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Guidelines for Age/Grade Waivers in MBGLL

Background

MBGLL leagues are age and grade-based. Our current leagues are:

  • U9 - under the age of 9 as of Aug. 31 and in 1st or 2nd grade

  • U11 - under the age of 11 as of Aug. 31 and in 3rd or 4th grade

  • U13 - under the age of 13 as of Aug. 31 and in 5th or 6th grade

  • U15 - under the age of 15 as of Aug. 31 and in 7th or 8th grade

By rule, girls are allowed to “play up” to a higher-grade league but are not allowed to “play down” to a lower-grade league. For example: Any 6th grader is allowed to play on a U15 team but a 7th grader cannot (without a grade waiver) play on a 5th/6th grade team.  Please note that girls may only play up one grade level.  So, for example, a 5th grader cannot play on a U15 team.  However, MBGLL strongly encourages all players to participate in their age and grade-based league according to the above guidelines.

Grade Waivers

A grade waiver is permission for a girl to “play down”.

  • Grade waivers will only be granted to Town Programs that are new to MBGLL (in their first two years of fielding teams) and, without a waiver, would be in jeopardy of not being able to field a team. (See the first example below.)

  • Grade waivers are not intended to allow Town Programs to move girls from an older team to a younger team strictly to balance team sizes. Towns should monitor registrations and use waiting lists to ensure that teams are not too large.

Examples:

  • A brand new Town Program (entering its first year in MBGLL) has a total of 24 girls registered. 18 girls are 5th/6th graders and 6 are 7th/8th graders. None have played lacrosse before. The town has two choices: It could create one 7th/8th grade team (no waivers required) or it could request grade waivers for the six 7th/8th graders and create one 5th/6th grade team. MBGLL would grant these waivers if requested.

  • An established Town Program (entering its fifth year in MBGLL) has a total of 50 girls registered. 30 are 7th/8th graders and 20 are 5th/6th graders. The program might think it could get grade waivers for five of the 7th/8th graders, but MBGLL would likely deny this request.

Grade Waiver Request Process

Grade waivers go through a two-or-three-step process:

  1. The Town Program makes a written (email) request to their Division Director. If the Division Director believes the waiver request is merited, it is forwarded to the Sportsmanship and Compliance Committee for approval.

2. If the Sportsmanship and Compliance Committee approves, the Division Director and the Town Program are notified. If the Sportsmanship and Compliance Committee denies the request, the Town Program may, through the Division Director, appeal the decision to the full Board of Directors.