The Sanctioned Tournament Standards are a set of best practices for lacrosse events to maximize a positive player experience. In order to be a sanctioned tournament, events must adhere to these standards based on five areas of an event: Venue, Game Format, Risk Management, Event Administration, and Certified Officials.

Sanctioning is a designation given to events that have adopted a set of operational and safety standards set forward by US Lacrosse. These tournament standards are a set of best practices that cover five main areas of an event: game format, venue, risk management, event administration, and certified officials. When these practices are adopted in their entirety, events create a more positive experience for participants while receiving insurance and marketing benefits from US Lacrosse.
The purpose of sanctioning is to standardize lacrosse tournaments. Today, many lacrosse tournaments are running by different rules and game formats which leaves players, parents, and spectators adjusting from event to event. When a tournament is sanctioned, the event operator guarantees participants what they can expect from the event. By creating a more consistent environment, participants can focus on playing and enjoying their lacrosse experience.
The primary benefit of the program is the cultivation of a more consistent and standard event environment. Players, coaches, and parents will know what to expect from a Sanctioned Tournament and will know that the event has met a set of operational and safety standards. Sanctioned Tournaments are granted general liability and accident insurance as well as other pre-determined benefits that can be found here.
Have you ever been to a tournament and been left guessing: What rules are we playing? Are there certified medical professionals here? How do I find out schedule information and field maps? A sanctioned tournament guarantees that the event has done their due diligence to ensure that you, the participants, have the most positive experience possible. Sanctioned tournaments guarantee there will be athletic trainers on-site, that there will be an information tent with staff present, and that there is a clear communication plan for schedules and any updates. Sanctioned Tournaments have taken the extra step to make sure each participant has a great lacrosse experience.
If you are interested in sanctioning your tournament, you should first review the Tournament Standards located here (link to standards page). While some of these requirements can be achieved during the sanctioning process, the primary requirements are requiring US Lacrosse Membership from head coaches and players, using US Lacrosse Certified Officials, and the use of US Lacrosse rules. Once you have reviewed the standards, then you can proceed to the application page to apply for your tournament here (link to application page). If you have any questions, you can also contact the sanctioning manager at jhicks@uslacrosse.org or 410-235-6882 extension #168.
Yes. The Sanctioned Tournaments standards found here (link to standards page) have been developed to help create an operational framework for events. The guidelines will help maximize safety and promote consistency across events. By doing this, tournaments minimize risk of injury and confusion at an event.
The application for US Lacrosse Sanctioning is very detailed and comprehensive. The US Lacrosse Event staff review each application carefully to determine which events are able to achieve sanctioning status and those who are not. Some of the primary factors are the requirement of US Lacrosse Membership, use of US Lacrosse Certified Officials, use of US Lacrosse age appropriate rules, and possession of an Emergency Medical and Safety Plan. If the tournament does not fulfill the appropriate requirements, the US Lacrosse Event Staff will work with that event operator to develop ways to achieve those standards so that they can be sanctioned for the next year.
A US Lacrosse staff member will be present at every first year Sanctioned Event to review event operations and provide additional support. After year one, staff member presence will be dependent upon internal resources and availability.
Anyone can participate in a sanctioned tournament as long as he or she possesses a valid US Lacrosse Membership through the entirety of the event. Membership ensures that each individual has appropriate insurance coverage and receives a multitude of benefits through the membership program.
There are two ways to know if a tournament is sanctioned. A US Lacrosse Sanctioned Tournament will have rights to the US Lacrosse Sanctioned Tournament Logo and use that logo to acknowledge that they are a part of the program. Additionally, you can go to the sanctioned tournaments page to see a listing of all currently sanctioned tournaments.
There is a minimal cost to have your tournament sanctioned through US Lacrosse. There is a $100 non-refundable application fee that is charged at the completion of the application process. If the event is approved and becomes sanctioned, there is a $10 per team sanctioning fee which is due after the completion of the event.
The US Lacrosse Events staff is more than happy to help evaluate your event and identify how you can achieve sanctioning status. Because the goal is to standardize events nationwide, even if an event is not ready to sanction right away, US Lacrosse is willing to assist each event to achieve sanctioning status.
If you would like to contact US Lacrosse about the Sanctioning Program or feedback about a particular event, please send your message to Jack Yiankos, Events Assistant at jyiankos@uslacrosse.org.