U15 Small Sided Competition Guidelines

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1 U15 Small Sided Competition Guidelines Age and developmentally appropriate lacrosse competition for girls playing in the U15 Age Classification

2 Our Vision We envision a future that offers people everywhere the opportunity to discover, learn, participate in, enjoy, and ultimately embrace the shared passion of the lacrosse experience. About Athlete Development It is our sincere hope that by providing these competition guidelines to lacrosse coaches, parents, and program administrators, players across the country will have an opportunity to learn lacrosse in a way that is physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially appropriate. We believe that this increases both the learning and fun for young athletes. When kids are having fun, they are learning and when they learn they improve. Age appropriate competitions will help young athletes reach their full potential, because they will Learn Lacrosse Better Love Lacrosse More Stay in Lacrosse Longer The Small Sided Competition Guidelines and contents herein are the exclusive property of US Lacrosse. Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited. For reproduction requests, please contact US Lacrosse at (410) Version 1.0 Published 12/1/2015

3 Philosophy of U15 Lacrosse U15 lacrosse is where young athletes begin emerging into a competitive environment. The children entering at this point have a vast difference in their physical and cognitive developments and the game they play should be designed to reinforce fundamental technical skills and practical tactical applications for playing lacrosse. Essentially, they are preparing to be competitors. Careful planning must be used to ensure that the environment is inclusive of all athletes, provides multiple opportunities for each athlete to touch the ball, encourages experimentation, and a progressive development of existing technical skills. Additionally, the technical skills they are honing, are now being applied to the tactical aspect of the game. Athletes should be coached to have a Growth Mindset by having effort praised ahead of results. With respect to the competition at this level, coaches, parents, and officials should emphasize: FUN Using technical skills in game situations Expanding tactical skills Situational understanding.

4 Age and Eligibility Player must be 14 years old or younger on August 31 of the year preceding competition. It is recommended that when multiple teams exist within a program, teams should consider the physical size, skill, and maturity level when selecting teams. At no time should players younger than 13 years of age be permitted to play at the U15 level. Ideally, players should be playing in single age classifications. Playing Up or Down It is not recommended that players participate outside of their age classification due to the vast differences is physical and cognitive development. If program size allows, teams should be selected based on the physical size, skill, and maturity level of the athletes in a single age classification. Recommended Roster Sizes Local administrators should strive to construct their teams with a player to coach ratio of 15:1. This ratio provides ample opportunity for all athletes to receive effective coaching. It is recommended that whenever possible teams do not have more than 20 or less than 15 players. Coaches and Officials Coaches are not permitted on the field of play. They may roam the designated coaches box on their respective sideline. US Lacrosse recommends 2 certified officials on the field for every competition.

5 Field Dimensions and Specifications The Goal 6x6 goals with securely affixed netting. The goal shall be centered within the goal goal circle. The Goal Circle The goal circle shall have a 8.5 radius. Field Markings Given the multiple constraints that many programs encounter, no permanent or semipermanent markings are required by rule. Programs may elect to use flat disc cones in part or whole to designate the playing area. Whenever possible, existing lines on a field may be used to define boundaries, provided the field does not exceed 100x55 yards.

6 Field Players The U15 Competition is played by having 11 field players from each team on the field at a time and 1 legally equipped goalkeeper. Goalkeepers Goalkeepers are required at the U15 level of play. Additionally, no player other than a legally equipped goalkeeper (by USL Youth Rules and Guidelines) may intentionally assume the role of goalkeeper. Protective Equipment Goggles and mouthguards are required for all field players and goalkeepers must be properly equipped as designated in the US Lacrosse Youth Rules and Guidelines. Sticks Existing NFHS/ USL Youth Rules Specs. The Ball The ball must meet NOCSAE specifications to be legal for play.

7 Competition Timing A competition will consist of two (2) twenty five-minute running time halves, with a fiveminute halftime period. Timeouts Teams will have (1) two-minute timeout per half. Timeouts do not carry over to the second half or overtime periods. Overtime Each team is permitted (2) non-consecutive twominute timeouts per half and (1) two-minute timeout per overtime period. Timeouts are not transferrable between halves or overtime periods. Scorekeeping Scores are to be kept at this level of play.

8 Starting the Competition Prior to the start of competition the official will call one player from each team and conduct a coin toss. The winner of the coin toss will choose which goal they defend or first Alternating Possession. The loser of the coin toss will be awarded the remaining choice. The competition will start with a 3v3 draw at the center. All remaining players must be placed equally behind their offensive and defensive restraining line. All players are released on the officials whistle. Restarting After a Goal is Scored After a goal is scored, the competition will restart with a 3v3 draw at the center. All remaining players must be placed equally behind their offensive and defensive restraining line. All players are released on the officials whistle. Off-Sides Yes. A team is considered off-sides when they have more than 7 players past their offensive restraining line or when they have more than 8 players (including the goalkeeper) past their defensive restraining line. Substitutions See NFHS/US Lacrosse Youth Rules and Guidelines. Coaches should emphasize regular substitutions, focusing on player development in multiple positions on the field.

9 Minor Fouls Raking the Ball At no time may a player use the back of their stick to cover or rake the ball backwards. They may only use a forward scooping motion to attempt to gain possession of the ball. Covering the Ball Players are not permitted to cover the ball under any circumstances. Goal Circle Violation No player other than the properly equipped goalkeeper, from either team may enter the goal circle at any time. A player may reach her stick into the goal circle for the sole purpose of collecting a loose ball. If the ball becomes ensnared in the outside of the goal, the official will blow the whistle and award the ball to the defensive team. Minimum Passing Requirement Teams are not required to complete a minimum number of passes before going to goal. Coaches should stress the importance of teamwork and utilizing all players. A coach may choose to enforce a minimum requirement on his or her own team. Goalkeeper Interference With one foot inside of her goal circle and possession of the ball the goalkeeper is protected from checking of any type.

10 Goalkeeper Counts In the event of the goalkeeper gaining possession of the ball within her goal circle during a live-ball situation, the goalkeeper has 10 seconds to either exit the goal circle or attempt to pass the ball out of the goal circle to a member of her team. Off Sides A team is considered off-sides when they have more than 7 players past their offensive restraining line or when they have more than 8 players (including the goalkeeper) past their defensive restraining line.

11 Major Fouls Checking Modified, below the shoulder checking is permitted. Body Contact Legal body contact while attempting to gain possession of a loose ball in situations such as ground balls or off the draw is permissible. Unsportsmanlike Conduct Players are expected to uphold the highest levels of sportsmanship at all times.

12 KEY OBJECTIVES FOR SUCCESS Focus-Where we spend most of our time. Goals for this stage of development -What we are trying to achieve About Coaching U15 Athletes Technical and Tactical Refinement To combine technical skills with tactical understanding to develop as a wellrounded lacrosse player, while also improving physically and psychologically in preparation for more competitive settings. Player-centered environment-what it should look like PLAYER DEVELOPMENT Athletic Development Technical (Skills) Development Tactical (Strategy) Development Psychological Development - working to support athletes in these areas Social-Behavioral Development-- know that at this age they are PRACTICE Practice to Competition & Competition Specific Training Ratio** Primary Objective of Practice Max Recommended Ratio (player:coach) Length of Sessions Frequency* Multi-Sport Participation-Sport and physical activity diversification-other sports and activities. Fun, accepting, meaningful, safe and positive. Rewards improvement and effort, develops healthy peer relationships. Appeals to players sense of need to belong yet also develop a positive personal identity through team dynamics. Recognizes individual strengths and potential. Growth mindset. Mastery envrionment is evident. Agility, footwork, dynamic balance, core strength, lower extremity strength (for injury prevention), endurance (at growth spurt), speed, flexibility. Consistently demonstrates and can execute fundamental skills under pressure. Developing stick checking and body checking ability as allowable within the rules. Developing proficiency of position-specific skills Exploring extra-player defense and offense, Mastering numbers situations and tactical play up to 7v7. Developing transition, riding and clearing skills for transition to full-sided play. Developing awareness and anticipation. Autonomy, choosing ones activities, setting more complex and long-term goals, seeing long-term benefits to hard work, developing good peer relationships and teamwork, self-motivation. Respect for the game, teammates, opponents, coach, officials, and self. Time of rapid change physically, very aware of body and differences in maturity. Self-identity is being formed. Participation in sport is largely dependent upon friends. Can understand full scope of rules of the game and consequences of ones actions. 60:40 To refine technical skills and develop tactical proficiency. Practices include regular competitive situations in progressions. Include competitive games that reinforce understanding, and high-repetition game-like drills. Include free play. 15:1 90 minutes Up to 3x a week during an 8-14 week season Athlete may decide to start focusing more on 1-2 key sports. If lacrosse rises to the top in motivation and desire, suggest picking another sport that is complimentary during another season. Such as field hockey, soccer, ice hockey, football, basketball etc.

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