The Game of Lacrosse:
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about the sport of lacrosse?
A: The sport of lacrosse is a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. Anyone can play lacrosse--the big or the small. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn. Quickness and speed are two highly prized qualities in lacrosse. An exhilarating sport, lacrosse is fast-paced and full of action. Lacrosse is played with a stick (the crosse) which must be mastered by the player to throw, catch and scoop the ball. Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the United States. Youth participation in the sport has grown over 138% since 2001 to nearly 300,000. No sport has grown faster at the high school level over the last 10 years and there are now an estimated 228,000 high school players. Lacrosse is also the fastest-growing sport over the last six years at the NCAA level with 557 college teams in 2009, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 500 college club programs, including nearly 200 women's teams that compete at the US Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates level. To learn more go to www.uslacrosse.org.
Classic Program Overview
These programs are open to boys and girls in grades 1-8, who live or attend school in the towns of Berlin, Boylston and West Boylston. The program is built around participation in the Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse League and Mass Bay Girls Lacrosse League.
Q: What are the age groups?
A: Our league uses a grade-based system. There are four age groups: U9 (Grades 1 & 2); U11 (Grades 3 & 4); U13 (Grades 5 & 6); U15 (Grades 7 & 8). Secondarily your child must be under 15, 13, 11 and 9 respectively as of August 31st prior to the start of the season to participate in these grade-based programs.
Q: Can my child play outside their age group?
A: A waiver is required to allow children to play outside of their age group. Please let us know if your child has developmental, emotional or other physical characteristics for which it would be best that he plays below his prescribed age group. Since the recreational program is designed for children to play with their friends and peers, we don’t allow players to play up.
Q: When is the season?
A: Indoor practice sessions start in late February or March. The outdoor season begins at the beginning of April or when the town fields are open. Games begin in early April and the season ends with separate jamborees for both boys and girls in June.
Q: Whom do we play?
A: U 9 (Grades 1 & 2) will play a 6 game schedule. The other groups will play an 8 game schedule. All of our teams are "travel teams" in that we play other towns both home and away. Home games are played at Hillside Field in Boylston. Away games are typically between 30-45 minutes away.
Q: When are the practices?
A: Practice times will be announced closer to the season and are dependent on gym availability. In late February/early March, we start indoors at Hillside Gym in Boylston. Outdoor practices begin once the town has opened the fields, and practice days may change due to field availability. Typically there will be one practice per week for each age group to start, and then there may be an additional practice per team based on the coach’s discretion. You coach will touch base with you via email once teams are determined. Players are expected to attend practices or their playing time during games may be limited.
Q: When are the games?
A: All games will be played on Sundays, anywhere from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm. There may also be a few optional weeknight games later in the season that would be organized and scheduled at the individual coach’s discretion. A regular schedule typically consists of 4 home games and 4 away games. Games typically last between 75-90 minutes and players are often asked to be at the field 30-60 minutes before game time. Sometimes extra games or scrimmages can be fit into the schedule at the leagues discretion. When league wide scheduling is finished, all games will be posted in the Master Schedule. Please download the NEW FREE League Athletics Team App for instant updates to the schedule.
Q: What is the attendance policy?
All MBYLL and MBGLL players are expected to be committed to lacrosse in the spring season, meaning they will choose lacrosse over other activities. Outside of family and school commitments, all players are expected to attend all lacrosse practices and games. Not living up to this expectation will impact game playing time. All of our coaches focus on even playing time for all players. However equal playing time is not guaranteed to players that do not have a good attendance record. Please consider this carefully before committing to our program.
Q: When is registration?
A: Registration for the spring season typically opens in early November. There will be a late fee added to all players who register after January 15.
Q: Why is registration in the fall for the spring season?
A: While it seems early, there are a number of items that must be completed in late fall and early January including team submission to the leagues, uniform ordering, booking indoor practice time, coordinating field time with the town, starting to schedule games and so much more.
Q: How much does it cost to play?
A: We do everything we can to keep costs down so every child can be afforded the opportunity to play with us. Please refer to our Registration Online page for annual fees. A family discount is available to those with multiple children enrolled in our program.
Q: How do I register?
A: Registration is done 100% on-line for your convenience! When registration is underway, there will be an orange "Register Now" button on our website. If you need assistance, please email
Q: What is US Lacrosse and why do we have to join?
A: US Lacrosse is a national organization that strives to provide programs and services to inspire lacrosse participation, while protecting the integrity of the game. More importantly, through the fees we pay, US Lacrosse members receive Accident and Liability insurance coverage. All of our players must be US Lacrosse members for the program and participants to be covered. Memberships are 1 year in length, are paid directly to US Lacrosse, and are non-refundable. During registration, you will be automatically directed to the US Lacrosse page for their registration. After you register, you will be automatically re-directed back to our site to complete the full registration process. Please look for your emails as verification of registration to both organizations. Note: many camps, clubs, and seasonal lax options also require a membership so it is useful to keep your number where you can find it again
Q: What is your refund policy?
A: GYL strives to keep costs to parents and players as low as possible. GYL is a not-for-profit organization. Fees are used to pay for field maintenance, equipment, tournaments, league memberships, officials, etc. Registration fee is
100% refundable prior to first official practice
50% refundable prior to first game
0% refundable thereafter
*US Lacrosse membership fees are non-refundable
*Late registration fees are non-refundable.
*All requests should be directed to the Board of Directors
*GYL issues refunds only for medical/moving reasons. GYL does not issue refunds because of placement concerns, nor can we accommodate specific requests for late registrants-they will be placed on a team if there is an open slot.
Q: Is financial assistance available?
A: Yes. We believe that no child should ever be denied the chance to play due to financial reasons that are out of their control. To request a financial assistance form, please contact us at
Uniforms and Equipment
Q: How do I get uniforms?
A: New players are required to purchase a complete uniform. Players can use them for multiple seasons until they no longer fit or wear out. All players will be able to order new or replacement pieces during the first week of practice. Our goal is to offer this option during your registration process in the near future.
Q: What equipment is needed?
A: The following lacrosse specific equipment is required for the first day of practice (no hockey or football equipment) Please see our Required Equipment page for more detail.
Q: Where can I buy equipment?
A: There are many places that sell equipment, some offer discounted "starter packages:"
Dick’s Sporting Good
The Job Lot
Play It Again Sports in Leominster
Kleen N Hard Sports in Worcester
The “Exchange” tab of our website may feature items offered by members of our organization.
MBYLL/MBGLL League Information
Q: What is MBYLL?
A: The Guardians Boys Lacrosse program plays in the West Central division of the Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse League (MBYLL). Our schedule and rules are set by the MBYLL based on recommendations from US Lacrosse. The league also organizes a year-end Jamboree.
Q: What is MBGLL?
A: The Guardians Girls Lacrosse program plays in the MetroWest North division of the Mass Bay Girls Lacrosse League (MBGLL). Our schedule and rules are set by the MBGLL based on recommendations from US Lacrosse. The league also organizes a year-end Jamboree.
Q: Why is the MBYLL/MBGLL philosophy unique and different from many youth sports?
A: Both leagues are considered “instructional” leagues. There are no standings kept, no league championship or playoffs. Currently, all teams from each town are equal in skill (no A team, B team). The goals are teaching the sport and providing a rewarding experience for all involved. To learn more go to www.MBYLL.org or www.MBGLL.org.
Q: What other towns do we play?
A: Our division generally covers Central Mass teams like Shrewsbury, Grafton, Sturbridge, Leominster, Northborough/Southborough but can extend as far as Framingham, Natick or Weston.
MBYLL/MBGLL Select is a competitive league for the U13 and U15 age groups. It is structured to provide an additional program that is complementary to the regular MBYLL/MBGLL schedule. Please fill out our Addition Lacrosse Survey in the sidebar so we can see who has interest in putting together a team. There may be other options available to you as well.
Q: How is Select different from Classic?
A: The MBYLL league was built to grow the sport of lacrosse in Massachusetts. Within MBYLL/MBGLL there is no standing or playoffs and player skills are divided evenly among teams to foster growth and learning in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. Select is a league for those players that are more committed to the sport of lacrosse in the spring and who want to play at a higher level.
Q: What is the attendance policy?
A: All MBYLL and MBGLL players are expected to be committed to lacrosse in the spring season meaning they will choose lacrosse over other activities. Outside of family and school commitments, all Select players are expected to attend lacrosse practices and games for both their Classic and Select teams. Not living up to this expectation will impact game playing time. Please consider this carefully before committing to any Select program.
Q: Can I play MBYLL Select and not play MBYLL?
A: No. Select is an add-on league and is not meant to be an alternative to Classic. League rules state that playing in Select is contingent on playing for the regular Classic league.
Q: How are teams selected?
A: Players are selected via an evaluation process that occurs prior to the season. Selections also take into consideration prior season's ratings and prior season's attendance.
Q: When is the season?
A: The season runs from April through June (depending on playoff participation)
Q: When are practices?
A: Expect additional practice commitments for all Select players. It will likely be a combination of extensions after normal practices and some dedicated sessions.
Q: When and where are the games played?
A: Games are played both home and away, on Friday nights though there may be occasional Saturday afternoon game. Start times are generally 6PM but may vary for certain locations. Opponents extend beyond the typical Classic programs and may include a greater travel commitment.
Q: What is the Select playing time policy?
A: While all players with a good attendance record will have reasonable playing time, equal playing time is not guaranteed.
Q: How much does Select cost?
A: The registration fee can change annually (see our Register Online page for details). If GYL does not have enough interest to form a team, please email us at
and we can put you in touch with another league.
Q: What about uniforms?
A: The standard Guardians Youth Lacrosse uniforms will be used if we have enough interest for teams. If you end up playing for another team, you may incur an additional cost to purchase their required uniform and or equipment.