Wellesley Youth Lacrosse Club

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US Lacrosse and Founders League Rules:

The national governing body for lacrosse is US Lacrosse. All coaches, players and refs should be registered with US Lacrosse. US Lacrosse, through its rules committee, produces a set of rules for both men's, women's and youth lacrosse. The Founders League, which Wellesley Youth Lacrosse is a part of, may modify some of these rules. The WYLC adheres to the rules adopted by the Founders League.

US Lacrosse Woman’s and Youth Lacrosse Rule Book:



Grade 1 / 2 may play games, on a modified field.  Field is determined by space availability.

Grade 3 / 4 play on a modified field, about 60x40 yards.  Field will be marked by cones and goals by goalie creases.

Grade 5/6 and 7/8 play on a full Woman’s Lacrosse field.



Grade 3 / 4

·      Play is 8 v 8 (7 plus a goalie). Game is two, 20 or 25 min halves (coaches decide), running time.

·      Player set up - 2 Defense, 3 Middies, 2 Offense, 1 Goalie

·      At the draw, players line up on the defensive and offensive ends, traditional lineup length of the field.

·      Introduction of the restraining line (midline).  2 players plus the goalie must stay behind the restraining line at all times.  Introduction of the 8 meter Arc.

·      Play of Game: Draw at start of game and after every goal, goalie clears after a save.  Goals are regular size.

·      No checking, three pass rule (founders rule), 3 seconds closely guarded applies.

·      Fouls are delineated major/minor and cardable.

·      Must play 1v1 defense

·      Score is kept, no overtime, referees are required, coaches must remain on the sideline.

·      Substitution can occur after a goal or during play.


Grades 5/6 and 7/8

·      Play is 12 v 12 (11 plus a goalie).  Game is two, 25 min halves, running time.

·      Player set up - 4 Defense, 3 Middies, 4 Offense, 1 Goalie

·      Introduction of the draw circle where only three players from each team are positioned on the start.  All other players must stay back behind the restraining line until possession is taken.

·      Two restraining lines on either side of the field at the 30yard line.  Four players plus the goalie must stay back at all times.

·      Self-start is allowed.  For a foul outside the critical scoring area, the player who is awarded the ball, after coming to a stop/settled stance, may continue playing without waiting for an additional whistle.

·      Play of Game: Draw at start of game and after every goal, goalie clears after a save.  Goals are regular size.

·      No checking, 3 seconds closely guarded applies.

·      Fouls are delineated major/minor and cardable

·      Score is kept, 1 time out per half but not in the last 2 min of the game, no overtime

·      Referees are required, coaches must remain on the sideline

·      Substitution can occur after a goal or on the fly

·      Grade 7/8 has modified checking


FOULS: There are two types of fouls- Direct and Indirect.  In a direct foul, they have the ability to shoot on goal.  Indirect they may not.  In all fouls, the fouling player is placed 4 meters behind the fouled player and the area in front of the fouled player is clear or “free”.

Major fouls in the critical scoring area, result in the opposing player getting a free positon in the 8m arc (Direct).

Minor fouls in the critical scoring area results in an indirect free position. The ball must be played by another player before the shot, no closer than the 12 M.


RESTRAINING LINE: In grades 3 / 4, the mid line is the restraining line.  In grades 5/6 and 7/8, the restraining line is thirty yards out from either goal. Four players including the goalie may not cross this line into the scoring area.



Grades 3/4 & 5/6: No stick checking is allowed at the Grades 3/4 or 5/6 level.  However, in these divisions, if the defender is in a position to check and holds that position for 3 seconds- as determined by the umpire-  the defender gains possession of the ball. The umpire will count the seconds.

Grades 7/8:  In this division, modified checking is permitted. Modified checking is defined as the defender striking the head of the stick when the entire stick is below shoulder level.  The defender must use a downward motion away from the other player's body.

Stick-to-stick contact does not violate the checking rule if the attack player -- not the defender -- initiates contact as in the following situations:

1) A defender holding her stick in good defensive position forces the attacker to cradle into her stick causing contact.
2) A defender with her stick up in an attempt to block or intercept a pass or shot causes the attacker to make contact while in the act of passing or catching the ball.

SHOOTING SPACE:  Is the space in front of the ball carrier to the edge of the crease.  A defender who is not within a stick’s length of the ball carrier may not block the ball carrier or enter the “free space to the goal“ when that attacker is in position  to or in the act of shooting.  Violation results in a Direct Free position.
CREASE VIOLATION:  Only one player may be in the goal crease at the time (usually the goalie). Violation creates a possession turn over to the opposing team.

OUT OF BOUNDS:  Fields are lined with a fixed boundary marker.  There are two separate rules that govern out of bounds that depend on the type of play occurring.

  1. Passing Plays: If an offensive player attempts to pass the ball to a team mate and it goes out of bounds, the other team is awarded the ball.
  2. Shots on Goal: If a shot on goal goes out of bound- whether it was deflected or not- the player closest to the ball at the time it goes out of bounds- from either team-  is awarded possession of the ball.

Different Types of Fouls

Minor fouls (misplay, procedural)

  • Contested ground balls
  • Covering the ball
  • Minimum pass rule
  • 3 Seconds closely guarded
  • Goalkeeper fouls (no more than 10 sec. to hold the ball)(step back into the crease after leaving it)


Major (safety)

  • Restraining Line violation
  • 3 Seconds in the arc (when D is not within stick lengths away)
  • Shooting Space
  • Goal circle violation (no player is allowed in)
  • Illegal check


Major – Cardable

  • Contact (stick to body/horizontal stick)
  • Shooting fouls - Dangerous Propel (dangerous shot at goalkeeper, without control) or Dangerous Follow Through (stick goes into goal circle)
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct


*Major fouls result in 8M arc free shot