Teaching our Youth the Rules of Field Lacrosse Play

by Tyson Leies

Things to consider when your child begins playing lacrosse. Everyone from a first time player, official, coaches and parents should know the basic rules of field lacrosse and the modified rules set for our youth that play Under 9 and below (found under our "VIFLL" tab and then under "Rules".

Knowing the rules and teaching our youth the essentials to have a fun and rewarding experience while we introduce the sport to young boys and girls is the key to field lacrosse growth and to keep our registration numbers up while we rebuild our Vancouver Island Field Lacrosse League.

Involving your son or daughter in any sport means evaluating the positives and negatives before signing them up. Lacrosse is a team sport requiring protective gear and game equipment in order to participate. Costs can vary but, much like hockey, this should be considered for any parent but isn’t likely to be the most important consideration.

First, consider the personality of your child. Do they lose interest in new things easily or tend to dedicate themselves? Have they played other team sports and are they looking to replace those or add lacrosse to their activities? Are they competitive and active? These are some of the basic things to evaluate in your child to see if lacrosse makes sense.

Lacrosse is a physical game. It requires near constant movement, which is fantastic for conditioning and overall fitness. Though youth lacrosse doesn’t allow body checking, there is still contact between players. The game uses a stick with a head on it that holds a ball. The ball can hurt so bruises can be common on legs and arms. It also isn’t unusual for players to get hit by their opponents sticks which can hurt, even with protective gear. It is important to note the physical nature of the game because not all athletes, and not all kids like contact sports. You and your child should talk openly about this as it will be part of your decision to play.

Lacrosse requires coordination. Players use a stick with a head to catch and throw a rubber ball. The coordination required to run, and handle the balls, using the stick as well as being him the sticks of their opponents, means that most kids aren’t fully prepared until at least third or fourth grade. That doesn’t mean you can’t start your child out earlier. Stick skills are so important to good play that if they begin really young their aptitude should exceed that of their peers who join later. Every child is different and you know yours better than anyone so evaluate their ability but also their willingness to practice and your willingness to help.

Under 9 Coaches Assistance

We are requesting coaches assistance with foul enforcement. It has been observed that some coaches are not taking remedial action on the sidelines with their players. There is no “time served” penalties at the U9 level so we do require coaches to work with players to avoid excessive body contact during games.

All Levels of Play

Rule 22 Coaches: 22.2 The Head Coach shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a proper sporting like manner and they shall endeavor in every way to have their Players and substitutes also conduct themselves in the same manner. They shall also be in control of and responsible for the actions and conduct of all non-playing members of their squad and any and all persons officially connected with their Team. They shall assist the Officials to keep the game under control at all times It shall be their duty, upon the request of an official, to effectively control any actions of spectators, which are not in conformity with good sportsmanship.

Rule 75 Unsportsmanlike Conduct:  75.1 No Player, substitute, non-playing member of a squad, Coach or anyone officially connected with a competing Team shall: i.) Enter into an argument with an Official as to any decision which they have made ii.) In any way attempt to influence the decision of an Official iii.) Use threatening, profane or obscene language or gestures to an Official or to any member of the opposing squad iv.) Commit any act considered unsportsmanlike by the Officials

LETS STEP BACK AND RE-EVALUATE WHY OUR CHILDREN PLAY FIELD LACROSSE. They are not getting a NCAA scholarship while attending elementary or middle school. Winning isn't "everything" or "the only thing"... let our children have fun while they learn the game of field lacrosse, let them enjoy their drives to and from the grass or turf field to practices or games and importantly... ask them if they had fun, what they'd like to do to have more fun and last but not least... do they want to do it again!