Beginning with the 2023-24 club season, the National Lacrosse Federation will require all players aged 14 and younger on its member clubs, and participants in tournaments run by its member clubs, to go through an age verification process with USA Lacrosse. Here are some FAQs about the process.
Why is the National Lacrosse Federation (NLF) requiring age verification at the 14U level and younger?
There are several compelling reasons behind the NLF’s decision. Among the biggest:
Integrity of competition
Quality of experience for all participants
Why is the NLF partnering with USA Lacrosse on this initiative?
As the governing body for the sport in the United States, USA Lacrosse brings trust, credibility and neutrality to the process. USA Lacrosse already has a proven age verification system in place that it has used for other organizations and looks forward to expanding the program.
USAL is the only teammate that had all of the tools needed to execute this vision along with NLF members. USAL boasts robust divisions in tech, digital communications, marketing and trusted leadership.
What are the age groupings?
For the 2023-2024 club year, in graduation years 2029 and younger, the NLF has chosen to implement a 15- month timeframe (June 1 birthdate through August 31 of the following year) for its age groupings. The NLF clubs are expected to continue using graduation years as the team names, but all players will fit within the 15-month groupings. This will help minimize team roster disruptions and to incentivize classmates playing together.
NLF Age Chart 2023-24 Club Season
Will this cause existing teams to be broken up?
NLF research indicates a majority of team rosters will stay intact. Some individual players will be affected by the birthdate changes and which team those players move to will be handled on an individual basis by the club
Are players allowed to play up?
Yes, players are allowed to play in an older age group if they so choose. This is a decision made jointly between the player, the player’s parents and the club program.
How does this affect high school players?
The NLF will continue to group high school players by graduation year to assist with the college recruiting process. High-school aged NLF players and tournament participants will be required to maintain an active USA Lacrosse membership, but they will not be required to go through the age verification process.
When does this take effect?
The NLF will begin having its players go through the age verification process following tryouts this summer (2023). All players will need to be age verified to participate in NLF events beginning fall of 2023.
How will I know if my child is playing in an NLF event and needs age verification?
If the event you are playing in requires age verification, you will be notified by your club and/or the tournament operator with information about the requirement.
How does the process work and what documentation is needed?
NLF member clubs will send an email to players with instructions on how to begin the USA Lacrosse annual membership and age verification process, and ensure each player is affiliated with the appropriate club. After a player becomes a USA Lacrosse member, individuals will be required to upload a birth certificate or passport and a photo to the secure USA Lacrosse database.
The age verification process uses SSL technology, the standard for transmitting sensitive information online. The document will be reviewed by USA Lacrosse to confirm data and the player’s member record will be marked as age verified. Following the confirmation of the data, the electronic version of the uploaded document will be destroyed.
How do I add age verification if my child is already a USA Lacrosse member?
If your child is already a USA Lacrosse member, select My Account on the USA Lacrosse website (www.usalacrosse.com). Once the parent is logged in, they choose my household users, click on the icon to edit user profile for their child and then click the age verification button to begin the age verification process.
Do players have to go through the age verification process every year?
Age verification with USA Lacrosse is a one-time process and will remain valid as long as the individual players maintains an active annual USA Lacrosse membership. Annual USA Lacrosse membership for 14U players is currently $30 and it is $35 for high school players. More membership information can be found here.
How long does the process take?
The review process can take up to three (3) business days depending on volume. Clubs and teams should ensure that their players are all age verified well in advance of their event to avoid any players not being able to participate.
Is there a cost associated with the USA Lacrosse age verification service?
A USA Lacrosse membership is required for all players to maintain their age verification status, but there is no additional charge for the age verification process.
How will the policy be enforced at events?
Rosters will be verified in advance of events using online tools from USA Lacrosse. Individual players will have access to a digital USA Lacrosse membership card that will display their age verification status with additional tools under consideration. Spot checks will be done at events on a random basis by tournament event staff to ensure that teams remain in compliance. USA Lacrosse will also send representatives to select NLF events to assist with monitoring rosters.
What are the penalties if a team is found using an ineligible player?
The NLF and USA Lacrosse expect 100 percent compliance and cooperation with this policy. With that said, NLF and USA Lacrosse are cooperatively developing a compliance, accountability and penalty process. More details will follow.
Why is USA Lacrosse only doing this with the NLF, why not all tournaments?
USA Lacrosse sought to team up with the NLF, leaders in club and event operations, to spearhead the AV initiative. It was imperative to collaborate with nationally renowned brands that have long standing reputations to begin the process of AV. Our combined goal is to have 100% compliance with club lacrosse. USA Lacrosse is open to working with all leagues or events interested in utilizing its age verification service.