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Common Terminology


"Middie Back" 
Call made by a coach, attackman or defenseman to remind a middie to stay in the defensive half to avoid an offside penalty call when another long stick defensive player is clearing the ball and the chance of a fast break exists. A midfielder should stay behind the mid-line yelling "I'm Staying!" or "I'm back!" and raising his stick to be seen by the officials and letting the ball carrier know he can cross the mid line safely.

“Coast to Coast”              
Occurs when a player nearest their endline takes the ball all the way down the field to the opposing team’s end of the field. 

10-Second Rule
The time allotted to a team to move the ball into the offensive zone when short-handed.

Alley     
Area created between the side of the restraining box and the sideline.

Back Door           
An offensive player without the ball sneaks in, close to the goal behind the defense, where the ball carrier zips a pass to him or her for an easy score. 2:sneak behind the defense to receive a feed and get an easy scoring opportunity.    

Backhand           
The act of shooting or passing from behind ones back.

“Ball”    
Player intends to go after the ball instead of the man.

Ball down
Ball is on the ground.

Ball Stop
Small piece of foam or rubber that is used at the base of the stick head to soften the surface and lessen the bounce off the plastic. also called a stop or stopper.

Body Check       
Defensively using the body to hit an opposing ball carrier or while contesting an opponent for a player a loose ball. The body check must always be done above the waist and from the front or side.
 

Bomb   
The goalie heaves the ball randomly into the offensive end from the crease area of the defensive end.

Box Defense     
A defensive strategy commonly used when the opponent is on a power play.

Break   
An extra man situation temporarily cause by a quick steal or great outlet pass from the defensive end. The offense uses the extra man to split the defense so that the ball coming quickly down the field can find an easy path from undefended player to undefended player until a very high percentage shot is taken.     

Bull Dodge         
Protecting the stick by holding it in the outside hand behind the body, the ball carrier basically runs through the defenseman, bulling past toward the goal.

Butt      
The end of a crosse opposite the head. All shaft ends need to be covered with a butt-cap.

Check Up            
Term shouted by goalkeepers to begin a defensive practice of claiming who each defensive player is assigned to.

Checking             
Occurs when a defending player has contact with an offensive player; also refers to when a defending player has contact with the stick of an offensive player.

Clamping            
On the face-off, a player pushes the back of his stick down on the ball in the attempt to gain control of it.

Clearing               
Moving the ball from a Defensive side to the Offense side of the field, usual starting from the Goalie position.

Cradling               
In order to maintain control of the ball and settle the ball in the pocket, players turn their wrists and arms to cradle the ball in the stick pocket.

Crease
The eighteen-foot diameter circle surrounding each team’s goal.

Crease Man       
The offensive player who plays the crease position.

Crosse 
Proper name for a stick. From the French word "Crossier" or curved staff. Refers to the head and shaft together or more appropriately to the one piece wooden stick used before 1970 and still used by some box players and Native Americans, who, of course, invented them.

Cut Back              
A quick turn back in the direction from which the ball carrier cam, in order to shake free a defender and get a shot on goal.    

Cutting
A player without the ball darts around a defender toward the goal in order to receive a “feed pass.” A cutting player is a cutter.

D Cut    
A maneuver used by an attackman to get open for a shot. The player starts on the GLE, about 5 yards away from the goal. He then makes a rounded cut, on the side away from the ball. (completing a “D” shape) This is often the third attackmans’ move during a fast break.

D- Up   
Term for recognizing and taking a man defensively. Yelled by the Goalkeeper to his defensive unit after an unsettled situation.

Defender "defensemen"
A player at the defense position.

Defense              
The act of protecting one’s goal area when the opponent has the ball.

Defensive Stance            
A position where the player’s knees are bent, the feet are shoulder-width apart, the lead foot is slightly ahead, and the stick is held to match the opponent’s stick as well as to protect the body.

Dodge  
A one-on-one move where a deliberate step is taken in one direction followed by an explosive step in the opposite direction.

Face Dodging    
A player with the ball cradles the stick across his face in an attempt to dodge a stick-poking defender. Generally an open field dodge that does not involve changing hands.

Fake     
Feigning the intention to shoot or pulling a shot back without letting the ball go in order to fool a defender or goalie out of position. Can be done with any combination of stick movement, shoulder movement (shoulder fake), eye movement, etc.    

Fast Break          
When an offensive team quickly mounts a scoring attack enabling them to gain a man advantage over the opposing defense. Almost always a four on three.

Feed Pass or “Feed”      
An offensive play in which one player passes the ball to a cutting teammate for a “quick stick” shot on goal.

Flag Down          
Tells the offense that a penalty will be called. This means that you should do all that we can to get off a shot without dropping the ball to the ground, which will halt play.

Gilman Clear     
Defender, typically the goalie, clears the ball by throwing it as far as he can down the field. Sometimes this is a desperation move, but it is often better to create a ground ball situation in the opponents end than around our own goal area.

Give & Go
The act of passing and then quickly going for a return pass.

GLE (Goal Line Extended)            
An imaginary line that extends straight out from the sides of the goal line.

Goal      
A steel 6 foot square opening enclosed with a net. Goals are smaller in box and inside lacrosse. 2: \ n. \ term for when a ball evades the goalkeeper and scores by crossing the goal face.

Goal Face           
The open front of the goal.

Goal Line            
A 6 foot line across the face of the goal. The ball must cross this line to score. The line is shorter in box lacrosse.

Ground Balls     
Players compete for the control of lose ground balls by stick checking opponents away from the ball while simultaneously trying to scoop it up.

Hack     
A player that tries to hurt people with checks or just checks randomly instead of pointedly.

Head    
The head must be 6.5 - 10 inches wide, except a goalie's which may be 10 - 12 inches wide. The pocket shall be deemed illegal if the top surface of a lacrosse ball, when placed in the head is below the bottom edge of the side wall.  Usually made of plastic.

Help      
Used to alert a teammate that you are open and able to receive a pass, “Here’s your Help!”

Hole (the hole)
Area within 5 yards of a player's defensive crease. It is important in a transition situation from offense to defense that players get to "the hole", find their man coming toward the goal and pick him up.

Invert   
Any offensive play that involves ‘inverting’ the middies and the attack. In a man on man situation, this puts the defensive bigs out on top with our attack, and the middies defending the area around the crease.

Loose Ball           
Occurs when the ball is not in the control of either team.

Man ("Man")    
Any opposing player to be covered (ie. my man, your man). 2: \ term \ used by a player to another player to let him know that he will keep the opponent away from the ball until his counterpart has possession. The teammate shouts "Ball" and takes up the ground ball and shouts "Release" to let the other know to stop taking the "man".

Man Down “Man Short”              
Describes the team which has lost a player to the penalty box and must play with fewer men on the field.

Man Up “Power Play”   
A situation when one team has a player advantage as a result of a penalty.

Man-to-man     
A defensive setup in which each defending player guards a specific offensive opponent.

Mesh   
Pre manufactured piece of nylon meshing that is commonly used to string lacrosse sticks

Midfielder "Middie"      
A player position that covers the whole field. Each team has three on the field and they start the game and face offs at the midfield line. Also called a Middie.

Motion Offence
An offensive formation that involves having the five runners in a continuous and balanced cycle of player movement.

Moving Pick       
An offensive player actively interferes with a defensivese player's advancement while pursuing the ball carrier. A stationary pick is allowed but even a lean toward the player to be screened or picked is illegal. A pick must be firm.

Number Up       
Goalie command alerting defensemen to pick up a man. Often followed by defensemen calling the numbers of the man each is taking.

Out-of-bounds                
When a shot goes out of play, the player closest to the sideline where the ball went out gets the ball.  If the ball goes out of bounds from a dropped ball or pass the opposing team takes position.

Overhand           
A shooting or passing motion created by moving the stick down from above and just off the shoulder.

Overload            
The strategy of moving one or two extra players into one area of the field.

Pass      
Throwing the ball with the stick to another player

Passing
An integral part to quickly moving the ball. Players throw overhand or underhand to each other. In most cases a high pass is easier to deal with than a low bouncing dribbler. Slowly thrown lobbed passes give the defense time to react and often result in the catching player being hit before the pass arrives.

Pick       
The act of blocking the path of a defender such that he/she cannot follow his/her check.   A player stands in a stationery position in the path of a teammate driving with the ball allowing the ball carrier to get loose as he runs by very closely scraping his defender off on the set player's body. 2: \ v. \ the act of setting a pick. See also screen.

Pick & Roll          
The act of setting a pick and then turning to receive a pass.

Play On
A loose ball penalty that is noticed by the referee but, if called immediately, would stop the advancement of the team that was fouled. A flag is thrown and the referee shouts "Play on" and continuation is allowed. At the next loose ball, turnover or score the whistle is blown and the penalty is assessed. If a goal were scored, it would count and the face off would ensue with the penalty in force.

Pocket 
The stringing or mesh in the head of the stick that catches, holds and directs the ball when passing or shooting.  The head of the stick in which the ball is held and carried. The pocket is strung with leather and/or mesh netting. In order to be legal, the top of a ball cannot be seen when looking at the pocket from the side.

Point Man
The player who plays the point position on offence.

Point Position   
A location at the top and centre of the floor; this location is taken by the player who is furthest from the goal.

Poke Check       
A defender jabs his stick at the exposed stick end or hands of an opposing ball carrier in an effort to jar the ball loose. These checks are very effective in that the checking player stays in balance and keeps a cushion of space between himself and the ball carrier.

Quick Stick         
When the ball reaches an offensive player’s stick on a feed pass, he catches it and then shoots it toward the goal in one swift motion.

Rake     
Using the backside of the stick to pull the ball back, then positioning the head in front of the ball as it rolls in. Not a good fundamental skill to develop but OK for old coaches with bad backs.

Raking  
A face-off move by a player who, in trying to gain possession of a ground ball, places the head of his stick on top of the ball and sweeps it back. Raking is done standing still. This means that often people who rake will be legally hit by an opposing player. Raking is a very bad habit that is difficult to unlearn. EXCEPTION: Goalkeepers can rake or ‘clamp’ a ground ball legally from the crease.

Ready Position 
A method of holding the stick with two hands such that the head of the stick is near the shoulder and ready to receive a pass or a check.

Release
Players shout release when they succeed in scooping a ground ball. This indicates to teammates that they can no longer make contact with the opponents to drive them away from the ball. Doing so is a penalty.

Restraining Box
area in offensive end of the field marked by one solid like and two hashed lines. Offensive players can only allow the ball outside of the box for ten seconds (referee's count), and defensive players have ten seconds to clear the ball or get called with failure to advance, and once out the clearing team cannot bring the ball back in the box or receive the in and out infraction. Also used to "restrain" attack and defensive players during face offs until possession is whistled.

Ride      
A play that is designed to stop the defensive unit of the team with the ball from "Clearing the ball" or moving it up field to their offensive end. 2: \ v. \ covering a defensive player in the attempt to prevent advancement to the offensive end. 

Riding   
When an attacking team loses possession of the ball, it must quickly revert to playing defense in order to prevent the ball from being cleared back out. In most ride situations, the goal-keeper will be left un-marked.

Roll Dodge         
An offensive move in which a bal carrier, using his body as a shield between a defensive player and the cradled ball, spins around the defender. To provide maximum ball protection, the ball carrier switches hands as he rolls.

Scoop   
The top part of the lacrosse head used to "scoop" up the ball. 2: \ v. \ bending the knees and lowering the stick to the ground to pick up the ball in one fluid forward running motion.

Scooping or “Scoop”      
The manner in which a player picks up loose ground balls. He bends toward the ground, slides the pocket of his stick underneath the ball, and lifts it into the netting of the stick. 

Screen 
An attacking player without possession of the ball positions himself in front of the opposing goal crease in an effort to block the goalkeeper’s view.  An attacking player without possession of the ball positions himself in front of the opposing goal crease in an effort to block the goalkeeper’s view.

Shaft    
A hollow aluminum or composite pole connected to the head of the crosse.

Skip       
To pass to a non-adjacent teammate. Also known as a star pass. (like drawing a star)

Slap Check         
A stick check (inferior to the poke check). The defender uses his stick to slap the stick of the offensive player who has the ball. Poke checks are preferred since it is easier to keep you feet moving and stay balanced during the check.

Slide     
When an offensive player with the ball has gotten past his defender, a defending teammate will shift his position to pick up that advancing player.

Split Dodge        
a move similar to a crossover in basketball. While running one direction, a player with the ball quickly steps in the opposite direction and changes hands leaving the defender going the other way.   

Square Up          
To position one’s body in preparation to pass. This means to aim the leading shoulder towards the target.

Stall         
to hold the ball, running around and passing from teammate to teammate in order to kill time and not to score.

Stick Check        
In an effort to dislodge the ball from the “pocket,” the defending player strikes his stick against the stick of an opposing ball carrier in a controlled manner.

Support               
When a player without the ball moves into a position where the player with the ball can make a clear pass.

The Box or “Restraining box”     
The rectangular shaped area around the crease/goal. The rules state that the offense can only possess the ball for so long without entering the box. At the end of a game the team that is ahead must keep the ball inside of the box.

Throat  
The part of the stick head that meets the shaft.

Transition           
When a team goes from offense to defense or from defense to offense.

Triple Threat or "box"   
A position where the stick is held with two hands such that the body is between the stick and the opponent; this position allows the player to pass, shoot, or go around their opponent.

Unsettled- Situation      
Any situation in which the defense is not positioned correctly, usually due to a loose ball or broken clear, or fast break. Teams that hustle score many goals during unsettled situations.

V Cut    
A maneuver used by an offensive player to get open for a pass. The offensive player feints in causing his defender to react and move, he then cuts sharply away (completing the “V” shape) See also “D cut”

Ward    
penalty called on a ball carrier while holding the stick with one hand, using or moving the other hand or arm to move, block or interfere with a defenders stick. A stationary arm in place can be held in position and block anything in it's path (see Paul Gait video clip) but the moment it changes it's position relative to the body while in contact with the opponent a Ward will be called.   

Weak Side          
The side of the floor with the fewest number of players.

Wrap Around Shot         
A shot screened from the goalkeeper by the defender by shooting literally around the close defender. See Video Clip.    

X (The X, at X)   
the area on the field behind the goal or the player at that point who usually starts the play on offense.    2: the point at which a play is started.

Zone Defense  
When defenders play in specific areas of their defensive zone, rather than covering man-to-man.