My my My my

Click Here for 2021 CYLA Fall Play Day Rules





Coaches are encouraged to print this out and carry to all games:  2021 CYLA RULES MATRIX

Coaches at the 1st-2nd-3rd grade levels should print out and review this as well:  One Pass Rule 1st-2nd-3rd Grades

Click Here to Review the 2021 Mid-Season Rules Refresher slideshow for particular rules that have been brought up this season: 2021 Reminder Slideshow

One Pass Clarifications:

  • 1. One attempted pass is required in the offensive end before shooting.
    • 1a. The pass must be a legitimate overhand pass attempt.
      1b. Any blatant roll of the ball will not be considered a pass.
      1c. One completed clearing pass (in the air), over the midfield line.

    2. The only time a team is not considered “hot” is at the sound of a whistle.
    • 2a. EXCEPTION: If a penalty occurs while a team is “hot,” then that team is still “hot.” The penalty and sounding of a whistle does not affect this.
      2b. EXCEPTION: If the offensive team is “hot” and steps on/over the midfield line, the  1-pass rule is re-set.

    3. Goalie cannot score on himself.

Youth coaches should be familiar with NFHS Boys High School Lacrosse Rules, which are the basis of Colorado high school lacrosse rules.

NFHS Rules: http://www.nfhs.com/c-198-boys-lacrosse.aspx

2020/21 US Lacrosse Rules: US Lacrosse Youth Rule Book



The CYLA abides by NFHS (National Federation of High Schools) rules as amended by US Lacrosse and the CYLA.   It updates rules on an annual basis to insure safe and fair play for all.  

In general, the NFHS and US Lacrosse have worked together closely to align youth and high school rules to improve the consistency of officiating at both levels.  However, officials and coaches are reminded that:

“At the youth level, US Lacrosse expects stricter enforcement of the Cross Check, Illegal Body Check, Checks Involving The Head/Neck, Slashing, Unnecessary Roughness, and Unsportsmanlike Conduct rules than is common at the high school level.”  (US Lacrosse Rule 5)

Sportsmanship and Conduct
The NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rules Committee advocates for continued commitment by players and coaches to respect the game and each other, on and off the field. Head coaches are asked to monitor and discuss sportsmanship with their players and assistant coaches to ensure the game is held to the highest standard. The committee expects all participants to continue to work together to exhibit good sportsmanship from pregame through postgame.

Player Safety
Continued emphasis is needed regarding player safety rules, particularly contact to the head/neck as well as contact against defenseless or unsuspecting players.

  • Contact to Head/Neck: Shall result in a two- or three-minute non-releasable penalty. Excessive violence may result in ejection.
  • Defenseless Player: Player shall not body-check a player in a defenseless position. Hitting a defenseless player will result in a two- to three-minute non-releasable penalty or ejection.
  • Targeting: When a player intentionally takes aim at an opponent’s head/neck. Targeting shall result in a three-minute non-releasable penalty or ejection.
  • Targeting a Defenseless Player: Targeting a defenseless player shall result in a three-minute non-releasable penalty or ejection.

Pace of Play

  • Officials shall restart play as soon as possible.
  • Restarts: Play may restart with defensive player(s) within 5 yards of a player in possession of the ball. However, the defensive player may not play him until a distance of 5 yards has been established. Play will not resume with an offensive player(s) within 5 yards of the ball.
  • Particular attention should continue to be given to the definition and application of stalling rules.

Future Equipment and Uniform Changes

  • Effective January 1, 2021, all goalkeepers shall wear chest protectors designed for lacrosse that meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard at the time of manufacture.
  • Effective January 1, 2022, all field players shall wear shoulder pads designed for lacrosse that meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard at the time of manufacture.


IMPORTANT NFHS RULES CHANGES FOR 2019:  The NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) Boys Lacrosse Rules Book provides the foundation for the US Lacrosse and CYLA rulebooks.  

The following NFHS rule changes for 2019 will apply to all CYLA divisions.  Your attention is directed specifically to rule 6-3-3e, which now legalizes the cross-check hold, to rule 5-4-6, which creates a penalty for "targeting" the head or neck of an opponent and to rule 5-10e, which creates an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for any coach who is on the field and obstructing play. 

  • 1.6:  Effective in 2019, the CYLA will now enforce the NFHS requirement that sticks must have a minimum distance of 6 inches at the widest point.  The measurement points of 1.25", 3.0", and 5.0" will be enforced in 2019.  

‚Äč1-6-2: Measuring the length of the head at the front (face) of the head.

1-7-1: The pocket/net must be completely attached to the head and the side walls, leaving no gaps large enough for a ball to pass through.

1-9-1j: Beginning January 1, 2021, a goalkeeper chest protector designed for lacrosse that incorporates the NOCSAE ND200 at the time of manufacture shall be used by all goalkeepers.

4-5-9: A shot is considered a ball propelled toward the goal by an offensive player with the intent of scoring a goal. A shot can only be made when the ball is parallel to or above the goal line extended. Additionally, it can be either thrown from a crosse, kicked, or otherwise physically directed.

4-9-3: If any of the following occur between the end of the period and the shot entering the goal, the goal will be disallowed:

a. The ball makes contact with any member of the attacking team or his equipment;

b. The ball is touched by a player of either team other than the defending goalkeeper after hitting the goalkeeper or his equipment, goal posts or crossbar.

4-14-3: If the ball does not touch the center line or something over the center line, no infraction has occurred. A defensive player may reach over the center line with his crosse and bat the ball to keep it in his team's offensive half and thus prevent an over-and-back violation. However, he may NOT reach over the center line and bat the ball with his foot or any other part of his body excluding his gloved hand wrapped around his crosse. If he does so, it shall be a turnover.

5-3 PENALTY: Penalty for violation of Article 5 is a two- or three- minute, non-releasable foul, at the official's discretion. An excessively violent violation of this rule may result in an ejection.

5-4-4: A player shall not initiate a body check legally but slides up into or follows through to an opponent's head or neck.

5-4-5: A player shall not body-check a player in a defenseless position. This includes but is not limited to: (a) body-checking a player from his "blind side;" (b) body checking a player who has his head down in an attempt to play a loose ball; and (c) body-checking a player whose head is turned away to receive a pass, even if that player turns toward the contact immediately before the body check.

5-4-6: A player shall not initiate targeting, which is intentionally taking aim at the head/neck of an opponent for the purpose of making violent contact. This could include a check with the crown of the helmet (spearing) that targets the head or neck of an opponent. PENALTY: Three-minute, non-releasable foul. An excessively violent violation of this rule may result in an ejection.

5-4-7: A player shall not initiate targeting that intentionally takes aim at a player in a defenseless position. PENALTY: Three-minute, non-releasable foul. An excessively violent violation of this rule may result in an ejection.

5-10e:  UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT: A coach who is on the field and obstructs play.

5-12-1 PENALTY: Three-minute non-releasable penalty for a player, substitute or non-playing team member or a one-minute non-releasable penalty for a coach and ejection for the remainder of the game. The ejected coach shall be removed from the premises (bench and field area). The ejected player, substitute or non-playing team member shall be removed from the premises if there is authorized school personnel present to supervise the ejected student. If no authorized school personnel is available, the student shall be confined to the bench area. The sponsoring authority is responsible for notifying the appropriate school of the ejection.

6-3-2a: A player shall not use the portion of the handle that is between his hands to hold an opponent, when his hands are more than shoulder-width apart.

6-3-3e: Holding is permitted if a player uses the portion of the handle that is between his hands, which are no more than shoulder-width apart, to hold an opponent on the torso with no more than equal pressure and no thrusting motion.

6-5-2b(4): A player shall not exchange his crosse with that of a teammate during live play while the ball is in either crosse.

6-11-2: A player in possession of the ball with both hands on his crosse shall not use his hand or arm to push the body of the player applying the check. NOTE: Illegal body checks (5-3), "spearing" (5-4-3) and unnecessary roughness (5-9-3 SITUATION E) shall be strictly enforced as personal fouls.



•A clarification was issued to the warding off rule for offensive players. It is illegal for the offensive player, with two hands on the crosse, to push their opponent with their crosse to create separation. However, it is legal for a player with the ball and two hands on their crosse to contact the crosse of their opponent using their arm. [as per NFHS]

•Language was updated for players releasing on a faceoff when using a small-sided game format. Under the new language, all players can release from their positions on the sound of the whistle and all players must play the ball until possession is gained on the faceoff. Failure to play the ball on a faceoff can result in a penalty.  [This will be a change from current CYLA rule of releasing upon possession].

•Each coach is required to name a defender at the start of the game who will serve penalties for teams that dress only one goalie for a game in the event the goalie is charged with a penalty.

The following NFHS rule changes for 2018 continue to apply to all CYLA divisions:

1.7.5: Pockets of non-traditional synthetic material are permitted as long as they meet specifications of rule 1.7.  (For example, sticks like the Warrior Warp are permitted).

4.3.3.D: (Faceoffs) The official shall make certain that the reverse surfaces of the crosses match evenly in that the top of one head lines up with the throat of the other and are perpendicular to the ground.

4.9.2:  A goal will be allowed if the shot is released prior to the end of the period.

4.18.4: PENALTY: Conduct foul on the defensive player. A second violation by the player team will be enforced as releasable unsportsmanlike conduct, served by the offending player.

6.5.2x:  ART. 2… The following are examples of illegal procedure:  Failure to wear a required mouthpiece properly (unless it comes out during play).

6.10.2: The stall warning remains in effect until:

A goal is scored

A shot that hits the goal pipes

A shot that hits the goalie or hits his equipment

The defensive team gains possession

The period ends resulting in a faceoff

7.3: RESUMING PLAY AFTER PENALTY. When a penalty occurs and the ball is in the offended team’s offensive half of the field, the ball shall be put in play by the team awarded the ball, at the spot where the ball was when play was suspended. If the ball was in the goal area when play was suspended, it shall be restarted nearest to the spot of the ball at the time of the whistle, 20 yards laterally outside the goal area.

7.8.3 A shot remains a shot until • The ball comes to rest on the field • The ball hits the ground and goes past the goal • Possession is gained by any member of the defensive team; or • After hitting the goalkeeper, goalkeeper equipment, goal posts or crossbar, the ball is touched by any player of the either team other than the defending goalkeeper, or an official.

NFHS rules requiring faceoff players to have a visible contrasting tape color DO NOT APPLY in the CYLA.

The following US Lacrosse rule changes for 2018 will continue to apply to all CYLA divisions:

  • Including spectators as a potential cause of unsportsmanlike penalties for a team.
  • Applying a one-minute releasable penalty the second time a field player from the same team steps in the crease and acts as a goalie.
  • Adding language that a shot that hits the pipe or the goalie shall remove a stalling warning.
  • Aligning with other rule sets so that a goal can be scored if the shot is released (rather than crosses the goal line) before the period ends.
  • Adjusting the rule at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade groups to read that officials should award the ball via alternate possession rules when at least three players are involved for a scrum for the ball for more than four seconds without gaining possession.

The CYLA applies NFHS stick checking rules for all divisions, rather than US Lacrosse stick checking rules.  One-handed stick checks remain prohibited at all age levels in the CYLA. One-handed stick checks will be penalized as slashing, even if the check does not land.