3 Pass Rule for 3rd/4th and 5th/6th grade teams
A team must not take a shot on goal until three passes, including the goalkeeper’s clear, are completed or attempted. Umpires have the final say in determining 3-pass completion/attempts and will count passes out loud. Once the offense has fulfilled the three pass requirement, a new three pass count is not necessary as long as the ball has remained within the offensive half of the field (even if the defense plays the ball).
The purpose of this rule is to get as many girls involved in every play as possible. It was implemented because teams would get the ball into the hands of one strong player who would run up the field alone and shoot the ball. A team must make three bona fide pass attempts (the ball does not need to be caught to count).
KCMGLA has asked umpires to use their judgment in assessing a bona fide pass. Typical criteria include requiring that the ball go above the shoulder during the pass and that the players be six feet apart. Umpires will count passes out loud and will tell the players when they have completed three passes. Coaches are NOT to count. NOTE that umpires will not (as coaches should not) tell players that "they can shoot", because additional passes might be the right thing to do. The intent of this rule is not to have teams make three passes and then, regardless of where the ball is, compel the player run to the goal and shoot.
Once a team has completed three passes, this count is "reset" only when the opposing team gains possession of the ball in the opposing team's attacking half of the field. This rewards teams for playing good defense in their attacking zone...if they recover the ball they can immediately shoot. This rule also means that both teams can have three completed passes at the same time (if the defending team completes three passes in their defensive half of the field).