Jan 29, 2015Sticking Up For Youth Safety
In September, as part of an initiative to combine existing medical literature with “common-sense solutions” in conjunction with a renewed focus on “youth player development, team play, sportsmanship, and safety,” US Lacrosse implemented new age-appropriate playing rules for both boys’ and girls’ youth lacrosse leagues. The new rules were accompanied by the release of a position paper from the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee. We at T&C hope it’s a sign of things to come from other youth sports organizations.
Titled “Boys’ and Girls’ Youth Lacrosse Participation Recommendations,” the position paper from the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee, a diverse group of sports medicine professionals, addresses topics such as overuse injuries, burnout, nutrition, hydration, and concussions. The paper also includes specific guidelines for youth boys’ lacrosse and youth girls’ lacrosse.
The paper was prepared primarily by US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee members Dr. Paige Perriello, who became a pediatrician in Charlottesville, Va., after playing and coaching NCAA Division I lacrosse, and Dr. Richard Ginsburg, the co-director of the Paces Institute for Sport Psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a member of the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee since 2008.
“US Lacrosse has been very forward thinking in understanding the importance of [developing youth lacrosse rules] from a medical point of view,” said Perriello. “My late father (Vito) was the chair of the Sports Science and Safety Committee and a pediatrician. He held the medical point of view of why it’s so important for youth in sports be treated as a separated entity from athletes at the high school or college level. It was fun to take a project he started and work with this committee. Dr. Ginsburg took it and ran with it.”
To construct its new rules package, which goes into effect in 2012, US Lacrosse staff and volunteers surveyed more than 50 youth leagues that include nearly 170,000 youth players. There will be separate rules for both the boys’ and girls’ games, and rules guidebooks are currently in production.
Click here to read more about the various rules changes and to access downloadable PDFs of the new rules.
R.J. Anderson is the Online Editor at Training & Conditioning.