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BYLA U15 Development Plan



The U15 level is intended for 7th & 8th grade boys to develop the fundamentals of competitive lacrosse.  We expect to master basic and intermediate skills while emphasizing the learning of an advanced set of skills.  The goal is to prepare the players for their transition to the high school level and beyond.



Some of the primary goals for the U15 level include:

  • Mastering basic skills
  • Mastering intermediate skills
  • Mastering advanced skills
  • Mastering comprehensive lacrosse vocabulary
  • Learning Extra Man Offense
  • Learning Man Down Defense
  • Learning settled offense and defense
  • Learning transition offense and defense



The emphasis in the U15 program is on learning to master the proper techniques for the advanced skills, while constantly revisiting and revitalizing the beginner and intermediate skills.  Skills to be taught in the development program include:


            Intermediate Skills


            Stick checking

            1-on-1 defense (marking your man)



            Advanced Skills

            Clearing and Riding



            Feeding and Cutting



At this level, we emphasize teamwork, ball movement, off-ball movement, defensive strategy, and transitions (including clearing, riding, face-offs, and fast-breaks).  Offensive tactics include: setting picks, cutting from the periphery, moving the ball behind the net, the fundamentals of a motion offense, and variations in sets and formations.  Defensive tactics include: sliding, a variety of stick and body checks, communication strategies, and turnover recoveries.  In addition to the tactics which are learned and mastered in the U13 level, the U15 level will be more geared towards Xs and Os.  Isolations, screens zone philosophies, and flexibility in formations will be introduced and utilized, among other special tactics geared towards a faster paced, intellectual approach.


Game Understanding

At the U15 level, we see, perhaps for the first time, the complexity and excitement of strategy in the game of lacrosse (at the youth level).  Players will be responsible for understanding a set number of formations, plays, ideologies, and strategies.  The game will be fast paced with more on-the-fly substitutions and players will have a better understanding of their role through specialization.  The game turns from a groundball grudge match to a sophisticated chess match of transitions, fast-breaks, extra-man utilization, and spacing strategies. 



Practices will usually begin with an extensive warm-up consisting of cardiovascular activity as well as aerobic and anabolic exercises.  This is usually followed by advanced line drills including ground balls away and to, strong-arm and weak-arm throwing, and often variations including over-the-shoulder catching.  After line drills, we introduce players to a concept or skill and work a drill that emphasizes that facet of the game.  We often use stations and rotate the players between 2-3 skill areas.  With the use of a variety of sets and formats, we introduce the players to a series of plays and situations.  Once mastered, a new series of sets and plays can be learned.  Practice can conclude with scrimmaging, game-play simulation, and a brief warm-down.



Our games are played in the following format:

  • Regulation field
  • Four 10-minute start/stop quarters OR four 15-minute running quarters
  • 10-v-10 (with goalie, standard goals)
  • All coaches remain in the coaching box on the sidelines