MBYLL Frequently Asked Questions
Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse league is a confederation of nearly 100 individual town-based youth lacrosse organizations. Formed in 1992, MBYLL is one of the largest community-based youth leagues in the United States. Town member programs are organized into five geographical regions, play a local travel schedule against their neighboring town teams, and self-govern through an all-volunteer Board of Directors and five regional and state-wide organizing committees.
All athletes, coaches, and officials register directly with the league to ensure eligibility requirements are met as well as to provide secondary accidental medical insurance as well as a general liability policy. While the local town organization is the athlete’s primary home and organization, there are vital league-wide announcements and policies that need to be communicated directly to our constituents (players, coaches, officials, and town directors) which will periodically come in the form of email through our website.
There are several places to access the MBYLL registration system from our website. Under the “Home” tab, you can select “Register Now” to get started on your annual registration. You will also see multi-colored “Register” buttons on the right-hand side of the homepage.
Nearly half of the $40 player registration fee covers the required secondary accidental medical insurance policy for each athlete. The remaining cost covers vital league administration expenses including, but not limited to, scheduling, officials assignment, web hosting, coaching education certification, Jamboree operations, regional support, administrative and technical support staff, and a number of auxiliary programs and experiences including clinics, camps, tournaments, and lacrosse-related events throughout Massachusetts and New England.
For all questions and issues relating to technical support for MBYLL, please email
and our technical administrator will respond in a timely manner. Please include all pertinent information including names, town programs, dates of birth, and a detailed description of the issue(s).
MBYLL is one of several town-based youth lacrosse leagues in Massachusetts and every town program has a choice in which league it joins. However, MBYLL continues to be the largest league in Massachusetts (and New England) and one of the largest and most nationally acclaimed in the United States. For a complete list of MBYLL member town programs, please see the “Classic League” tab of our homepage.
MBYLL is comprised of male athletes between 1st – 8th grade who live in or attend school in an MBYLL city or town. Kindergarteners are also eligible to play in the 1st/2nd level if the parents and town program feel they are physically and emotionally mature enough. Female athletes can elect to play for an MBYLL team if the town program allows it.
MBYLL is grade-based with an age qualifier. Athletes and teams are designated by the following grade-based levels: 1st/2nd (formerly U9), 3rd/4th (formerly U11), 5th/6th (formerly U13), and 7th/8th (formerly U15). While a player’s current academic grade dictates the level he plays in, it is possible that he has “aged out” of that particular level if his birthdate falls before the cutoff date. For a chart of the current age requirement dates, please see “Rules” tab.
MBYLL Classic games take place every Sunday in the spring with the exception of Easter Sunday and Memorial Day weekend. The season typically starts the first weekend in April and ends the first weekend of June. Game times vary from town-to-town, but most games take place between 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM. Mass Bay Select games typically take place Friday evenings or Saturdays during the spring season. Some towns also play midweek games as additional contests or as make-up games.
Each town program dictates their own practice schedule based on field availability. The town director and/or team coach will provide the practice schedule to the families directly.
MBYLL “Classic” refers to the travel league that all MBYLL towns and teams participate in with games on Sundays. The “Classic” program invites balanced teams from all levels to play 8 competitive local games from the first weekend in April until the first weekend in June (typically).
If a town has multiple teams at a level, the league requires the town to “balance” them, meaning the rosters are compiled of an equal number of upper and lower grade athletes, experienced and new athletes, advanced and developing athletes, as well as positional players. In theory, if the two (or more) teams were to play against one another, the game would be very competitive. MBYLL does not believe in “stacking” teams or designating “A” players and “B” players and segregating them based on their ability. Youth athletes want to play with their friends (all their friends). As a teaching league, the “balanced” format has been a part of the league’s DNA since its inception and many high school coaches, medical experts, psychologists, and industry leaders believe in this philosophy and format for the development of the athlete and the prolonged success of a town’s high school program.
There are no standings for MBYLL Classic League, which is first-and-foremost a teaching league. During a contest, the score IS kept. At the end of the game, one team wins and one team loses. But after the handshake, each team leaves the field and prepares for their next week’s game none-the-wiser. There is no “Win-Loss” record in MBYLL Classic.
There are no Championships nor playoffs for MBYLL Classic. Each team is scheduled 8 spring games with no postseason. However, to satisfy the competitive drive for our older players, the league offers Mass Bay Select which does have a postseason based on standings in the form of a Championship single-elimination tournament.
Mass Bay Select is an additional program offered to towns that wish to enter older teams of advanced athletes into a highly competitive and simultaneous spring experience. Each select team is scheduled 7 regular season games with standings and power rankings. A postseason in the form of a single-elimination tournament crowns 6 league champions: 7th/8th and 5th/6th levels for DI, DII, and DIII. All Mass Bay Select players must play for (and act as role models on) their MBYLL Classic team in order to be eligible to participate in Mass Bay Select.
MBYLL hires an individual or company to collect data from the town programs in the winter and compile the spring schedule for all MBYLL Classic teams. From 2016-present, Factotum Productions has been scheduling MBYLL games. Mass Bay Select games are scheduled by the Select directors and leadership team. Midweek games and other “pickup” games are scheduled between the towns directly.
If your town program uses an SI Play / League Athletics website, the town site and the league site are integrated and synchronized and the up-to-date game schedule can be viewed on either site. On the MBYLL website, the master schedule can be found under “Calendar” and an individual team’s schedule can be viewed by selecting the team from the drop-down menu under the “Classic League” tab on the homepage.
By downloading the League Athletics app from your app store, you can synchronize your personal calendar and/or receive game and practice notifications if your town program utilizes the technology. Every town has different communication policies and mechanisms. Most, however, do use League Athletics and send messages and game notifications through the app and website.
There is a wide variety of coaching backgrounds in MBYLL. Anyone can coach a youth lacrosse team and MBYLL provides support, education, training, and certification to specifically help new coaches and to retrain returning ones. Every town has different tactics for recruiting volunteer (and paid) coaches. Whether or not you are a parent, whether or not you have playing experience, whether or not you’ve coached youth sports before, all are welcome and encouraged to give back to their community through coaching or managing youth sports and helping to grow lacrosse in Massachusetts by being a positive role model and a teacher of this game as well as the game of life.
MBYLL encourages all but requires at least one coach per MBYLL Classic team and all coaches for Mass Bay Select teams to receive Coaching Education Certification. CED Certification lasts two years and certified coaches receive a badge which is to be worn at all times during MBYLL events. Coaches who are MBYLL certified take multiple online courses with a curriculum that focuses on rules, strategies, fundamentals, teaching, positive behavior, health and safety issues, as well as teaching proper physicality techniques. In addition to the online courses, coaches seeking certification are required to attend an MBYLL-sponsored coaching clinic every two years for a review of the online curriculum as well as a presentation of new and updated drills, theories, rules, and league policies.
MBYLL Classic and Mass Bay Select games are officiated by certified referees who belong to the Eastern Massachusetts Lacrosse Officials Association (EMLOA). Senior EMLOA officials are assigned to MBYLL games for 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th/8th levels. Each town program is required to sponsor and support high school and collegiate-aged Associate Officials who can act as the second official for older levels or as the primary official for a 1st/2nd level game.
MBYLL plays by US Lacrosse Youth rules (which are based on – but not identical to – National Federation of High School rules). However, there are MBYLL “modifications” that are voted on by the MBYLL Competition, Rules, and Game Administration committee and are specific to Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse League. These rules can be found in the MBYLL Pre-Game checklist.
After the MBYLL Classic season ends, MBYLL hosts a four-day (two-weekend) festival at Ft. Devens Military Complex in which over 400 teams from all over the state compete in a trio of abbreviated games over 13 grass fields. Sponsors as well as food, equipment, merchandise, and other retail vendors attend to nearly 20,000 visitors making this the signature event of the season.
Each Mass Bay Select team nominates an athlete to represent the team at the Mass Bay Select All-Star games at the end of the season. For the past five years, the All-Star games have taken place in July or August prior to a Boston Cannons home game at either Harvard Stadium or Gillette Stadium.
In 2014, MBYLL asked each town to nominate an extraordinary athlete and leader to tryout for a league-wide team which would participate in the World Lacrosse Championships in Denver, Colorado. 44 athletes from 5th – 8th grade became the inaugural members of the Mass Bay Colonials. Plans for future installments are in discussion.
In 2016, 5th grade All-Stars were invited to participate in the Trilogy Providence Tournament at Brown University in July. 20 designated athletes from all over the league became the inaugural members of the Mass Bay Stars and Stripes. Plans for future installments are in discussion.
Beginning in 2016, MBYLL created an annual financial scholarship and award for a graduating youth player and an active Associate Official who best embodied the spirit and mission of the league: To Teach, to Grow, and to Honor the sport of lacrosse. All graduating youth players and Associate Officials are eligible to apply each year for the MBYLL Player and AO Scholarship and the accompanying McCrae Williams Memorial Leadership Award.
MBYLL has partnered with and endorsed a number of lacrosse organizations which support MBYLL, champion the mission and vision of the league, and contribute to the growth of Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse League. Current endorsed organizations include Trilogy Lacrosse, HGR Lacrosse, the New England Stars, and Seven Hills Lacrosse.
Unpaid volunteers govern Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse League at the board level (there are 13 members of the MBYLL Board of Directors) as well as at the regional and committee-level (there are 5 governing committees). The directors and committee members are all MBYLL coaches and town directors as well as league representatives. There are, however, several paid administrative assistants as well as league contractors (such as schedulers, officials assignors, accountants, legal counsel, and other service providers).
While the all-volunteer Board of Directors operates year-round, the spring season (for athletes) comes to an abrupt end at the conclusion of the MBYLL Jamboree in June. Most athletes will play for summer club teams, attend camps and clinics, participate in fall/winter programs, and explore other lacrosse offerings. There are an enormous number of impressive, valuable, and fulfilling experiences locally and regionally for a player to continue past the spring season. However, MBYLL also believes in the importance of multi-sport athletes and encourages each athlete to take a small break from lacrosse to pursue other sports and interests. Spring town lacrosse doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be their only lacrosse experience, but it’s important for the athletes’ health, well-being, longevity, and overall development that they NOT play lacrosse 365 days a year. Finding a good balance can be challenging but town directors and league representatives are able and willing to provide support and guidance, particularly as it relates to additional lacrosse activity that is worthwhile and beneficial to the athletes.
Every effort will be made to keep this website up-to-date with relevant information. We encourage all MBYLL participants to follow the league (as well as its sponsors and endorsed affiliates) on social media. As an all-volunteer organization, we encourage people who wish to give back to their community to get involved with their local town organization. We are also eager for feedback and will update this FAQ page with additional questions we see regularly through the feedback button on the homepage.