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US Lacrosse Player Segmentation Policy
US Lacrosse, the national governing body for men’s and women’s lacrosse, has adopted a new player segmentation policy to help
ensure player safety, competitive fairness and a consistent experience for youth lacrosse. The policy was approved by the US Lacrosse
Board of Directors in January.
In order to allow leagues, programs and events to adjust, the policy will go into effect on September 1, 2017, but groups are
encouraged to begin following the policy sooner if logistics permit. Among the notable items in the player segmentation policy:
An emphasis on grouping players by single-age years (12-month span).
Age is based on player’s age as of September 1 in an attempt to align with the majority of school systems nationwide to allow players to play with people in their own grade level.
Firmly defined playing season that begins its 12-month cycle on September 1.
Standardized nomenclature that lists age first, i.e., 12U.
In order to help leagues and events monitor the age of participants, US Lacrosse has developed an online age verification system,
which includes a review of a birth certificate or other legal document to confirm a player’s birth date.
US Lacrosse recognizes that many leagues and programs are currently grouped in age spans beyond 12 months. For local league and
community-based play, organizations may form teams with up to a 24-month age variance if necessary to ensure participation. If two
age groups are combined, the even year age should be the maximum age for the paired segment (i.e., 7U/8U) and teams with a greater
than 12-month variance must play by the rules for the youngest age group of the team. Local organizations that choose to form teams
with a 24-month variance should have appropriate risk management policies and planning in place to ensure that player safety is not
A task force that included US Lacrosse staff, volunteers, and lacrosse leaders from around the country developed the player
segmentation policy. A complete copy of the policy is available on the US Lacrosse web site. Helping to guide the decision making
process was a research-based position paper on recommendations for youth lacrosse participation published in 2011.