Sandwich Youth Lacrosse

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Sandwich Youth Lacrosse
Defensive and Offensive Principles


  • Man-to-man – used in most defensive situations where one man plays ball and adjacent players provide “help left” and “help right”.
    • Drop – cover hole, don’t chase outside box
    • Press – pressure the ball everywhere
  • Zone – used mainly in man-down situations
Concepts and Terms
MARK-UP – When transitioning to defense, Mark-up and locate your man
HOLE – area 8-10 yards in front of net – you must protect the hole area, cut off angle by getting into the hole
DON’T CHASE OUTSIDE BOX – In regular man-“D”, don’t chase unless a “press” is on
LOCK-ON – In a lock-on (mainly for defensive rides), you must be no more than 1 stick-length away from your man positioned between the man and your goal.
PLAY “D” WITH YOUR FEET – Run with your man and use your stick to poke and slap the hands of the opponent.  Keep the ball carrier away from your body with stick checks and defensive pushes.
DON’T CHECK THE HEAD OF THE STICK – you will get dodged
PLAY BALL CARRIER BEHIND NET – If your man has the ball behind the net, you must play him
SLIDE – If dodged by opponent, adjacent players must slide and cover.  Players must communicate with each other and should leave the man furthest from the ball unguarded
CLOSE DEFENSE – When playing close “D”, remember to limit stick checks (slap and poke) when the ball carrier has one hand on the stick…he cannot pass or shoot in this case.  When the ball carrier places two hands on the stick, make checks to the bottom hand (poke, slap, lift).
DEFENSIVE PUSH – As the player gets closer to the goal (in the hole area) use the defensive push to keep him off balance and away from the goal and your body.
MOVE TO THE MAN – As a pass is made to the man you are playing, move out to cover him as the ball is moving to him so that you are in good defensive position as he catches it.  Don’t wait until he has caught the ball to move out on him. 
DON’T STEP INTO OPPONENT – When playing defense, never take a step into the man
FORCE YOUR MAN – Control the direction of the ball carrier’s movement by forcing him to his weak hand or to the outside and behind the cage.
HEAD ON A SWIVEL – In the defensive end, you must always know where the ball is so you can effectively guard your man.
SLOUGH OFF – When your man doesn’t have the ball, slough off him in the hole area.  Always play to the ball side of your opponent and be goal side of him so that you are always closer to the ball and the goal than your opponent.
SWITCH – If you switch on defense, stay with your man until your team gets the ball back or you switch again
PLAY THE PIPE – When the ball is out front and your opponent is behind the net without the ball, play on the pipe of the cage on the side of the goal your man is on.  If the ball goes behind to another player and your man is behind the goal, go behind with him.

Settled – perimeter offense consisting of combination of ball movement and isolation dodging to create opportunity in the offensive zone
Fast break offense where Attack sets up the classic “L” with crease Attackman high on the weak side of the ball and wing Attackmen on goal-line-extended (GLE)
            Man-up – Offense designed to move ball rapidly to take advantage of mismatch
Concepts and Terms
EXPLODE THROUGH THE BALL – When picking up ground balls, get low, grip your stick near the bottom of the head and drive through the ball.
MAKE THE “D” PLAY YOU – Keep moving all the time so that your defensive match-up must play you (with or without the ball)
PASS TO THE OUTSIDE – When moving the ball in a settled offense, make passes to the outside and away from defenders
FIND SPACE – Always look to shed a defender and find open space to help the ball carrier. Be an outlet.
CLEAR SPACE – When your teammate with the ball carries his man toward you, clear space for him.  Never stand still and allow your defender to double-up on him.
MOVE YOUR FEET – If you carry the ball, you should be moving always.  If you do not have the ball, keep clearing or finding space.
CONTROL THE GROUND – The team that controls ground balls, controls the game
PLAY “READY LACROSSE” – Pick up the ball quickly after possession changes – prepare for transition.
FEED OVERHAND – Feed passes should be overhand, crisp and head high
MAKE EYE CONTACT – Make eye contact with the man you are passing to.  Never make a pass to a man who is covered just to get rid of the ball.
DRAW AND DUMP – Lacrosse is a big game of “keep-away”.  Move with the ball, draw defenders, and dump the ball to open teammates
TAKE GOOD SHOTS – If you receive a pass after cutting and don’t have a good shot, hold onto the ball or “draw and dump”
SHOOT FAR-CORNER – Shoot hard and to the far corner
BACK-UP SHOTS – When a shot is taken, the offense must back-up the shot to maintain possession and control of the ball.  Always have one or two men behind the goal to back-up.
DON’T FORCE THE OFFENSE – Never try to force in, with the ball or by a pass, if the defense is drawn in.  Pull them out first.
SWARM THE BALL – If the ball is loose in the offensive box, all three Attackmen and the closest Middie should be on the ball.  The two remaining Middies should move higher in the box toward midfield to cut off the fast break.
MAKE FULL CUTS – Go through and out.  Don’t cut half-speed or hang in and around the crease.
FIND GREEN GRASS – After gaining possession of a loose ground ball, get out of the traffic and run the ball to open space (“green grass”) to avoid immediate pressure from your opponents.  Don’t force the ball through the pressure…..