Montana lacrosse association UL Lacrosse Chapter youth high school lacrosse

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UPDATED: Girls Officials Training Classes
UPDATED: Montana Girls Officials Training THE OCTOBER TRAINING...
Lacrosse Athlete Development Model
Boys & Girls Uniform Requirements
IMPORTANT: Boys & Girls Uniform Requirements Please take a...
MLA Constituents Meeting Notes
MLA Constituents Meeting Notes 11am to 4:45pm Saturday July...
UPDATED: Girls Officials Training Classes

UPDATED: Montana Girls Officials Training


REMINDER: In order to meet the increasing demand for girls officials, the MLA is requiring that each program recruit 1 official for every 20 girls in their program. (Example: Missoula has 100 girls in their program, therefore they need to recruit 5 active officials).

The MLA and US Lacrosse are hosting the following girls officials training classes in Missoula, Bozeman, Billings and Helena.

Spring 2017 Girls Officials Training Classes:

      February 18-19th- Missoula

      February 25-26th- Bozeman

      March 4-5th- Billings

      March 11-12th- Helena

Below are the requirements to become certified:
  1. Attend both days of the classroom and field sessions ($20)
  2. Become a USL member
  3. Take the online class (about 3 hours)
  4. Get rated as an official (This step is easy, all you have to do is start officiating. You will shadow an experienced official for a game or two. Then start officiating on your own. Once you are comfortable two experienced officials will rate you.)
What are the benefits?
The Montana Lacrosse Association offers a great pay scale for officials. Along with the pay below, we also pay for hotel and gas mileage. Carpooling and shared rooms is required to keep costs low. 
  USL Certified Official Non-Certified Official
  Two officials
(Rate perOfficial)
One official Two officials
(Rate perOfficial)
One official
Varsity and JV $70.00  $90.00  N/A  N/A

We appreciate all you are doing to grow the girls game in Montana! Please forward this information on to your clubs, family and friends who may be interested in officiating.
Thank you,
Erika Burke
Montana HS/Youth Girls Director

(406) 544-8033

by posted 10/06/2016
Lacrosse Athlete Development Model


Montana Lacrosse Association is following US Lacrosse’s lead and implementing the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model described below. The LADM is very similar to the systems that have been in place for youth soccer and youth hockey for years.

In essence the LADM focuses age-appropriate player instruction (coaching approach, drills, plays and games) to the player’s cognitive and physical abilities. The age appropriateness of each level is determined by well-established child development physiology and psychology. In other words, by utilizing the LADM we will be teaching kids the right lacrosse skills at the right time.

The MLA realizes this is a new paradigm and therefore adoption will begin with the youngest age groups as follows:

  • U9 and U11 will utilize the LADM Coaching Tools and play Small-Sided Competition games
  • U13 and U15 will utilize the LADM Coaching and no changes will be made to games at this time.

CLICK HERE to download a more detailed overview of the LADM.

The MLA will be releasing more specifics in the coming weeks and months.

by posted 09/14/2016
Boys & Girls Uniform Requirements

IMPORTANT: Boys & Girls Uniform Requirements

Please take a moment to review the uniform requirements documents by clicking the link below.

In summary, the most important requirements include:

  • Jerseys must be a single, solid color (no background graphics or sublimation)
  • Teams must have a light colored jersey and a dark colored jersey. Reversible jerseys are allowable. (The light colored jersey must be distinctly light. A team’s two colors must significantly contrast from one another. Green and black, blue and black, or red and black are examples of colors that typically do not contrast enough from one another).
  • Numbers must meet the size specifications, be solid (no outlines only) and be a highly contrasting color from the jersey color.

Please forward this link/news article to any involved in designing and procuring your team's/program's uniforms.

CLICK HERE to download the Uniform Requirements

by posted 09/11/2016
MLA Constituents Meeting Notes

MLA Constituents Meeting Notes

11am to 4:45pm Saturday July 30, 2016 in Helena at Downtown Holiday Inn

18 Attendees representing 11 programs


General Topics

Overview of girl’s game. 100 games played in 2016 with 8 certified officials…anticipate 125 games in 2017 and need 15 new certified officials. Jackson Girls will be joining MLA for 2016 season. Officials training classes will be held in Billings, Bozeman and Missoula. Without additional officials more games cannot be played.

More explicit uniform guidelines adhering to NFHS/USL specifications for boys and girls. Considering the NFHS single helmet color requirement at the HS level. Biggest issues for players and officials is having legal numbers and true “home & away” colors. Light jersey must be really light…preferably white.

League Athletics vs Sports Illustrated Play platforms. MLA to remain with League Athletics for 2017. All programs are encouraged to use League Athletics to streamline results, rosters, statistics, data. If/when the MLA and associated programs decided to switch en masse we may be able to negotiate a lower introductory price. Also waiting a year or two will allow SI Play to improve the platform. Major drawback to SI Play is currently when you transition to the platform all of your League Athletics data will not transfer (player-family info, registration history, payment history etc).

Sportsmanship Incident Reporting to be revised. Proved problematic at youth boys level particularly U13 and U11. For 2017, parent access will be removed so only coaches, officials, and program administrators can utilize SIR. Scope will be limited to “on-field” issues. Spectator issues need to be addressed and handled at the team/program level. New reporting form will be developed.

Officiating Retention, Recruitment and Training 2016 overview and 2017 preview. 2016 boys “stats”: 63 new recruits, 53 completed training, 50 officiated at least one game. MLA will issue a “Call to Action” similar to last year with a program goal for new boys AND girls recruits. Girls Officials training classes will be held in Billings, Bozeman and Missoula. Boys training will be similar past years with a series of on-line classes and several on-field classes across the state. Montana should have 4 certified officials trainers by beginning of 2017.

Coaching Requirements and Training same as current rules and CEP program. It was requested that the CEP training be held earlier in the year as in the past it was too close to the beginning of the season.

Game Statistics Protocol MLA will announce and require that USL/NHFS statistics protocols and guidelines be utilized to ensure consistency in statistics recording.




Adopt and implement the US Lacrosse Athlete Development Model.

  1. Athlete Development—which recognizes and embraces how kids develop mentally and physically to ensure they are being taught appropriate individual skills, team dynamics, and lacrosse concepts.
  2. Small-Sided Competition—which optimizes games to match the development stages for each age groups by reducing the field size and number of players per team.
  3. Coaching Tools—which allow programs and individual coaches to implement the LADM in practice and in game situations.

The group agreed to adopt and implement the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LAMD).

  • Recognize the Athlete Development structure at all age groups.
  • Encourage all programs to incorporate the Coaching Tools for all age groups.
  • Implement Small-Sided Competition rules for U9 and U11.
    • 7v7 games for U9 and U11
    • U9 = no goalies  U11 = goalies
    • Need to determine the goal dimensions for U9 and U11



Determine format of HS and Youth year-end tournaments.

Limiting factors include:

  • Geographic location—central locations are preferable
  • Adequate field space—multiple field locations acceptable
  • Official availability—most critical factor

Need to determine location of State tournaments application deadline is August 15, 2016. Host program must apply for Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) grants in September. Great Falls has submitted application for HS and Bozeman may apply. Missoula is considering applying for Youth and if not Billings will host for 3rd year in a row.



Revise the youth game scheduling process. Implement a process similar to the HS Boys by which the youth commissioner and a committee draft the schedule which is then revised at the scheduling meeting.

November 1              registration deadline for all new and returning youth teams

November 15            deadline to submit blackout dates and hosting dates

December 1              scheduling meeting date and location announced

December 15            draft youth game schedule submitted by Commissioners for committee review

January 15                revised draft youth game schedule released

January 15                deadline to identify each team’s home field(s)

February 1                 deadline to add or remove teams for the season

February 15              scheduling meeting

March 15                   youth final game schedule released

April 1                         deadline for schedule changes (subsequent changes will be penalized)

There were too many games rescheduled during the season. This was in part due to poor scheduling before the season began, but dozens of games were rescheduled for unacceptable reasons. Therefore a penalty will be levied against a team requesting to reschedule a game after the final schedule is released. Penalties could include monetary fines or forfeiture of a schedule deposit. Multiple reschedule requests could result in disqualification from the State Tournament.



Girls Scheduling:

  • Each club will let us know what weekends they can host HS, U15 and U11
  • One person will do the schedule
  • Locations will be finalized in early February, and actual game schedule will be announced March 1st.
  • Last weekend in March will be a HS kick off in Great Falls

Teams for 2017:

  • Expansion to possibly 8 HS teams
  • U15 teams to stay stable
  • U11 teams to stay stable
  • Jackson Hole Lacrosse will join the MLA
  • Possibility for U9 teams?


  • All clubs will be responsible for getting more officials certified
  • There will be training classes in Missoula, Bozeman and Billings



Establish a committee made up of the HS boys head coaches that will essentially administer the season.

Committee responsibilities could include:

  • selecting a HS Boys Commissioner
  • drafting game schedule
  • hosting scheduling meeting
  • finalizing game schedule
  • coordinating with MLA officials assignor
  • resolving scheduling conflicts

This is the first step to establishing a formal, incorporated HS league that would independently administer the season in the future.

The group agreed this would be the first step towards forming an independent HS league to administer the season. The group also agreed that the committee should then immediately after the 2017 season begin forming the league organization (board, bylaws, 501c3, website, etc) with the intention of being independent for the 2018 season.



Revise the HS game scheduling process. Move the process up on the calendar to allow more time and therefore finalize schedule earlier in the year.


November 1              registration deadline for all new and returning HS teams and Committee,

November 1              scheduling meeting date and location announced

November 15            deadline to submit blackout dates

December 1              draft HS game schedule submitted by Commissioners for committee review

January 1                  revised draft HS game schedule released

January 1                  deadline to identify HS home fields

January 15                scheduling meeting

February 1                 final HS game schedule released

March 1                      deadline for schedule changes (subsequent changes will be penalized)


While there were not very many games rescheduled during the season, there may need to be a penalty against a team requesting to reschedule a game after the final schedule is released. Penalties could include monetary fines or forfeiture of a schedule deposit. Multiple reschedule requests could result in disqualification from the State Tournament.



Establish two “equal” divisions for HS boys. The goal is to restructure the varsity and JV divisions have more equally matched divisions based on past performance.  More parity in the regular season games should result in more competitive match-ups and will benefit all of the teams.

During 2016 regular season 31 games had a goal differential of 10 goals or more and 13 of those games had goal differentials of 15 to 29 goals.


This idea proved problematic for several reasons:

  • Several of the programs represented at the meeting that would have been relegated to “Division 2” did not want that to happen. They accepted the unequal games as a part of the sport.
  • Regarding the current division system outlined in the Operations Guide (Div 1—AA associated teams; Div 2—club teams drawing from more than one HS; and JV) most felt that while striving for formal recognition as a state-wide sanctioned HS sport is the ultimate goal that is not likely to happen for 7 to 10 more years.
  • The majority of the programs represented liked the system that is currently in practice: East and West “Varsity” Divisions and a JV Division. The division system used for the 2016 season will carry forward for the 2017 season.


Cody specifically requested to play in the JV division as they are trying to re-form their HS team and anticipate it will be made up primarily of freshman who only have 1 or 2 years of experience.

One idea to consider with the current division configuration is to give teams the option to “play down” in the JV division if they feel that would help their team develop by avoiding extremely lopsided game scores.

The group also discussed the rule prohibiting seniors from playing on JV teams. The vast majority of the attendees agreed that seniors should be allowed to petition the MLA to play on a JV team if warranted by their skill level. All agreed that seniors should not be forced to be on a varsity team and thus get little to no playing time if there is an opportunity for them to play on a JV team.


Estimated Boys HS Teams for 2017 Season

VARSITY—12 teams


Billings Senior

Billings West



Great Falls




Big Sky



10 Sticks




JV—7-8 teams

Billings West *

Bozeman 1

Bozeman 2

Bozeman 3 *

Bozeman 4*



Northwest *

Cody (requested to play JV)

*potential new team


2017 Constituents Meeting Ideas

Keep in central location…consider different part of summer perhaps even before 4th of July…survey programs with several date options.



Chris Naumann                   MLA Board

Erika Burke                           MLA Board & Big Sky/Sentinel Girls

Phyllis Browder                    Big Sky HS Boys

Dan Browder                                    Big Sky HS Boys

Clint Campbell                     Cody Lacrosse

Scott Vaughn                       Cody Lacrosse

Jim Reilly                               Sentinel HS Boys

Kirk Fried                               Great Falls Lacrosse

Chelle Fried                          Great Falls Lacrosse

Gerri Lewis                            Bozeman Lacrosse

Lynette Thompson               Bozeman Lacrosse

Blake Wahrlich                     Billings Scorpions & Senior HS Boys & MLA Board

Doug Lieb                             MLA Board

Brynn Schwarz                    Yellowstone Valley Lacrosse/West HS Boys

Rachel Becker                      Missoula Lacrosse

Jim Maddock                         Montana Lacrosse Officials

Rod Leese                             Northwest Lacrosse

Sally Lane                             Hellgate Lacrosse

by posted 08/22/2016
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