GIRLS' LACROSSE POSITIONS: THE ATTACK: First Home:
The first home's responsibility is to score. Located in front of the goal, the first home must continually cut toward the goal for a shot, or cut away from the goal to make room for another player. She should have excellent stickwork. Second Home:
The second home is considered the playmaker. She should be able to shoot well from every angle and distance from the goal. Third Home:
The third home's responsibility is to transition the ball from defense to attack. She should be able to feed the ball to other players and fill in wing areas. Attack Wings:
The wings are also responsible for transitioning the ball from defense to attack. Wings should have speed and endurance and be ready to receive the ball from the defense and run or pass the ball.
The point's responsibility is to mark first home. She should be able to stick check, body check and look to intercept passes. Coverpoint:
The coverpoint's responsibility is to mark second home. She should be able to receive clears, run fast and have good footwork. Third Man:
The third man's responsibility is to mark third home. She should be able to intercept passes, clear the ball, run fast and have good footwork. Center:
The center's responsibility is to control the draw and play both defense and attack. She should have speed and endurance. Defense Wings:
The wings are responsible for marking the attack wings and bringing the ball into the attack area. Wings should have speed and endurance. Goalkeeper:
The goalkeeper's responsibility is to protect the goal. She should have good stickwork, courage and confidence.
GIRLS LACROSSE SKILLS: Cradle: The act of moving the stick from side to side causing the ball to remain in the upper part of the pocket webbing. Checking: The act of using a controlled tap with a crosse on an opponent's crosse in an attempt to dislodge the ball. Catching: The act of receiving a passed ball with the crosse. Cutting: A movement by a player without the ball in anticipation of a pass. Dodging: The act of suddenly shifting direction in order to avoid an opponent. Passing: The act of throwing the ball to a teammate with the crosse. Pick-Ups: The act of scooping a loose ball with a crosse. Shootings: The act of throwing the ball at the goal with the crosse in an attempt to score. WOMEN'S LACROSSE RULES:
Women's lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
Women's lacrosse begins with a draw, which is taken by the center position. The ball is placed between two horizontally held crosses (sticks) at the center of the field. At the sound of the whistle, the ball is flung into the air as the crosses are pulled up and away. A draw is used to start each half and after each goal, and it takes place at the center of the field.
The collegiate game is 60 minutes long, each half being 30 minutes. The high school girl's game is 50 minutes long, each half being 25 minutes. In both collegiate and high school play, teams are allowed one timeout per half.
There are visual guidelines on the side of the field that are in place to provide a consistent indicator to the officials of what is considered the playing field. The minimum dimensions for a field is 120 yards by 70 yards. Additional markings on the field include a restraining line located 30 yards from each goal line, which creates an area where only a maximum of seven offensive players and eight defensive players (including the goalkeeper) are allowed; a 12-meter fan, which officials use to position players after fouls; and an arc in front of each goal, considered the critical scoring area, where defenders must be at least within a stick's-length of their attacker.
The boundaries are determined by the natural restrictions of the field. An area of 120 yards by 70 yards is desirable.
When a whistle blows, all players must stop in place. When a ball is ruled out of play, the player closest to the ball gets possession when play is resumed. Loss of possession may occur if a player deliberately runs or throws the ball out of play.
Rough checks, and contact to the body with the crosse or body, are not allowed.
Field players may pass, catch or run with the ball in their crosse. A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent's crosse with a check. A check is a controlled tap with a crosse on an opponent's crosse in an attempt to knock the ball free. The player must be one step in front of her opponent in order to check. No player may reach across an opponent's body to check the handle of a crosse when she is even with or behind that opponent. A player may not protect the ball in her crosse by cradling so close to her body or face so as to make a legal, safe check impossible for the opponent.
All legal checks must be directed away from a seven-inch sphere or ""bubble"" around the head of the player. No player is allowed to touch the ball with her hands except the goalkeeper when she is within the goal circle. A change of possession may occur if a player gains a distinct advantage by playing the ball off her body.
Fouls are categorized as major or minor, and the penalty for fouls is a “free position.” For major fouls, the offending player is placed four meters behind the player taking the free position. For a minor foul, the offending player is placed four meters off, in the direction from which she approached her opponent before committing the foul, and play is resumed. When a minor foul is committed in the critical scoring area, the player with the ball has an indirect free position, in which case the player must pass first.
A slow whistle occurs when the offense has entered the critical scoring area and the defense has committed a major foul. A flag is thrown but no whistle is sounded so that the offense has an opportunity to score a goal. A whistle is blown when a goal is scored or the scoring opportunity is over. An immediate whistle is blown when a major foul, obstruction or shooting space occurs, which jeopardizes the safety of a player. Resource Books: Go to http://www.lacrosse.org/cgi-bin/uslstore at the US Lacrosse website for books and information on Girls rules and play.
Cradling, Scooping, Throwing and Catching!
The four basic fundamental skills of lacrosse include the following: cradling, scooping, throwing and catching. It is very important to develop a strong foundation of these skills at a young age. It will enable a person to demonstrate the correct methods and techniques necessary for all levels of play. By learning these skills and perfecting them as soon as possible, players prepare themselves for become outstanding lacrosse players.
Cradling is the most basic skill in the game of lacrosse. The purpose of cradling is to maintain possession of the ball in one's stick. It is quite common to see many styles on the field at one time. Some players use the full cradle. The full cradle can be described as opening/closing a gate by holding the stick near the side of one's face and cradling from ear to ear. Others use a half cradle, which is more useful in carrying the ball full speed down the field. A half cradle can be described by moving the stick back and forth from the ear to the midline of one's body. It can allow players to create more opportunities for themselves on the field, in terms dodging, passing or shooting. The most important thing to emphasize with each cradle is stick protection, or keeping the stick and ball within the space around one's body. Having a clear and vivid picture of where the ball is at all times and what movements could flow from each point in both full and half cradles will enable players to execute most of the other techniques in the game.
Scooping is another very basic lacrosse skill to master. Scooping is picking up the ball from the ground with the head of one's stick. Lacrosse players must be willing to give their best effort in order to scoop up every ground ball before their opponent. It is extremely important to bend your knees, run through the pickup and begin cradling immediately with tight stick protection. In other words, players should focus on getting their bottom hand on the stick down so the shaft is almost parallel to the ground. For young players, a practical way to think of this is scraping your knuckles across the grass. Practiced consistency is required in order to master scooping skills. In a competitive game situation, the player who demonstrates the greatest effort, determination, hustle and technique will most likely win the groundball pickup.
So, what is next? Start now! Put in hours of practice by yourself or with friends to achieve success in scooping. 100% Effort!
Catching and throwing are crucial fundamentals of the game. It is so important to develop these skills. One of the best methods used to practice catching/throwing is to go up against a brick wall. It allows a person to work on eye hand coordination, accuracy and consistency through repetition. Here are a few points to consider in throwing the ball. Players should place their dominant hand at the top and non-dominant hand at bottom of the stick. It is necessary to push forward and pull down, similar to a lever. Aim and follow through with the stick to the target.
In order to increase distance of a throw, players should slide their top hand down the stick to get more leverage. Throwing against a wall will help you adjust your distance and accuracy before throwing with friends or a team for the first time. Then go out and do it! Find a friend or teammate and work on making accurate passes directly to the person's stick. Have fun in the process!
Finally, here are a couple things to focus on when catching the ball. Players need to really think about keeping their eye on the ball the entire time. In order to catch properly, one must give back with their stick on each catch and begin cradling immediately. Think of catching an egg to over-emphasize the give needed for every catch. Once again, it takes hours of practice to reach one's fullest potential. Just remember, catch the pass first and then protect your stick from the opponent. Throw and catch. Be the best!
The fundamental skills of lacrosse require a great deal of hard work and dedication. By working on specific concepts mentioned in this article, players will have the opportunity to enhance the overall level of their game. Lacrosse is a spectacular sport of skill, speed and finesse. Focus specifically on each skill set: cradling, scooping, throwing and catching. There you have it! With some serious practice in these areas, you have an excellent chance to become a well-rounded, versatile and outstanding lacrosse player!
By Trish Cummings
Shoot, Score, Win!
Personal Shooting Strategy
A fundamental skill of the game; shooting requires extreme accuracy and precision. Players should focus on correct hand and body positioning during the act of shooting. Here are a couple ideas used to plan effective shooting approaches or strategies. First, think to yourself, "I am aiming to throw the ball at a target." Then, visualize a shift in body weight following through with your stick towards the goal. It is critical to maintain the proper shooting distance, keeping yourself away from shooting directly on the crease circle or from shooting too far out beyond the 8m. Work on finding a happy medium for yourself between the two distances and then be able to visualize your "spots."
It takes an endless effort and a great amount of practice to master this fine art of shooting on goal. Visualization will help you get there. Great lacrosse players develop their own unique shooting style within the parameters of their coach's instruction and the rules of the game.
The Three P’s of Shooting
There are three P-words to remember that make learning how to shoot easy: Placement, Precision and Power. Combining these three will make you a shooter.
Placement: Aim for an exact spot in the goal. It is best to aim for one of the upper or lower corners of the goal. Shoot around the goalie, not at her. Focus on shooting in the empty spaces of the net. Placement is key!
Precision: players want to become very precise with their shooting patterns. Develop approaches or "moves" to the goal with and without the ball. This way, when you do get your opportunity, you won't just shoot to get rid of the ball at the last minute. You'll be comfortable enough to shoot to score with precision.
Power: With plenty of practice, you'll develop a strong, hard and powerful shot on goal. Use all of your upper and lower body strength together to generate power, following through towards the goal target. Sliding your top hand down the stick, as you shoot can increase shot speed. It will give you more leverage and therefore, more power.
There are a variety of drills to enhance overall shooting performance.
The shooting shuttle: Most effective during a team practice or game warm-up, the shooting shuttle requires at least 10 people. There are two lines with 5-7 people in each. Set up the lines opposite from one another, similar to a regular shuttle drill, outside the 12m shooting space areas and parallel to the goal. The first player in one line begins by throwing to the first person in the opposite line and then cutting to the goal. The player who now has the ball feeds the cutter who receives the pass, takes a couple cradles towards cage, and fires a shot on goal. It becomes a continuous drill so have many balls ready. Each person needs to be prepared with a ball in one line. After the ball is thrown to the cutter, the feeder runs to end of the cutter line. Cutters, go to the feeder line after they shoot. A shooting shuttle drill allows players to work on the other fundamental skills of cradling, throwing and catching, while also becoming a star shooter!
Two Person Drill: Practice shooting with a friend. The basic idea is to have a feeder (person who is throwing the pass) with balls behind the goal. Put the balls where the feeder will not step on them while moving around behind the goal providing feeds from various angles. The shooter cuts towards the feeder and takes shots on goal until all of the balls are in the goal or need to be chased down from misses. Then set it up again and change roles on the field. This drill is a good workout and quickens reaction time. One must think "catch, take one cradle and shoot!" It can be a very effective shooting drill with intense focus and concentration of both players.
Individual Drill: Bring about 20 balls to the goal. You can stand between the 8-12m areas and just shoot at first as a fairly relaxed drill. Work on outside shots and to cover a variety of shooting angles. At the same time, you could also use this opportunity to practice 8m shots. A few key ideas for an 8m is to have a quick first step off the line, aim for the corners and shoot to score. Step it up and run through all the shots. After all, you rarely get a shot in a game standing still.
There are a number of ways to practice shooting at the goal. I have presented you with the team, friend, and individual shooting drills. It is now up to you. Use your imagination. Be creative and build an arsenal of outstanding shots!
The Inside Scoop!
Here is it: the moment you have all been waiting for: The inside scoop that can make players not only average, but All-American shooters in the game of lacrosse.
FAKING: You must learn to fake the goalkeeper before shooting. Pump fake your shot or throw an extra cradle at her. You can fake the shot high for the corners and then shoot it low, fake low for the corners and then shoot it high, or any combination. It gives you the opportunity to move the goalkeeper one way and then shoot the other. The main idea is to catch the goalkeeper off guard, which forces her to lose balance and get out of position in the cage. Remember to give yourself an extra second to throw a pump fake before the defenders get too close.
GETTING OPEN: You must learn to get open (stick and body) before shooting. Work on getting past a defender, then focus on taking a good shot at the goal. Players should practice their own deceptive moves to setup higher percentage scoring opportunities for themselves. Change of speed and direction is an effective deception with and without the ball. You should develop your own style of shooting but it is also very important to learn the most effective ways of getting yourself open before you'll get the opportunity to take that amazing shot on goal!
DON'T RUSH: Learn to give yourself enough time before shooting. Take those few extra seconds to focus on the goal cage, fake and shoot into the open spaces of the net. You should always keep your eyes open, head up, looking for the highest percentage scoring moment. When handling the ball in front of the goal, remain calm, patient, and relaxed at all times. There is no need to rush a non-desirable shot which could lead to a change of possession. Maintain the composure and confidence needed to make the best decisions on the field.
By Trish Cummings
The following covers the FUNdamental technique of playing lacrosse goalie.
Essential to every team is a good goalie. A goalie needs to be a leader with very good knowledge of the game, its rules and understanding of the needs of the team. The following covers the FUNdamental technique of playing lacrosse goalie.
Simple Concept: intercept the ball in its path with your stick or body before it goes in the goal.
Musts: Cup, Helmet, Goalie Stick, Chest protector, throat guard, and gloves. Anything else is up to you.
Fingers should hold the stick, but not choke it. Handle should be in fingers not palms.
Hands should be about 12" apart in a comfortable relaxed position.
Arms should be away from your body, but you should not have flying wings, far enough so you can easily maneuver the stick in a clock and counter clock- wise fashion (like a baseball player). Far enough away from your head so you don′t hit your mask when you move it from stick side high to off stick side high.
Feet should be shoulder distance apart and weight should be forward. Not necessarily on your toes but definitely not back on your heals.
Body position should be similar to a linebacker, a tennis player: an athlete.
Goalie Stick should be positioned just off your shoulder covering the "Box Area". If you are right handed, you hold the top of the stick (toward the stick head) with your right hand and the bottom hand (left hand for righties) should be about 12" away. Arms bend at elbows and away from your body. Head of stick should be slightly forward and you should be ready to step toward the ball in an easy fluid motion.
Step to the ball and Legs come together
Attack the ball. Get your whole body in the path of the ball. Your stick gets there first while starting to step to the path of the ball.
You should step to the ball beginning with the foot and leg from the side the ball came from. If the ball (bounce, high, or low) came toward you from the right of your body, you should step with your right foot and leg followed by your left foot and leg coming together with your right foot and leg. If the ball came from toward you from the left side of your body, you should step to the path with your left foot and leg followed by your right foot and leg coming together with your left foot and leg.
If the ball is a bounce shot position your chin at the point of the bounce whiling stepping to get in the path of the ball. Your stick gets to the ball first with your whole body following.
This is true for any shot. Every time. Practice, Practice, Practice! Attack, attack, attack
Goalie Position in the Goal
When the ball is in front of the opening of the Goal, you should be in the goalie position on the imaginary "half moon" between the pipes and move as the ball moves. As the ball moves from pipes, side, front (top) right and left, you should be moving on the half moon to be in position to attack any shot that comes near the goal.
When the ball is behind at X (directly behind the goal) or off pipes right and left, you should be positioned at the center of the moon, waiting in goalie position except with your bottom hand at the end of the handle so that you are in position to "steal the ball". Only make the attempt if you can be successful. Do not be over anxious so as to be out of position for the next opportunity to make a save.
When the ball is thrown from back to front, you move with the side the ball went to first. If I am standing at the x of the moon, and the ball is thrown from back right to side left, I turn (clockwise) with my right side moving first to get my stick to the ball side as fast as I can the rest of my body follows my head. If the ball is thrown from back right to side right I move (counter clockwise) my right side to the ball first followed by stepping with my right foot to the right side of the goal.
Catch the ball
Dont pop at it. Cradle it into your stick like other players do. Don′t stab or pop it. Catch it.
Make sure your pocket is broken in.
Make sure your stick is in good repair. Fixing any loose or broken strings prior to game.
Throw the ball
You must be able to cradle and throw just like any of your teammates. They must be able to rely on you to control the ball, catch the ball, cradle the ball, and throw the ball with consistency and accuracy. Half field accurate and consistent throws at a minimum.
To throw the ball you position your hands in a throwing position. Bottom hand at the end of the handle and top hand about 12 to 18 inches away as to allow the "levered" throwing of the ball. Always step toward your target and lead the runner just like a quarter back would lead a wide receiver. Don′t throw buddy passes.
After you pass the ball, look to get back in the cage.
The crease is yours; it is your domain; it is your protection. Your sole responsibility is to keep the ball from going into the goal. You can use the crease to help you do that.
Remember to always clamp on the ball with your stick when it is near the crease. Rake it back to you but be careful not to allow it to pop out. Get your defensemen to know what "clear the crease" means.
After you have possession of the ball, you have three seconds to get the ball out of your crease (pass it or walk/run it out).
Look for the idiot attack man standing in front of your crease while you are attempting to make a clear.
If there is no fast break or out let pass, take the ball behind.
You cannot go back into the crease after you have left it with the ball. You can enter the crease at anytime without the ball. Remember the ball in the back of the net trick.
Talk to your coach about the proper calls he wants you to make. You need to use an authoritative voice without yelling. Know everyone′s name, nick name. Talk to provide information not to talk.
Some of the calls we covered:
Stick side high, med. Low, off stick high, med. low