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Coach Level 1 Certification

Level 1 Coaching Development certification is designed to introduce coaches to the responsibilities and philosophies of coaching and how to provide a safe and athlete-centered environment that emphasizes positive growth and sportsmanship. The Level 1 curriculum provides the tools to teach lacrosse effectively to players of all ages. This baseline training is relevant for all lacrosse coaches, regardless of experience.

Level 1 Certification Requirements
 Current USA Lacrosse Membership (includes current "Green Light" NCSI background check and Abuse Prevention Training)
 Level 1 Developing the Individual Athlete Online Course (Self-Paced)
 Developing the Individual Athlete On-Field Clinic or Athlete-Centered Coaching Virtual Workshop (Live Training)
 How to Coach Kids Online Course (Self-Paced)
 Men's Game Coaches Only: How to Make Proper Contact Online Course (Self-Paced)
 Women's Game Coaches Only: Safe & Legal Defense Online Course (Self-Paced)

Steps to Certification

Purchase a USA Lacrosse membership

For coaches 18 and older, membership includes complimentary enrollment into the Level 1 Coach Development Certification Program. Members will see this listed in their account online as “pending” until all requirements below are completed.

You may complete these components in any order. The recommended path is below.

Pass an NCSI background screening

There is no cost to coach members – a complementary background screening is part of your USA Lacrosse membership. The background check is performed by one of the nation’s leading providers - the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI).

To complete the screening, log into your member account and complete the following steps

  • On My Account page, click Menu
  • Next, select the third option in the dropdown menu - Background Check
  • You will be redirected to a background check information page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Start Background Check.
  • Complete the background check form and submit the screening.

Please be sure to have the following items available: 

  1. Government issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.);
  2. List of addresses lived at over the past five years;
  3. Social security number.

The criminal background check is based on guidelines from the National Council for Youth Sports, the FBI PROTECT Act and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Please note: It takes 2-3 weeks for USA Lacrosse to receive the results of a background check investigation. Membership is pending until a green light background check is received.


Complete Online Courses

  • Level 1 “Developing the Individual Athlete” Online Course (Non-game specific)
  • How to Coach Kids (non-game specific)
  • How to Make Proper Contact (men's game only)
  • Safe & Legal Defense (women's game only)
  • Online courses are available at (click on e-learning from the toolbar on the left hand side).

Tour guides navigate through coaching fundamentals and methods of teaching the sport. Current USA Lacrosse members have free, unlimited access to the men’s and women’s game courses. This access does not expire as long as your membership is current. Coaches must take the course for the game in which they wish to certify. Coaches looking to certify in both games must take both courses.

Complete a live training

Live training is available virtually. Click here for the calendar of currently available workshops. If you previously took our hands-on developing the individual athlete instructional clinic, you do not also have to take the athlete centered coaching virtual workshop to certify.


When USA Lacrosse has all of your requirements on record, you will see your certification listed on your member card, available at My Account.


To maintain your certification, you simply need to:

  1. Keep your membership current by renewing each year. 
  2. Renew your NCSI background screening every two years after the first screening. Not sure when to do this? Check your expiration date.