Let's start this section with a quote from the May 2007 edition of Inside Lacrosse magazine. Pro lacrosse defenseman Stephen McElduff says the following: "Before you even pick up a stick, understand that defense starts with your feet and body position and your mind - then your stick. When you start using your stick before your feet or mind, you'll find yourself in trouble, quick."
It is most critical that all our league participants understand the role of body checking and stick checking in the game of lacrosse. Lacrosse is a physical sport, and players will get hit during games and practices; but US Lacrosse mandates that youth leagues play modified rules when it comes to body checking and stick checking. Please see those rules at the bottom of this page.
Our league takes this issue very seriously. Number one, lacrosse is not football. Lacrosse players do not wear the protective equipment that football players wear. Hitting is a primary part of football. That is not the case in lacrosse. Improper and unnecessary body checking in lacrosse can lead to serious injuries.
At the same time, a stick can be a lethal weapon. If not used properly it too can lead to serious injury.
Players and teams that are out of control with their body and stick checking not only cause injuries, but they cause a disruption to the game. Tempers can flare and the game can descend into chaos, sometimes leading to it being canceled. No one goes home a winner in that situation. When lacrosse is played cleanly it is a game of beauty that everyone can enjoy no matter the score.
Furthermore, coaches who teach or permit illegal and careless stick and body checking, are doing a disservice to their players. Lacrosse is a game of speed and skill. A team that can catch, throw, run, shoot and score will dominate a team of players flying recklessly around the field trying to hit people.
SWFYLL's mission is to produce lacrosse players who are known for good skills and sportsmanship, not for being thugs. Thugs will be ejected from the league.
Boys Lacrosse Rules Modicifcations Pertaining to Body and Stick Checking
Body Checking RULE 5 SECTION 3
Body checking is permitted in Senior and Junior Divisions; however, no take-out checks are permitted by any player. A take out check is defined as any check in which the player lowers his head or shoulder with the force and intent to put the other player on the ground.
Players in the Junior and Senior divisions may make contact in an upright position within five yards of the ball. No body checking of any kind (including man/ball "clear the body" type pushing) is permitted in the Squirt Division. If a loose ball is not moving, the referee may re-start play following the alternate possession rule. Incidental body contact does occur and is permitted in the Squirt Division.
Slashing RULE 5 SECTION 6
Personal Foul/Slashing - Slashes in accordance with Men's Lacrosse rules will be strictly enforced for the Junior and Senior Divisions. Our league will strictly follow what we call the "No Ax Rule": Players should absolutely not be permitted to swing their stick like an ax at an opponent, either with one or two hands. Body position should be taught and valued above out-of-control stick checking (see Inside Lacrosse quote at the top of this page!). A defensive player who does not have a clear and unimpeded chance to check the opponent's stick, should maintain good body position (a la basketball) until an opportunity arises for a clean stick check.
For the Squirt Division stick checking rules are further modified as follows: Any poke check making contact with an opponent (other than the gloved hand while holding the stick) will be considered a slash. Also, any one-handed check will be considered a slash for the Squirt Division.