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Lacrosse Terms
 
Terms used in a Game and/or by coaches

No raking and/or Scoop through the ball
These terms refer to handling ground balls. The most efficient and sure way to pick up a ground ball is to lower the body by bending the knees, getting your back hand low, and scooping through the ball. Stopping or clamping the ball with the head of your stick and then raking it towards is far less efficient. You will hear coaches preach no raking! during ground ball drills.
 
Man! Ball! Release!
These terms are used by players to identify responsibilities when picking up ground balls. A very efficient way for two players on the same team to pick up a ground ball is for one player to go for the ball while the other blocks out the opposing teams player. The player going for the ball will yell ball! so that his teammate knows two things – to not go for the ball and to look for an opposing player to box out – he will yell man! since he will be blocking out the man. Once the player scoops the ground ball he must tell his teammates to release!, that is, let the opposing players continue play. You may hear coaches preach the man/ball/release progression during ground ball drills.
 
Here’s your help!
A player anticipating getting a pass from a teammate will tell that teammate here’s your help. This helps the player with the ball identify where his teammates may be located.
 
Ball! or Ball down!
There are times in lacrosse where a player will lose the ball from his stick, but due to cradling or traffic he may not realize he has lost the ball. Teammates, opposing players and coaches may yell ball down! to let all players know a ground ball is there for the taking!
  
 Possession or Release
A faceoff is held to start each quarter and after goals are scored. There are six players (Four at Tyker Level) allowed to participate in the immediate play of a faceoff. All other players must wait behind restraining lines until one team has clearly established possession of the ball. Once this happens, the referee and/or coaches will yell possession blue (i.e., for the blue team) or release, meaning all players on the field are free to join the play (while staying onsides!)
 
Middie back
Defensemen must stay on the defensive half of the field. Attackmen must stay on the offensive half of the field. Breaking this rule is a penalty. Midfielders may roam the entire field. Thus when the ball is moving from offense to defense or vice versa, players must be aware of the midfield line and whether they are allowed to cross. If a defensive player is running the ball up field and has a clear path to the offensive zone, he (and coaches and other players) may yell middie back!, meaning one midfielder can and must stay back on the defensive half of the field in order to meet the player requirement. The middie staying back should raise his stick in the air to identify himself to the referee. After passing the ball to an offensive player, this defenseman will run back and exchange places with the midfielder.
 
Go to the X
The X position is the offensive position behind the goal. A coach may have his players pass the ball to the X, go to X, etc. X simply refers to the offensive player who is behind the goal.

Clear
This is the process of moving the ball from the defensive side of the field to the offensive side of the field. This typically involves your goalie and defensemen.

Ride or Riding
When the attacking team loses the ball, the defensive team will attempt to clear. The attacking team must quickly revert to playing defense in an attempt to prevent the ball from being cleared.
 
Settle
This term is used to tell the players to slow down the offensive pace to set up a play, as opposed to running all over the field.
 
Match up or Get your numbers
Instructs Defensemen to match up with an Attackmen. Coach will typically call this out and defensive players should call out the number of the defensemen he is covering. This helps players identify who they are covering and to make sure they are not unintentionally covering the same person.
 
Fast Break
When the offense quickly mounts a scoring attack enabling them to gain a man advantage over the defense. Typically occur when an offensive player has the ball and comes into the defensive half without anyone covering him. Player may have caught an outlet pass from the goalie, won a face-off, or stripped the ball on defense.
 
Man Up or Man Down
Man up and man down are the terms used to signify penalty situations. The penalized team is man down (playing with one less player), the opposing team is man up.
 
Pick
A move used by the offense to create separation for a teammate from a defender. An offensive teammate will position himself so that his teammate can run past him, causing the defender to run into the pick or go around. The player setting the pick must remain stationary and passive.
 
Crease
The painted circle surrounding the goal. Members of the opposing team are not permitted inside the crease or they will receive a technical foul.
 
Goal Line
The painted line between the goal posts
 
Goal Line Extended or GLE
An imaginary line that extends straight out from the sides of the goal line

The Box
The rectangular shaped area surrounding the crease and the goal.
 
Flag Down
Tells our offense that a penalty will be called. This means that we should do all that we can to get off a shot without dropping the ball to the ground, which will halt play.
 
All even
This is shouted when penalty time has ended. It means that there is no longer a team with an extra man, and we would go back into a ‘normal’ set.

Double the ball
When the opponent has possession and we are man up, we have an extra defender. This enables us to put two defenders on the ball. This may also be called in the latter stages of a game where we are down by a goal or two and the opponent stalls or ‘holds’ to let the clock wind down.
 
Hold or Kill the penalty
This is called at times when we are in possession and we want to maintain control of the ball. Often we may be looking to complete substitutions on the fly. Other times we may be man down and looking to take some time off of the clock. Players must concentrate on maintaining possession of the ball and avoid risky passes and not take shots.

Tango
When we are completely dominating a game, the coach may call Tango. In this situation, our object is to pass the ball around without looking to score. A coach once told me that a perfect game score was 12-0. A shutout by the defense, 3 goals per quarter, with every goal set up by an assist. Under no circumstances will our team run up the score on our opponents.

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

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.
 
Unsettled Situation
Any situation in which the defense is not positioned correctly, usually due to a loose ball or broken clear.
 
 
Fun terms, tricks and facts used by players
 
Baltimore Crab
A method of picking up a ball by rolling the top inside of the scoop over the ball, starting it moving in that direction, while turning the head under the ball quickly to collect it in one motion. Also called the Indian Pick-up
 
Carry the Pizza
When a player runs down the field carrying the ball in their stick way out in front of them in one hand with their arm extended, and holding the bottom of the shaft. This keeps the ball in the head of the stick without needing to cradle or worry about what's behind you, sorta. Also known as Walking the Dog.
 
Helicopter
Slang for a stick checked out of one's hands so that it flies into the air spinning like a helicopter rotor.
 
LSM
Acronym for Long Stick Midfielder.
 
FOGO
Face Off Get Off. Term used to describe players that specialize in face offs. Once the face off is over, they get off the field.
 
Laxabunga
An exclamation of delight and laxifaction (don't even look). Used by laxers at the United States Naval Academy.
 
Laxaholic
Someone who loves all aspects of lacrosse and cannot get enough.
 
Laxer
Slang for lacrosse player
 
Mary Gait
Slang for a flashy player that screws up while showboating
 
Wormburner
A shot that starts low and ends low, sneaking under the keeper's stick as he anticipates a bounce that never happens.
 
Armadillo (The Armadillo play)
Jack Emmer's 1983 Washington & Lee team used this infamous play, almost to success, against a far superior North Carolina team. Five players locked arms with one player in the middle with the ball in a sawed-off goalie stick with a very deep pocket so that the ball could not be dislodged and as a unit they marched up the field at will. The play was banned immediately.
 
Backbreaker
A trick shot where the stick is held by both hands above the head and the ball is shot underhand and behind the back AND between the legs.
 
Rip the Duck
A term used when you take a very fast and accurate shot