Age Eligibility - New Youth Age & Eligibility Guidelines for 2017 Season
The NCJLA establishes age eligibility divisions to promote a safe and sportsmanlike environment. The NCJLA believes that the league and member clubs should provide playing opportunities that, as much as possible, aim to establish a "level playing field" among players of similar age.
The objective of this change is to establish balance in the age groupings and number of member teams in each division, in particular between what is currently U13 and U15. Additionally, the NCJLA believes it is appropriate for the development of youth players intending to play lacrosse in high school to have a two year window to prepare for their 9th grade year, rather than the current “one-and-done” 8th grade U15 year.
- Groupings will remain “Age Based” but changed to a “U” designation: 8U; 10U; 12U; 14U age
- Maintain the current US Lacrosse AND California DOE cutoff date of September 1st.
- This shift has the effect of grouping MOST players in 1st & 2nd grades together, 3rd & 4th grades together, 5th & 6th grades together, and 7th & 8th grades together.
CLICK HERE FOR 2017 Season Age Brackets
- Older 8th grade players who miss the 9/1 age cutoff will be allowed to play 14U.
- Older 6th, 4th and 2nd grade players who miss the 9/1 cutoff date are required to petition to play down if desired. Consideration will be given for safety, player size and skill level.
- Playing UP – 6th, 4th and 2nd graders wishing to play up may play up one level at the clubs discretion with parental approval.
High School Eligibility
The NCJLA has two levels of play at the high school level for boys (Varsity and JV) and one level for girls (Girls HS). Boys who are seniors must play on a Varsity level team. High school freshman are encouraged to play on a high school team, CIF or club.
No player is permitted to play for a CIF High School team and then a NCJLA High School team during the same spring season. If a player plays for a CIF High School team and decides to leave the CIF team before the season has ended, they may petition the NCJLA for permission to play for a NCJLA High School team.
(See No Playing Down and Petitioning sections below.)
Boys High School Varsity: 9th grade through 12th grade OK.
Boys JV: 9th, 10th & 11th grade. No 12th graders may play on a JV team.
Girls High School: 9th grade through 12th grade. One division, without JV or Varsity determination.
Girls, U15 and below, may play on a boys team only if no girls team is available to her at her age level in her local club. Boys may not play on a girls team, at any age level.
Policies on Playing Up
As long as the player, parents, coach and club agree that it is in the best interest of the player, then the league will concur and allow a player to play one age level up. However, the decision should not be made lightly. The "playing up" player should be in the top third of the team that he or she is moving up to. If several players all want to move up then it would likely be better to all stay at grade level and enjoy a dominant season. Players requesting to play up two age divisions must submit a petition to the NCJLA Board of Directors.
Boys may not play up between 14U and high school teams.
If a 14U age-eligible 8th grade girl wishes to play on a high school team, the club must submit a petition to the NCJLA Board of Directors.
If a player is moved up mid-season, he/she is allowed to play up once during the season and still be allowed to move back to his/her original team. The same rules apply to moving laterally, from one team to another within the same age bracket. If a player moves up or moves laterally more than once, he/she must remain on the team he/she moved to for the remainder of the season. Any movement of a player must be sent to the appropriate commissioner and the webmaster at least 48 hours before a game so the NCJLA can make the adjustment to a team’s roster prior to the game.
No player is allowed to play on two different teams within an eight (8) day period. The purpose of this rule is to discourage clubs from floating players from one team to another. Thus, a player cannot play on the same team within the same weekend and on the second team the following weekend as well, depending on when the first game was played.
Any player that is playing up must fill out and submit a Player Release of Liability Form. Click here to download the form.
No Playing Down
No player may play on a team at a lower age level. If a club would like to petition this rule for a very rare exception, petitions are to be submitted by the club president and are collected by the NCJLA Executive Director. See Petitioning Eligibility below. A petition based solely on date of birth will not be approved, i.e. a birth date late in the year.
A player who initially plays on an “A” level team may be moved down to a “B” team. Any changes in the roster must be sent to the NCJLA
at least 48 hours before the first game at the lower level. Once a player moves down he/she must remain on the team he/she moved to for the remainder of the season. However, no player who played “A” for the last three games of the season may play down on a “B” team for the team’s end of season games.
NCJLA’s rules on eligibility are firm. However if a club wishes to petition an eligibility rule for a very rare exception, they may do so by having their club president submit a petition to the NCJLA board via an online Player Eligibility Petition form. Petitions may be submitted in November, December or January, by the 10th of the month to be considered at that month's board meeting. Petitions must be submitted by either the club president or the club’s NCJLA delegate. No petitions will be considered coming directly from a coach or parent. The board will review petitions at the next monthly board meeting and decisions will be communicated shortly thereafter. Questions on petitioning eligibility, contact