Youth lacrosse guide contents

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There are three players on each team that play Attack. The Attackmen (normally) stay on the offensive side of the field throughout the game. Attackmen rely on their quickness and agility around the goal. In most offense sets there is at least one Attackman behind the goal at “X”. It is the role of this Attackman to a) feed the ball to players in front of the goal; b) to create offense from behind the goal; and c) to backup all shots that miss the goal. 16

Playing attack requires the most stick skill of all positions. Attackmen should demonstrate good stick work with either hand. Attackmen should have good peripheral vision and quick foot speed. Attackmen should be able to pass accurately, dodge effectively in traffic around the goal, and shoot accurately. They must work with the Midfielders to run an effective offense. An Attackman should be quick, alert, and confident in one-on-one situations and be able to withstand physical punishment by the opposing Defensemen. Attackmen are also expected to play defense while riding the opposing team’s clearing attempts. 16

Middies are largely responsible for a key aspect of the game - transition. Transition is by far the most important part of the game. It involves retrieving loose balls, or clearing saved shots and running and passing the ball up the length of the field. If a team can get the ball and have an extra man advantage on the offensive end of the field, even for a split second, they have a good opportunity to score. When this advantage occurs in transition it is called a fast break. A Midfielder should be able to shift quickly from offense to defense. 16

There are three Defensemen on the field for each team. The Defensemen will typically play on the defensive side of the field the whole game. A Defenseman’s primary responsibilities are cover opposing Attachmen and protect the goal. Defensemen rely on quickness, agility, and aggressiveness as the real keys to their success. 16

Playing goalie in lacrosse is probably one of the most challenging positions of any sport. You must catch shots at reasonably high velocities. The goalie wears additional protective equipment: throat guard and chest protector. A goalie stick is typically of normal length, 40-50 inches, with an extra wide head. Unlike goalies in hockey, lacrosse goalies must be very mobile. Goalies defend their 6’x6’ goal which sits in a 9 foot diameter circular crease. Fast reactions and very quick hands are key ingredients in making a goalie. 17

Controlling ground balls is one of the most important keys to winning a lacrosse game. Controlling ground balls is a combination of concentration, skill, and teamwork. Scooping up a ground ball is described in the skill section of this manual. The important aspects to scooping a ground ball is make sure that you bend your knees and get low. Bring your stick to about a 30-degree angle to the ground. As you approach the ball place your opposite foot along side the ball. Scoop through the ball by bringing backhand through and up into your body, this will cause the ball to come up with the stick and bring the stick up and in to your body. It is critical that lacrosse players practice scooping ground balls on the run with the stick in both the right hand as well as the left hand. This is one of the most fundamental skills that must be learned. 21

Even with practice many players will fail to make an easy scoop during the game. The reason for this failure in most cases is a lack of concentration/bad technique. Many players will approach a ground ball with their stick at the wrong angle and without bending their knees. With this approach they will never get the ball into their stick. Other will not bring their back and through and up, this will result in just pushing the ball. Many players will try to one-hand scoop the ball. Don’t do this. Always use two-hands when scooping the ball. When you try to do a one-handed scoop you increase the chances of failing to successfully scoop the ball as well as exposing your stick to a defender. You must concentrate on the ball and execute proper technique. 21

When more than one person on your team is around the ball you should execute a “Man-Ball” play. In a Man-Ball play the player closest to the ball (normally) call “Man”. In doing so it is his job to (legally) hit and keep away from the ball the opposing player. When you do hit a player in this situation it is critical that you have two-hands on your stick and that you keep your stick down at your waist. If you have one hand on your stick your will be called for a “Loose-Ball-Push” and you will loose control to the other team. If you raise your stick you will be called for “Cross-Checking” and you will get a penalty (Penalty Section for details). When a player hears one of his teammates call “Man”, he responds by calling “Ball”. It is then this player’s responsibility to successfully execute the scooping of the ground ball. 21

A “fast-break” occurs when a player with the ball gets ahead of at least the man that is covering him. This situation essentially creates a man-up situation for that moment. In many cases fast-breaks occur of a face-off, as a result of long outlet pass, off a clear situation, or as a result of a missed play or dropped ball. 22

Most fast-break situations involve a Midfielder breaking free with the ball. In this case all other players should clear away from the player with the ball. The goal is to try to pull the player covering them away from their player with the ball and to open up the field. 22

The set offense for Fast Break (that we teach) is a box. In forming the box the Left and Right Attackmen should break to a spot just forward of “goal line extended” and 10 yards wide of the goal forming the bottom corners of the box. The Crease Attackman sets up the high side/corner of the box on the opposite side that the breaking Midfielder is coming toward. The breaking Midfielder forms the fourth and opposite high side/corner of the box. 22

The Defensive player guarding the high side Attackman is the most likely to slide to the player with the ball. If a Defensive player does not challenge the cutting Midfielder with the ball then he should shoot. If a Defensive player comes out to play the cutting Midfielder then the player with the ball should pass the ball to the high side Attackman. In most cases the player the Defensive player was guarding the Wing Attackman on the ball side will slide to the high side Attackman (if not then the Attackman should look for a shot). The high side Attackman will then pass the ball to the ball side Wing Attackman. The Wing Attackman ideally would be executing a C-Curl toward the goal looking for the pass, if he is open he will take the shot. The most likely scenario at this point is that the Defenseman guarding opposite side Wing Attackman. The Opposite side Wing Attackman will set up back side of the goalie and look for the pass and shot. 22

If an open player is not found the ball should be settled and the players should set up a settle offense. Forcing the ball to covered players is not an option. 22

Lacrosse is a fast paced game. It can become very confusing to new and young players. Most of the time your team will play “Man-to-Man Coverage” or “Help Coverage”. In this case you are responsible for covering a particular opposing player. One of the most common mistakes players make is not knowing who they are covering, what his number is, or where he is. The first thing you should do when you come on the field is to make sure you know the number of the player you are covering. A good way to do that is to call it out: “I got ##…” The next objective is to stay with him when they have the ball. If the other team has the ball and you loose your man, first quickly look around and try to find him, second if you can not quickly find him drop down into the “hole” (the area in front of the goal). This will do two things, first it will clog up passing and cutting lanes, and second it will give you a vantage point to find your player that is not being covered. Once you find the player cover him and keep track of him. 23

Help Coverage” is different from “Man Coverage” in that the player is looking to cover his man while at the same time providing secondary coverage on the man with the ball (if he is next to him). 23

In defending a player you (not your stick) should try to stay in front of your man. You should have you knees bent. You should drop back a foot and orient yourself in a direction you want the opposing player to go. The goal is drive the player away from where he wants to go (which is usually toward the goal). Your weight should be centered through your shoulders straight through your butt. Your stick should be extended. You should alternate poke-checking, rap checking and lifting his stick/hands. You must keep between the player and the goal. You should use a shuttle step to move with the player. Try to drive the player to outside and not let down the middle. If the player starts to run make sure you need to stay in front of where the man is going not where the man is. If you are hip-to-hip with the player he has already beaten you. Do not lunge at your man. Do not raise your stick, unless you are blocking a pass or a shot, even then don’t lunge. Keep your weight centered. 23

Concepts 32

A.Face-Offs 32

B.Field Awareness and positioning 32

Situational Skills 33

Face-Offs Execute 33

Clears Developing 33

Man Up/Man Down Developing 33

Fast Break Execute 33

Field Awareness and positioning Developing 33

Offensive Skills OBJECTIVE 33

One-Hand Cradling Execute 33

Basic Dodges 33

Face-offs 33

Concept and Skills 35

Face-Offs Execute 35

Clears Execute 35

Man Up/Man Down Execute 35

Fast Break Execute 35

Field Awareness and positioning Execute 35

Offensive Skills OBJECTIVE 35

One-Hand Cradling Execute 35

Basic Dodges 35

Face-offs 36

Situational Skills 37

Face-Offs Execute 38

Clears Execute 38

Man Up/Man Down Execute 38

Fast Break Execute 38

Field Awareness and positioning Execute 38

Offensive Skills OBJECTIVE 38

One-Hand Cradling Execute 38

Basic Dodges 38

Face-offs 38


Throwing 38


Lead Pass 62

Concept: Fast Break 73

Concept: Opposite Midi Cut 74


L” Defensive Clear 76

Association Sites 83

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