Tag Archives: Crosse

The Basics: Ground Ball Pickup

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Easily one of the most fundamental skills of lacrosse is how to properly pick up a ground ball. In youth games especially, the ball is on the ground quite often, so knowing how to pick up a ground ball (or GB) is paramount in youth lacrosse. However, there is more to picking up a ground ball than just bending over and scooping through. Players should also shout out “ball” to let their teammates know to get out of the way. They must get low enough to make scooping a natural and smooth motion. Plus, they need to run away, preferably with a wide turn, in order to avoid the opponents that want to check the ball out of their stick.

If there is one key thing to remember about picking up a ground ball it is this – The player who wants the ball the most and tries to pick it up as perfectly as they can, will get the ball in a tough scrum. To all new and experienced players and parents, here is the second video in the series entitled “The Basics.” It details how to properly pick up a ground ball, and two drills that coaches can use to teach players how to pick up a GB more effectively.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to comment below!

Cheers,
Gordon

The Basics: Cradling

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Cradling in lacrosse is a lot like dribbling in basketball. You can’t play effectively without knowing how to cradle, but you can’t focus solely on cradling or you miss out on contributing to the rest of the game. Players must become proficient enough at cradling to the point where they no longer think about the action of keeping the ball in their crosse. It must be so second-nature that it turns into a smooth and effortless action that requires almost no conscious thought. However, in order to cradle effectively as a beginner, you have to think about it because it is not an action that a new player is familiar with. The video below is the first in the series entitled, “The Basics.” This first video details how to cradle as a beginner, what to focus on when cradling, and a few drills to help the new player become more adept at cradling the ball.

Cheers,
Gordon

AYL TV – Warding Off

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Rule 6, Section 11 – Warding Off (NFHS Boys Lacrosse Rule Book)

A player in possession of the ball shall not use his free hand or arm or any other part of his body to hold, push or control the direction of the movement of the crosse or body of the player applying the check. A player in possession of the ball may protect his crosse with his hand, arm or other part of his body when his opponent makes a play to check his crosse.

AYL TV – Warding from Atlanta Youth Lacrosse on Vimeo.

Warding is a confusing call for many fans watching the game. Often any time a player on the other team shakes his arm a, “he’s warding ref” comes from the stands. On the flip side their own player could maul the facemask of his defender with his free hand and it is all fair play to the fans. The main part of the rule to focus on is a player may not “hold, push or control the direction of the movement of the crosse or body of the player applying the check.” As long as a player does not prevent a defenseman from throwing a proper check there is no problem.

But, Mr. Official what about the Bull Dodge? Fantastic question. The Bull Dodge is exactly what it sounds like. The offensive player runs over the defensive player instead of dodging around him. That dodge does run counter to the wording above, “any other part of his body” to manipulate the defender. In fact if every official called the ward as written the Bull Dodge would be called every time.

Here is how I see it. If the offensive player cleanly runs through the defender I have no problem allowing him to do so. However, if that offensive player lifts his front arm or shoulder and moves the defender while doing a Bull Dodge I have to call that because he is actively pushing the defender away. Calling a Bull Dodge is quite the Catch-22. Don’t call it and every offensive player will run over every defender. Call it and everyone is calling for the official to let the boys play. This is one of those fouls where most officials strive for balance. They will allow some but not all wards. This is especially true as players advance into higher and higher levels of play.

I hope the video and the explanation helps everyone who was not clear on what a ward is. If you have any comments or questions please post them below.

Cheers,
Gordon