How to Gilman

Every now and again a player will yell “Gilman” at the top of his lungs. For everyone unfamiliar with this lacrosse-specific term, a “Gilman” is throwing the ball as far as possible towards your opponent’s goal from your defensive end. There are a lot of other variations: “throw it, bomb it, launch it, toss it, and deep” are a few. However, the term Gilman has stood the test of time, and new lacrosse fans can expect to hear it at least once per game.

Unfortunately, the correct method to launch the ball is applied incorrectly by about 50% of youth lacrosse teams. To properly apply a Gilman clear, players must aim for two specific targets on the field, which are diagrammed below:

How to Gilman
How to Gilman

On the above diagram, there are two red targets. These are the two areas on the field that a proper Gilman should be directed towards. Often, coaches will yell “throw it up!” Then their player throws it twelve yards in front of them, the other team picks up the ball, and runs down and scores in transition. The objective of the Gilman it to give your offense, specifically the attackmen, a chance to pick up a ground ball and start a settled offense.

Aiming for the two sides of the field, beyond the restraining line, gives attackman a chance to pick up the ball. Also, by throwing the ball over and beyond the midfield line, it avoids a fast transition by the opposing team if they pick up the ball. Instead of having to run twelve yards towards the goal, the other team now has to run forty plus yards. That gives your team plenty of time to ride and settle the defense.

Remember players, if you get into a bind and you need to throw the ball upfield. Launch it as far as you possibly can. If you do not, you run the risk of shorting the pass, and giving an easy turn-over to your opponent.

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