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:
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.