Youth lacrosse in Shelburne, VT

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OVERVIEW- The following rules are the rules followed by the Northern Vermont Youth Lacrosse League (NVTYLL).  They are based on High School lacrosse rules but modified to meet the needs of youth lacrosse players.


-Contact game played by ten players: a goalkeeper, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen.
-The object is to shoot the ball into the opponent’s goal.  The team scoring the most goals wins.  A player can kick the ball into the goal or the ball can go in off his body.
-Each team must keep at least four players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and three in its offensive half.  Three players (midfielders) may roam the entire field.
-The game has 4 quarters.  (Different lengths depending on age).  Teams change sides between quarters. See below for specifics for the NVTYLL.

-Men’s lacrosse begins with the face-off.  The ball is placed between the sticks of two squatting players  at the center of the field and placing their sticks on the ground so that the heads of the sticks have their backs to each other.  Youth lacrosse have a face-off “X” to place the ball.  The two opponents’ sticks are parallel to the midline with both gloves having contact on the ground.  The stick heads must be perpendicular to the ground and the right foot must be behind the right glove.  The official blows the whistle to begin play.  Each face-off player tries to control the ball.  The players  in the wing area (the other midfielders)  can release (run to the ball).  The other players (attackmen and defensemen) must wait until one player has gained possession of the ball or the ball has crossed the goal line.  The attackmen and defensemen must stay in the respective offensive boxes until possession is determined by officials.
-Center face-offs are also used after a goal and at the start of each quarter.
-Only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hands.  He may not be checked if he has gained possession of the ball within the crease area nor is an opponent allowed in the crease area.
-The goaltender is considered in the crease as long as he has one foot on or within the 18 foot diameter circle.  If he lifts his foot up and puts it back down while in possession of the ball, it is called “out and in” and he loses possession of the ball.
-A goaltender has 4 seconds to step out of the crease or throw the ball to a teammate.  If he does not do this, he loses possession of the ball.
-A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent’s stick with a stick check, which includes the controlled poking and slapping of the stick and gloved hands of the player in possession of the ball.
-Body checking is permitted if the opponent has the ball.  All contact must occur from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders.  An opponent’s stick may also be stick checked if it is within five yards of a loose ball or ball in the air. 
Note- See special body checking  rules under personal fouls.
-If the ball or a player in possession of the ball goes out of bounds, the other team is awarded possession of the ball.  If the ball goes out of bounds after an unsuccessful shot on goal, the player nearest to the ball when and where it goes out of bounds is awarded possession.
-An attacking player cannot enter the crease around the goal, but may reach in with his stick to scoop a loose ball.

There are two types of fouls, PERSONAL and TECHNICAL.
The penalty for a personal foul is a one minute suspension from play and possession to the team that was fouled.  If a penalty is particularly serious it may be increased to a 2 minute or 3 minute penalty.  Players with 5 personal fouls are ejected from the game.  A non-releasable  penalty is one where if the man-up team scores a goal during a penalty the penalized player is still not released to the field.
Slashing:  Occurs when a player’s stick contacts an opponent in any area other than the stick or gloved hand on the stick.  Note- One-handed stick checks shall be allowed.  However, if the one-handed check is initiated with the stick above the shoulder and executed in a downward motion (a chop) or is used to intimidate another player, it will be ruled a slash.
Tripping:  Occurs when a player obstructs his opponent at or below the waist with the stick, hands, arms, feet, or legs.
Cross Checking:  Occurs when a player uses the handle of his stick to make contact with an opponent.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct:  Occurs when any player or coach commits an act which is considered unsportsmanlike by an official, including taunting, profane language or gestures (starting with "damn"), derogatory comments and arguing.  This includes behavior directed toward a player, coach, referee, or spectator. 
Note- First offense, 1 to 3 minute non-releasable usportsmanlike conduct penalty; second offense a 3 minute non-releasable expulsion foul.
Unnecessary Roughness: Occurs when a player strikes an opponent with his stick or body using excessive or violent force.
Illegal Stick:  See General Rules (Youth Lacrosse- Equipment Section) Section
Illegal Body Checking:  Occurs when any of the following actions takes place:  (a) body checking of an opponent who is not possession of the ball or not within five yards of a loose ball; (b) avoidable body check of an opponent after he has passed or shot the ball; (c)body checking of an opponent from the rear or at or below the waist; (d) body checking of an opponent by a player in which contact is made above the shoulders of an opponent.  A body check must be below the neck, and both hands of the player applying the body check must remain in contact with his stick.
Body checking  at the 5/6 and 7/8 levels.
Body checking is permitted at the 5/6 and 7/8 levels; however, no take-out checks are permitted by any player.  A take out check is defined as any check in which the player lowers his head or shoulder with the force and intent to put the other player on the ground.  Players may make contact in the upright position within five yards of the ball.
Body checking  at the 3/4 level.
No body checking is permitted at the ¾ level (including man/ball “clear the body” type pushing).  If a loose ball is not moving, the referee may re-start play by awarding the ball to the team that is in their defensive zone.
Illegal gloves: Occurs when a player uses gloves that do not conform to required specifications.  A glove will be found illegal if the fingers and palms are cut out of the gloves, or if the glove has been altered in a way that compromises its protective features.
Mouthpiece:  A player must wear a mouthpiece.  One minute non-releasable penalty.
The penalty for a technical foul varies depending on what team has possession of the ball when the foul occurs.  Below are the possibilities:
a) If a team has possession of the ball and someone on the team commits a foul, possession goes to the other team.
b) If a  team does not have possession of the ball and someone on the team commits a foul, the player who commits the foul serves a 30 second penalty.
Holding:  Occurs when a player impedes the movement of an opponent or an opponent’s stick.
Interference:  Occurs when a player interferes in any manner with the free movement of an opponent, except when that opponent has possession of the ball, the ball is in flight and within five yards of the players, or both players are within five yards of a loose ball.
Off Sides:  Occurs when a team does not have at least 4 players on its defensive side of the midfield line or at least 3 players on its offensive side of the midfield line.
Pushing:  Occurs when a player thrusts or shoves a player from behind.
Screening:  Occurs illegally when an offensive player moves into and makes contact with a defensive player with the purpose of blocking him from the man he is defending.
Stalling:  Occurs when a team intentionally holds the ball without conducting normal offensive play with the intent of running time off the clock. Stalling shall be enforced for 5/6 and 7/8 throughout the game and the team with the lead must keep the ball in the goal area during the last two minutes of the game. 
Note- This rule does not apply at the ¾ level.
Warding Off:  Occurs when a player in possession of the ball uses his free hand or arm to hold, push, or control the direction of an opponent’s stick.

Penalties- Time serving penalties are enforced and man up situations are permitted at the 7/8, 5/6, and 3/4 levels.
Spectators:  Spectators and fans will be placed on the opposite side of the field from the bench area.  If the field is laid out in a manner that does not allow spectators and fans to be located on the far side of the field, the referee can waive this requirement.  When stands or seating facilities are not provided on the opposite side of the field,  spectators fans and parents will observe the 6-yard spectator limit line on the bench side of the field.
Four-Point lead/Mercy Rule:  During the regular season at any point during a game when there is a four-point 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-point lead is maintained, unless waived by the coach of the trailing team. This rule does not apply in the playoffs.
Length of the Game: Grades 5/6 and 7/8
2 game jamborees
-4 quarters
-8 minute stop time
-3 minutes between quarters
-6 minute half
-2, 2 minute time-outs per half for each team
-1, 4 minute sudden victory overtime
For single games, 10 minute stop time if coaches agree.
Grades ¾
2 game jamborees
-4 quarters
-10 minute running time
-3 minutes between quarters
-6 minute half
-2, 2 minute time-outs per half for each team
-no overtime
For single games, 12 minute running time quarters if coaches agree.
Equipment Checks   
It is the responsibility of each and every coach to ensure that all players are properly equipped with a helmet, shoulder pads, arm pads, gloves, and mouthguards for every league sanctioned game.  Additionally, coaches must require all goalies to be outfitted with proper chest and throat protection gear.
For the 5/6 and 7/8 level
-Official will make 1 stick check per team per half (player and time randomly selected by an official), ideally during a stoppage in play so as to not slow the game.  Coaches can request that the official check one (1) specific, opposing player’s stick per game.
-Official to check the pocket depth and release of ball top and bottom only.
-No stick dimension measurements unless flagrant violation suspected in official’s judgment.
-Penalty for an illegal stick is 1 minute non-releasable  and the stick removed from the game until appropriate repairs are made to the stick.  Player is allowed to repair the stick and reintroduce it into play at a normal stoppage of play with check by official.
Timing- 20/10 Second Count-  There will no 20 or 10 second count for 7/8, 5/6, and 3/4.

One Handed Stick Checks-  One handed checks shall be allowed for the 7/8, 5/6, and 3/4 levels.  However, if the one handed check is initiated with the stick hand above the shoulder and executed in a downward motion (a chop) or is used to intimidate another player, it will be ruled a slash.
Lightning Policy
1) A 30- second or less flash-to-bang count calls for immediate removal of the athletes from the field to an appropriate shelter.
2)Thirty minute rule.  Once play has been suspended, wait at least thirty minutes after the last flash of lightning is witnessed or thunder is heard prior to resuming play.
Game Termination
Officials will have authority to terminate a NVTYLL game in response to flagrant acts of unsportsmanlike behavior by coaches, athletes, spectators, or fans.  A game termination will be the last resort in insuring the player’s safety and preserving the integrity of the game.  If possible, game officials will issue at least one strong warning that the game is in danger of being terminated.  However, it is conceivable that games may be terminated on the first instance of a flagrant unsportsmanlike act. Every effort should be taken to avoid game termination, including the enforcement of existing rules for team-conduct penalties, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and ejection fouls.  Mechanics for terminating a game for flagrant unsportsmanlike behavior can be found at the US Lacrosse webpage.  All games terminated by a  US Lacrosse Official, will result in a 1-0 victory for the team that is innocent of the terminal offense (s).  If terminated under these conditions, the game will count in league statistics as a full game, and all goals, assists, saves, and other team statistics should count toward the team and league records.
Age Requirements-
No overage players.  

Age Definition
      U15 (Grades 7/8)- Under 15 at December 31st prior to season, and not in 9th grade
      U13(Grades 5/6)- Under 13 at December 31st prior to season, and not in 7th grade
      U11 (Grades 3/4)-- Under 11 at December 31st prior to season, and not in 5th grade
      Exceptions only with NVTYLL Board approval. Procedure will be majority Board vote by email.
      Intentional illegal player violations by coach results in a 2 year suspension from NVTYLL sponsored play. Determination will be made subject to a Board hearing by majority Board vote.  Players illegally playing down to any division will be ejected for the season and the team will be eliminated from any playoffs and ineligible for any titles or awards.