Some Video Instruction

I got my camcorder properly set up and did some video editing today. The following video covers everything a new parent, player, or coach needs to know about the U9 game at Atlanta Youth Lacrosse.

Now lets move to the specific rules for the U9 division. In this section, I will post the US Lacrosse rule and then I will give an explanation as to why the rule exists and why it is enforced.

U9 Division Rules:

  • The length of all crosses for all field players shall be 37 to 42 inches.
    • This rule exists because smaller players benefit from being able to use a shorter crosse. If your player is having trouble handling the ball with a regulation stick (40-42 inches), I would recommend shortening the stick. Now, please do not cut down the nice new lacrosse stick you just got for your player. Instead, go out and buy a cheaper stick that you can cut down to size.
  • At the U9 level, if the coaches from both teams agree, one coach per team may be allowed on the field during play to provide instruction during the game.
    • In U9 games, one coach from each team is permitted on the field to help the players learn where to go during the game. So long as the coaches do not interfere with play or get in the way, their presence is highly encouraged.
  • Game will consist of four 12-minute running-time quarters (clock stops only for a team timeout, an official’s timeout, or an injury timeout). If stop time is to be used, 8-minute stop-time quarters are recommended.
    • Here is an AYL EXCEPTION. We use a central clock while we run three U9 games simultaneously, with a horn indicating the beginning and end of each half. Instead of quarters, we run two twenty-minute halves with a five-minute halftime.
  • The Final Two Minute stalling rule shall be WAIVED for these Divisions.
    • U9 players need not concern themselves with officials calling stalling. This rule is waived at the U9 level because we want the kids to be focusing on the basics of play, and not the more advanced concepts of advancement rules.
  • At any point during a game when there is a four-goal lead, the team that is behind will be given the ball at the midfield line in lieu of a face-off as long as the four-goal lead is maintained, unless waived by the coach of the trailing team.
    • Here is an AYL EXCEPTION. After a goal is scored, the goalie will pass the ball to a teammate and play will resume with that pass. There are no faceoffs after goals. Faceoffs are only used to start each half. We have found that setting players up for the faceoff after every goal takes a lot of time off the clock, and impacts their playing time. We would rather have the kids just worry about playing the game.
  • The defensive 20-second count WILL NOT be used. The offensive 10-second count WILL NOT be used.
    • In older divisions advancement counts are used to maintain a fast pace of play. At the U9 division, these rules are waived. We want these young players focusing on the basics of the game, not the more advanced rules.
  • No body checking of any kind is permitted.
    • I explain U9 lacrosse as basketball with sticks. Players can push, box-out, and maneuver another player around the field. However, they may not deliberately body check another player. We want the players focusing on proper checking technique, and not on who can crush who.
  • Any one-handed check will be considered a slash, whether or not it makes contact with the opposing player.
    • No one-handed checks are allowed at this level, mainly because most players do not have the coordination or timing to successfully perform a one-handed check. More often than not, these checks become wild haymakers that are completely uncontrollable. Players in this division are required to keep two hands on the stick at all times when checking with their crosse.
  • Any player who accumulates 3 personal fouls or 5 minutes in personal foul penalty time shall be disqualified from the game.
    • If a player is out on the field committing multiple personal fouls, which are fouls of a serious nature, we want the opportunity to explain to that player what they are doing incorrectly. So if a player gets 3 personals or 5 total minutes of personal foul time their game is over for the day, which hopefully informs that player that they are not playing within the rules.
  • Offending player must leave the field and remain out of the game for the length of his penalty time but his team may replace him with a substitute on the field. No man up situation should occur.
    • If a player commits a foul, they must exit the field of play for however long the foul is. At the U9 level no team plays man down. So a substitute is permitted to come onto the field for the player who must come off.

The Two Pass Rule

The two pass rule was put into effect in Fall Ball last year. The goal of this rule is to reward players for looking for open teammates and staying open on the field. In U9 games the players have a tendency to clump together and move en mass across the entire field. The two pass rule seeks to teach these players the importance of staying spread out on a lacrosse field. The two pass rule is explained in detail in the above video.

I hope the video above and the rule explanations were helpful to our parents, players, and coaches. If you have any questions about the rules please email me at


About Lou Corsetti

Gordon is a born lacrosse official who played for ten years before realizing he'd much rather ref the game than play it. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia and officiates youth, high school, and collegiate men's lacrosse games all over the southeast. His passion is educating and training officials, coaches, players, parents and all other fans on the rules of lacrosse, it's history, and how best to develop lacrosse in new areas.

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