Tag Archives: u13

I Thought This Was A Contact Sport!

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Ugh. I’ve heard too many variations of this post’s title when I ref U9, U11, U13, and U15 boys lacrosse games. I’ve noticed that the new parents shout out what they perceive as incorrect calls and no-calls. Typically, the moms cry “foul!” when their child gets body-checked, and the dads shout “no way!” when their child is called for an illegal body-check. These shout outs indicate a lack of understand of the various youth boys lacrosse rules on proper body contact at each level.

Here is a link to the third edition of the “Youth Rules & Best Practices Guidebook for Boys” from US Lacrosse. Every new parent to boys lacrosse should read this guidebook with their player or players. It is an excellent resource to refer to during the season.

The important thing to remember about body checking in youth boys lacrosse is that each age level is very specific as to what kind of body checking is permitted. Here are the rulebook definitions for youth body checking along with a layman’s explanation:

  • U9 & U11 – “No body checking of any kind is permitted.”
    • “Legal pushes (Rule 6 Section 9, Pushing) and holds (Rule 6 Section 3, Holding Article 3 a & d) are allowed.”
    • “In all loose ball situations players should ‘play the ball,’ but incidental contact, ‘boxing out’, or screening techniques during such play shall not be considered a violation of this rule.”
      • NFHS Boys Lacrosse 2013 Rulebook page 100
    • Layman’s explanation: Boys lacrosse for the U9 and U11 age levels is essentially basketball with sticks. I explain body checking in this way to give parents a good visual. Players at these two age levels are permitted to push and maneuver players around to gain a strategic advantage, but they cannot try and knock another player to the ground. Just imagine a basketball game and you will have a better idea of how U9 and U11 players can contact other players.
  • U13 & U15 – “Body Checking is permitted. To be legal a body check should be delivered in a generally upright position with both hands on the stick and the player initiating the check may not use his lowered head or shoulder to make the initial contact.”
    • NFHS Boys Lacrosse 2013 Rulebook page 100
    • Layman’s explanation: Body checking is permitted but only in a very defined area. Any body check outside of the defined specifications should be penalized.

With all body checking at the youth level parents, coaches, and players need to keep in mind the following from Rule 5: “US Lacrosse expects stricter enforcement of the Cross Check, Illegal Body Check, Checks Involving The Head/Neck, Slashing, Unnecessary Roughness, and Unsportsmanlike Conduct rules than is common at the high school level.” In other words, this is youth lacrosse and the threshold for personal fouls is considerably lower the younger you go.

This takes me to foul prioritization, which was recently explained by Lucia Perfetti Clark, the officials education and training manager at US Lacrosse, in her post “Not All Fouls Are Created Equal: How Officials Set Priorities“. She writes that, “if there is a potential for safety fouls to occur amongst other, lesser violations, then officials must move that foul to the top. Prioritizing fouls makes the game safer.” Think about what is most important for the officials to call in a U11 game. Should the official call the offsides 40 yards away from the play around the ball or the late body check on the shooter? If both occur near the same time I would much prefer that the official prioritize and catch the safety foul. Lucia explains further that parents have a place in getting the right message to the players:

For safety prioritization to work, coaches, parents and spectators need to support officials. All too often an official makes a big and appropriate safety call, and the next thing you hear from the sideline or the stands is, “That was a great check! Great defense! Keep it up!”

This kind of comment just reinforces bad player behavior and will only serve to escalate the severity and frequency of calls. What works better? Substitute that player so he or she can be coached regarding the call in question or simply has time to cool off before rejoining the game.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve flagged a perfectly illegal body check in a U11 game only to have a parent or even a coach yell to the player, “Great hit!” It was not a great hit, that is why I flagged it. Now the player has two very different messages to put together. I just penalized him for a hit that is not permitted at his age level, but the adults responsible for the player are praising him for the hit. When coaches or parents say things like that my safety radar goes off, and I get even more vigilant for safety violations moving forward. I focus more after hearing those comments because after doing this for so many years I expect the players involved to listen to their coaches and parents more than they will listen to me (the random adult official who they don’t know). Often I am sending the same player off the field for an even more vicious hit.

Officials at every level prioritize calls with safety being the highest priority. The younger the players are the lower the threshold for fouls, and it does not do the player any good to criticize a properly called safety violation for everyone to hear.

Want to learn more about the rules of the game? Check out the US Lacrosse Online Courses!

Featured Image Credit – www.laxallstars.com


Experienced Player November Clinics Registration Now Open!

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Coach Lou is putting on a series of four 1 1/2 hour clinics for experienced U11, U13, and U15 lacrosse players. Experienced players are defined as players with at least three (3) full seasons (spring/fall) of playing experience. AYL will be offering beginner/intermediate clinics in December. Dates for those clinics are TBA.

Each clinic is $25 per player if you are registering for individuals clinics. If you want to register for all four clinics the price is $80 for all four.

Clinics available for registration:

  • All Four Clinics (Nov. 5, 7, 12, 14)
    • Becoming an Offensive Threat – Nov. 5
    • Defense vs Offense – Nov. 7
    • Transition Lacrosse – Nov. 12
    • Understanding The Half Field Game – Nov. 14
    • Cost: $80 – Register Here
  • Clinic: Becoming an Offensive Threat
  • Date, Time, & Location: November 5th, 5PM-6:30PM, (Hammond Park)
  • Experienced players will learn:
    • Making the exchange
    • Two man game
    • Effective dodging from wing and behind
    • Finishing shots
    • Stick protection
    • Cost: $25 – Register Here
  • Clinic: Defense vs Offense
  • Date, Time, & Location: November 7th, 5PM-6:30PM, (Hammond Park)
  • Experienced players will learn:
    • One on one techniques
    • Playing the two man game – defense and offense
    • Learning to switch
    • Playing the pick
    • Picking the ball, player, your man
    • Cost: $25 – Register Here
  • Clinic: Transition Lacrosse
  • Date, Time, & Location: November 12th, 5PM-6:30PM, (Hammond Park)
  • Experienced players will learn:
    • The art of the fast break
    • 3 v 2 techniques
    • 4 v 3 techniques
    • 5 v 4 techniques
    • Playing offense when you are man down
    • Great transition drills
    • Cost: $25 – Register Here
  • Clinic: Understanding The Half Field Game
  • Date, Time, & Location: November 14th, 5PM-6:30PM, (Hammond Park)
  • Experienced players will learn:
    • 6 v 6
    • How to slide adjacent and coma in different offensive sets
    • Riding and clearing the ball from half field
    • Playing ahead and how to hold the ball
    • Cost: $25 – Register Here

Featured Image Credit – http://kriegs.deviantart.com/art/November-2011-265767224


AYL Spring 2014 Season Registration Now Open!

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ATTENTION: Spring 2014 Registration Is Now OPEN!

***Thank you for your patience as we transitioned to our upgraded registration system. As always, any questions may be sent to questions@ayllax.com for a response from one of our league’s directors.***

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2014 Boys Lacrosse Spring Season

Spring is the main season for lacrosse

Boys – PreK-K, U9, U11, U13

Practices and games for U9, U11, U13

PreK-K – a fun one hour session

Please email questions@ayllax.com for more information about the 2014 Spring Season

Spring Season Registration for U9, U11, U13 is now OPEN!

Cost: $285 through November 22nd

November 23rd – November 30th: $310 ($25 late registration fee)

December 1st – December 31st: $335 ($50 late registration fee)

January 1st – January 14th: $360 ($75 late registration fee)

All 2014 Spring Season Registrations close on January 14th

Spring Season Registration for PreK-K, ages 4-6, is now OPEN!

Cost: $150 through November 22nd

November 23rd – January 14th: $175 ($25 late registration fee)

All 2014 Spring Season Registrations close on January 14th

2014 Age Grouping Quick Reference Table

Born on or after 9/1/1998 – U15

Born on or after 9/1/2000 – U13

Born on or after 9/1/2002 – U11

Born on or after 9/1/2004 – U9

U15: All players must be 14 years old or younger on the August 31st preceding competition.

U13: All players must be 12 years old or younger on the August 31st preceding competition.

U11: All players must be 10 years old or younger on the August 31st preceding competition.

U9: All players must be 8 years old or younger on the August 31st preceding competition.

Spring Season Overview

  • What is it?
    • The AYL Spring Season is our main competitive season for boys grades PreK-K – U13. Scores are recorded for playoff seeding. This season ends with a champion team in U11 & U13 age levels
    • PreK-K – 1st grade also play in the spring, but the game scores are not recorded as the primary purpose of this age group is developing the necessary skills to play at the next level
  • Where are the practices?
    • Practices will be at Hammond Park or High Point Elementary
    • U9 practice one day a week – U11 & U13 practice two days a week
    • PreK-K does not practice they only meet on the weekend for a 1 hour session
    • High Point practice days available will be Mon, Wed, Thurs, Friday – as per daylight
    • Hammond practice days available are Tues, Thurs, Friday 5:00 – 7:00
    • Practice days and times will be set by the coaches as per their availabilty due to their work schedules.
    • View our Directions Page for all of our field locations
  • When and where will the games be?
    • Games will be played on either Saturdays or on Sundays this season
    • Our standard format is: PreK-K and U9 start first at 8:00 or 9:00AM , U11 games next, and U13 are the last games of the day
    • Sunday games will be played at Riverwood International Charter School
    • Saturday games will be played at Hammond Park or our newest game location – at Dunwoody Springs Elementary, new turf field, located at 8100 Roberts Drive, Sandy Springs GA 30350
  • What is the game format?
    • Games are 20-minute running time games with a 5-minute halftime
    • Generally, all games run for a total of 45-50 minutes
  • Who plays a championship game?
    • Only U11 & U13 teams will play in a championship game at the end of the season
  • What is the Sportsmanship Game?
    • Coaches and teammates will chose 4-6 players from their team at the end of the season who exemplify sportsmanship. This is our most honored award
  • Who are the coaches?
    • The majority of our coaches are volunteer parents. Some are former experienced players who have played at Division I, II or III schools, while others are new to lacrosse
    • We thank our coaches for volunteering their time and talent who help teach our players lacrosse and life skills.
  • What equipment do the players need?
    • Players are required to wear – Helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, arm pads, boys stick, mouth guard, protective cup, all purpose cleats. For all equipment information – click here
  • I have more questions. Where do I go?
    • You may visit our Parent F.A.Q. page for answers to common questions about Atlanta Youth Lacrosse
    • You may also email questions@ayllax.com for specific answers from one of our league directors