US Lacrosse FAQs on STARTING A PROGRAM
How do I start up a team?
- The New Start Program is the most comprehensive resource we currently offer if you are starting a new team or league. Everything from A-Z, including budget examples, equipment finding resources and more.
How do I set up a league? Who is involved?
- League: Leagues reside one level below regional lacrosse chapters. A league is typically made up of a group of town-level programs in the same area. Leagues coordinate game scheduling, referee assignments, and any game-play administrative concerns.
- USL is dedicated to a large group of Program Administrators across the country. See how we can help you establish guidelines, budgets, scheduling practices and more: Group Registration
- Online team management site: www.USLaxTeams.com
- Awareness of priority issues
- Parents / volunteers
- Expectations, codes of conduct, training, background screening, etc.
- Who can help me at US Lacrosse?
How do I start a USL Chapter?
Go to Chapters
- are extensions of the national office.
- remain their own corporation that serves its constituents, elects board members and manages affairs as deemed appropriate under the chapter by-laws.
- offer programs, services & benefits built at national to all constituents in your local community as far as the chapter boundaries reach.
- operate their own programs, services and events in accordance with the US Lacrosse mission and Chapter Agreement.
- remain fully compliant with US Lacrosse.
- utilize and abide by the 2009-2010 Chapters Operation Manual.
The chapter should be seen as the educational, hierarchical, unbiased support system for any and all leagues within the chapter boundaries.
Who can help me at US Lacrosse?
How is the league structure set up?
USL is proud to have the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) as a long-term partner. The PCA web site and guide to ‘Building a Positive Youth Sports Culture’ is imperative in the early stages of setting up your program:
- From the Ground Up; Building a Positive Youth Sports Culture; A Guide for Leaders of Youth Sports Organizations
- Learn more from the PCA
Should we set up our youth league by age or by grade?
- One of the most commonly asked questions by developing lacrosse areas across the country…See our recommended guidelines:
Does US Lacrosse have league template bylaws I can use?
Our invaluable New Start Program includes sample bylaws.
How do we know what uniform regulations we need to abide by?
Both the NFHS Boys and Girls Rule Books offer all regulations regarding uniforms and equipment.
To purchase a rule book.
Does US Lacrosse have guidelines for a youth league board?
Both our New Start Program and PCA’s ‘From the Ground Up’ Guide provide excellent information on board structure.
How often should our board meet?
- USL Chapters’ Recommendation for Annual Meeting: The annual or pre-season meeting of a league board can be any time in between the beginning of January and the end of February meeting of the Board of Directors.
- Recommendation for Regular Meetings: Regular meetings of the Board of Directors of a league can be held each month from January through June and in the Fall in either October, November; or December (the Fall Meeting)
Can US Lacrosse help us get field usage?
- Chapters can often provide you with contacts to find out who administers field use for the local parks and recreation fields and then who administers field use for schools as well. You can contact your local chapter youth league and/or high school game representatives directly by going to the individual chapter website.
- The New Start Program also has helpful advice in this area.
What is the difference between a town, school and independent league?
Lacrosse is currently sanctioned in 21 states across the country. To find out if lacrosse is sanctioned in your state, go to www.nfhs.org.
How do we register our league as a non-profit? How do we become a 501c3?
Where do we find officials for our league games?
- There are individual local men’s officials associations as well as local women’s umpiring boards who can help connect you with US Lacrosse trained officials and umpires in your area. You can find the contact information for these associations and boards here.
- Who can help me at US Lacrosse?
How do I educate, train and/or certify my coaches?
- USL highly recommends that all of your coaches (volunteer or paid) complete the Coaching Education and Certification program. For every level coach, this program provides professional and continually updated information for anyone coaching our sport.
- US Lacrosse offers pricing discounts and free online course access annually for programs committed to requiring baseline standardized training for its coaches.
How do we institute background checks for all our coaches in our youth league?
- Background checks are part of the certification process in the Coaching Education Program! All US Lacrosse certified coaches have their background check verified annually through US Lacrosse.
- US Lacrosse uses and recommends the National Center for Safety Initiatives for background screening and USL members can also take advantage of a direct partnership and screening discounts with NCSI.
Is US Lacrosse membership mandatory?
- Membership in US Lacrosse connects you and your players with the lacrosse community. Even though you do receive our extraordinary member benefits, you are contributing to a bigger purpose...By requiring membership for your participants, you are supporting the next wave of coaches and administrators who will be doing the same thing you are right now.
Does US Lacrosse have league Risk Management Guidelines?
- US Lacrosse’s insurance provider is Bollinger and most risk management questions can be answered on their comprehensive website linked above.
- The New Start Program also has good information about insurance and risk management for your program.
Should our youth board purchase D&O Insurance?
Our insurance provider, Bollinger, does offer Directors and Officers Insurance, which is a good idea to look into.
Should we have a disciplinary committee?
PCA’s ‘From the Ground Up’ Guide offers many suggestions along these lines.
If we are all USL members does that mean we have to use USL rules?
- All groups should check in with their local USL Chapter to see the latest recommendations for that region.
- While we highly recommend following the National set standards that are listed in our rule books, local leadership must determine what is best for the children participating.
Do we need legal counsel if we start a youth league or team?
Legal Counsel is strongly recommended alongside a few other components. Make sure your league/team establishes a set of bylaws and follows them. If there is a disciplinary committee of any kind, legal counsel should serve on that committee for mediation purposes. You may be able to find legal counsel pro bono if you run a not for profit league or team. Another recommendation alongside legal counsel is to secure Directors and Officers Insurance, provided through our insurance provider Bollinger, for your board.
Does US Lacrosse recommend specific fundraising opportunities?
How do I start a web site?
- US Lacrosse has two options for lacrosse organizations.
- US Lacrosse Playbook – has a simple website solution for individual teams. (see and example here)
- USLaxTeams.com – a complete website and online registration tool for town-level programs, leagues, and tournaments. (see an example here)
- Who can help me at US Lacrosse?