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14. NCJLA Certified Coach Program


NCJLA Certified Coach Rules and Enforcement

  • Only an NCJLA Certified coach with a valid and visible coach's card 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 card, 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 card or a legible copy or picture of it on their phone 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” card 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.

Requirements Overview

The NCJLA reviews the following requirements for every coach and assistant coach. The NCJLA annually issues laminated “NCJLA Certified Coach” cards that coaches are required to present to officials and wear on a lanyard around their necks while on the field for games.

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 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.

Platinum (optional, eligible to coach 8U-HS) *NEW

  1. All requirements for Gold level certification

  2. Completion of US Lacrosse level 1 in person clinic

  3. Boys only- How to make contact, USL online course

Gold (Required for 12U- HS, eligible to coach 8U-HS)

  1. US Lacrosse Membership

  2. Cleared background check*

  3. Age Level Rules Test

  4. PCA online course or workshop

  5. US Lacrosse Coaches Education: Level 1 (in person or online)

  6. Concussion Certification 

  7. Signed Coaches Code of Conduct  

Silver (Required for 8U-10U, eligible to coach 8U-10U)

1.     Cleared background check*

2.     PCA online course or workshop

3.     US Lacrosse Membership

4.     Signed Coaches Code of Conduct

5.     Concussion Certification


NCJLA Requirements Detail

1. US Lacrosse Membership (Annual Requirement)

Renew annually, and valid through the end of the season. Must have the COACH membership designation in order to access all other requirements below.

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 back ground 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.

Help Document: Click here to access the NCJLA Rules Tests and Instructions


2. Cleared Background Check*  (Annual requirement, included in USL membership process)

National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) background checks 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. To be US Lacrosse certified, coaches will need the NCSI clearance. When reporting an NCSI 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 higly 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, back ground check and SafeSport training will have access to the NCJLA Age Level Tests in the US Lacrosse E-Learning Portal. Please remind your coaches that USL membership must be completed first.

*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. 


4. PCA online course or workshop (One-time requirement)

Coaches may take the PCA online course or in-person workshop, “Double Goal Coach: Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons.”


5. US Lacrosse Coaches Education Course  (One-time requirement)

 All coaches must complete at least one of the following USL coaches education courses.

  1. The US Lacrosse Level 1 in person clinic focuses on the athlete development model implemented for youth age levels. 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, FebRegistration 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.

  2. 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.

6. Concussion Certification (Annual Requirement) 

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. 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.


7. Signed Code of Conduct Agreement (Annual Requirement) 

The NCJLA requires that all particpants 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. 


Supplemental 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.

For All Certification Requirements

The NCJLA may require proof of completion of the above requirements at any time. Save a copy and send the certificate of completion to your club administrator for their records.

Please note that if a coach has designated the club as one of their organizations in their US Lacrosse membership profile the club administrator will be able to view the coach's completed background status, SafeSport completion date and Age Level Rules Test completion date.

How to Submit Coaches for Certification

It is up to each club to process their coaches and have one club administrator provide a spreadsheet to the NCJLA with all the club’s coaches and requirements met.  Use the Coaches Registration Template spreadsheet and send it to the NCJLA webmaster at webmaster@ncjla.org.  Keep in mind that coaches are to be submitted twice to the NCJLA, once via this Certification Template, and then again with team roster submissions. For emergency reasons please list accurate contact information for each coach submitted.

Due Dates and Late Fees

Coaches spreadsheets for boys and girls 10UA, 12UA&B, 14UA&B, HS teams are due by the second Saturday of February. Coaches spreadsheets for boys and girls 8U and 10UB teams are due by the first Saturday of March.

Clubs may send their coaches spreadsheets in any time after team registration closes. Any spreadsheets submitted after that date will incur a cost of late processing fee of $20 per coach. Coaches cards 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 webmaster@ncjla.org.

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. For questions related to this process please review the NCJLA Operations Guide section Sportsmanship Incident Reporting Policy or contact the NCJLA Executive Director at execdirector@ncjla.org


Clubs are responsible for confirming the accuracy of and maintaining all documentation that their coaches have successfully completed all NCJLA Certification requirements. The NCJLA will, on occasion, request physical proof of coaching requirement records.  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.)

US Lacrosse Level 2 and 3 Coaches Clinics

While not “required” for NCJLA-Certification, US Lacrosse Level 2 and Level 3 in-person clinics are highly recommended. The NCJLA coordinates regional US Lacrosse Level 2 and 3 clinics on an annual basis, please check the NCJLA master calendar for the next clinic. Click on US Lacrosse instructional clinics for more information.

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.


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