New allowances for stick specifications at 8U and 10U, and changes to faceoff procedures which now align at all levels were among the USA Lacrosse boys’ youth rule changes approved for the 2022 season.
Most of the other changes in regards to game clocks in lopsided score differential games and penalty administration procedures are consistent with the soon to be released boys’ high school rule changes.
Among the more substantial changes for youth was the modification of Rule 1.6 to allow the use of either a boy’s field crosse or a girl’s field crosse as being legal for play at 8U and 10U. Whichever stick specification is used must still adhere to the stringing and pocket depth testing requirements outlined in the boys’ youth rulebook.
“This change was made to allow program leaders and players additional flexibility with their equipment and should help reduce some barriers to entry for kids that just want to try lacrosse,” said Rick Lake, USA Lacrosse staff liaison to the rules committee.
Similar to the soon to be announced new boys’ high school rule, the committee did approve a running game clock at 10U, 12U, and 14U for games with a score differential of 12 goals or more in the second half. The running clock will remain in effect for the rest of the game. The committee also added the option in the youth rules for the head coach of the trailing team to choose to start with possession of the ball at midfield or to have a faceoff after goals.
“This provision builds on the high school change and also has a mercy allowance that gives the lopsided team a chance at a free possession,” Lake said. “This is a welcome option according to our surveying.”
While youth faceoff changes reflect the same changes made at the high school level, one allowance made by the committee is to let players at 10U drop down to a knee if needed.
The complete list of rule changes will be contained in the rule book which will be posted online this fall and available for purchase online. USA Lacrosse, through its officials’ and coaches’ education programs, will be focused throughout the fall and during the 2022 National Convention to provide instruction and support to its constituents to prepare for the new season.