Tag Archives: faq

USL Youth Boys Lacrosse Resources

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For those of you new to the game of lacrosse, and even those who’ve been around a while, there are tremendous resources from US Lacrosse available to you players, coaches, parents, and officials out there.

Everything in this post can be found here: www.uslacrosse.org/rules/boys-rules.aspx

First and foremost, for folks new to lacrosse is the Youth Rules & Best Practices Guidebook For Boys, 3rd Edition. This is a fantastic and in-depth resource for the new player, coach, parent, or official because the guidebook is geared for each!

It is difficult to enjoy or effectively teach the game if you do not know the rules. While reading the rulebook can be a pretty dry endeavor there are more visually exciting videos that USL has put together:

There is also a handy FAQ listing reasons for more severe enforcement of violent body checks at the youth level and the national emphasis on proper fundamentals and the development of skillful play. My personal favorite question is:

  • Q: “Why is USL taking body checking out of the game?” 
  • A: USL does not want to remove body checking from lacrosse. The USL age appropriate rules are designed to provide an environment that fosters development of critical skills in our youngest athletes. Body contact is introduced over time to prepare players for higher levels of play in High school and College but does so in a manner that creates the best playing experience at the younger ages. Research in a variety of sports has proven that player development and a positive playing experience are maximized when violent contact is limited or removed in the younger age divisions. This is also a fundamental best practice that US Lacrosse is emphasizing with regards to player safety and skill development.

Why is that my favorite question? Let me get on my soapbox. I played lacrosse for ten years and heard that “they” were taking hitting out of the game when I first geared up. Better medical knowledge is leading to greater enforcement of high and blind-side hits in contact sports around the country, but what should little Jimmy be learning when he steps onto the field at 10 years old for the first time? Should he learn how to hit or how to pass and catch? I’ll pick a kid for a high school team that has never tried to body check an opponent for his entire youth playing days, but already mastered the basic lacrosse skills. I’d rather teach kids how to play the game well and teach them hitting when their bodies and skills are more developed.

Two helpful videos that you might not see right away are:

  1. Field Player Equipment
  2. Goalie Equipment

Finally, check out the USL Core Skillz Videos on the USL YouTube Page at: www.youtube.com/user/uslacrosse8/search?query=core+skillz

Well I hope you find these resources helpful to you in the season. A lot of hours gets put into these materials and the more you use them and share them the better our game will be at the youth level throughout the country.


Meet & Greet Recap

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Many thanks to all of our parents and players who came out to the Meet & Greet this Saturday. Especially to the U9 group, who persisted through a twenty-minute torrential downpour! The players in each division had themselves a blast meeting their coaches and teammates. I was personally psyched to see a considerable amount of new players and new parents who decided to join AYL this fall. We welcome you all to our league and this great game!

I’m going to cover what was explained to each group and then dig into the specifics for each division. If anyone has any questions please feel free to email me at rules@ayllax.com. Now, onto the recap:

  • Division-wide comments
    • There are some common themes that our director, Mary Jo, and I covered with each group of parents. Mary Jo explained that email is the best way to reach our staff, and that we send out weekly newsletters to keep everyone informed about the going-ons of the league.
    • The officials in each division will focus on four things: safety, safety, safety, and fairness. If those four things are taken care of then all of the players will have fun.
    • Rules may be found on the Game Rules Page.
    • Both Mary Jo and I emphasized that parents are critical in our league. We lean on our parents heavily to be as positive as possible while at the field for practices, clinics, or games. I strongly believe that we have some of the best parents around because everyone buys into our league’s philosophy of: fun, fundamentals, sportsmanship, and honoring the game.
  • U9 comments
    • I mentioned that there would be a full video explanation about how a 7 on 7 game works at the U9 level. Unfortunately, I ran into technical difficulties. Namely, my camcorder not being in my new apartment. I will be recording the video tomorrow and posting it Wednesday.
  • U11 comments
    • I gave a quick overview of what to expect from myself and our co-head official, Andy Halperin while officiating games. More to come on the in-depth rules post on Thursday.
  • U13 comments
    •  I gave a quick overview of the rule changes from U11 to U13. They will be covered in-depth on a post this Thursday. I am going to try my hand at crafting what I hope will be a useful chart to easily show the rule differences at a glance.

Both Coach Lou and Mary Jo will attest that I had almost no voice when we got together for dinner after the conclusion of the day. Due to the fact that I tried to introduce myself to as many new parents while they were watching their player from the sidelines. It was a pleasure meeting everyone and I hope I answered your questions satisfactorily. Many of the questions asked will be added to the FAQ page later this week so everyone can benefit from the answers. On the subject of questions, remember to email me at rules@ayllax.com if you have any throughout the season.

I think I mentioned this to all of the groups, but if I didn’t here is a great publication by US Lacrosse entitled:

Youth Rules and Best Practices Guidebook For Boys (First Edition)


If you are completely new to the game, or want a refresher on the rules, or if you want to know what the national governing body for lacrosse believes the game is all about then download the above pdf and dig through it.


Sideline Q&A

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One of my good friends and officiating mentors, Don Stoppenbach, gave me a great example many years ago that evolved into the Sideline Q&A Sessions that Atlanta Youth Lacrosse fans have come to expect and enjoy. While I did not get to do as many Q&A sessions as I wanted to this year, I was able to do a good many during the first few weeks of the season, and all of our parents and fans came up with great questions. This post will give you a little history on the Q&A sessions, how they have developed, and finally a list of frequently asked questions and answers for everyone’s enjoyment.

History of the Sideline Q&A

My first experience with the Sideline Q&A was quite a surprise. I was helping officiate a few youth games many years ago, and during halftime of the game my partner Don went over to the fans’ sideline and introduced himself. He stated that he was a GLOA official who was helping ref this youth tournament that weekend, and if anyone had any questions about rules to ask him.

I was a little stunned. It never occurred to me to go over to the fans, who are usually not the official’s best friends, and try to befriend them with a friendly question and answer session. What surprised me was how effective this strategy was in keeping the fans and parents calm. It showed to all of the fans how knowledgeable the referee was, and that he was willing to help everyone enjoy the game more by informing all the fans about the various rules of lacrosse.

After seeing Don do this for each half of our series of games together I was convinced that the Sideline Q&A was a winner, and I wanted to take it to Atlanta Youth Lacrosse.

Development of the Sideline Q&A

While I do not usually get too nervous when speaking in front of people, I was definitely battling butterflies before my first Sideline Q&A. It was back in the early days of YMCA Lax, the precursor to Atlanta Youth Lacrosse, and I was the head official each weekend. I put it on myself to go over to the fans’ sideline in almost every halftime and conduct a brief Q&A session. I have no idea how the first session went. I was that nervous. Mainly because it is generally not a good idea for officials, who try to be unbiased, to interact with fans, who are always biased. So I was shaking in my boots trying my best to answer a lot of questions in a short period of time.

Like anything else, practice makes you better, and I got a lot of practice answering questions that season. I got a lot better at introducing myself to the entire sideline, getting everyone’s attention, and answering questions briefly but thoroughly. Eventually, I developed the following introduction:

“Hello everyone! My name is Gordon Corsetti and I’m the head official here at Atlanta Youth Lacrosse. If anyone has any questions about rules, or about something that was called during this game please ask away and I will answer your question as best as I can.”

My favorite thing about the Q&A sessions is how much it calms down everybody. It shows that there is a capable, competent, and confident official on the field who is in control of the game. Ultimately, the parents want their kids to be safe and have fun. It is my opinion that if a game is officiated focusing on safety and fairness, then the kids will always have a good time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a legal body check?
    • From the front or from the side, with the hands together, and between the collarbone and the waist.
  • What is a legal stick check?
    • Hitting the gloved hand holding the stick, or the stick itself.
  • What is in-and-out of the crease?
    • If a defensive player or the goalie has the ball in possession outside of the crease. He may not enter the crease.
  • How long is each penalty?
    • Personal fouls = 1, 2, or 3 minutes depending on the official’s discretion. Most personal fouls are one-minute in length, but can be made longer if especially illegal or violent.
    • Technical fouls = 30 seconds
  • Why did you call failure to advance?
    • Older teams are usually subject to advancement counts. 20 seconds for the defense to clear the ball past the plane of the midfield line, and 10 seconds for the offense to touch the ball into the box.

I would really like to thank my good friend Don Stoppenbach for giving me such a useful tool for managing youth games. I’ve answered so many great questions from our parents and fans, but the best thing that I’ve gotten from the Sideline Q&A were the people coming up to me after the game and saying how great it was for someone to come over and answer questions.

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