarded - player with the ball has an opponent within a sticks length.
Free Position - penalty awarded for a foul. Player who has been fouled gets the ball and all others must move 4m away.
Indirect Free Position - no shot on goal may be made until the player with the ball passes the ball to another player.
Checking - checking the stick only if the entire stick is below shoulder level. The check must be in a downward direction and away from the body.
Pass - exchange of the ball through the air from one teammate’s crosse to another.
Possession - a player has the ball in their crosse.
Position to Check - player has an opportunity to legally check the stick without fouling (the 3-second count starts when the umpire deems that the player with the ball could be checked legally if checking were permitted.)

Level A 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 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 Specifics

1. Seven field players, use of a goal keeper is optional.
2. Field size: 70 yds. x 30-40 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 goal opening.

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.