Lax Cats Terms

New to lacrosse?

Learn some of the most common terminology of the sport:

  • I will sell you on Ebay
    You will hear coaches say this when a player isn't listening. Rest assured that no kids have been sold on Ebay.
  • Attack Goal Area
    The area around the goal defined by the endline, the Goal Area Line and the two broken lines located 20 yards on either side of the goal. Once the offensive team crosses the midfield line, it has 10 seconds to move the ball into its attack goal area.
  • Body Check
    Contact with an opponent from the front - between the shoulders and waist - when the opponent has the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball. At no time should a player initiate or receive body contact with his head.
  • Box
    An area between the two team benches used to hold players who have been served with penalties and through which substitutions "on the fly" are permitted directly from the sideline onto the field.
  • Cage
    Another name for the goal or goal area. Often you may hear the coach yelling "to the cage." This means get down to the goal area.
  • Check-Up
    A call given by the goalie to tell each defender to find his man and call out his number.
  • Clamp
    A face-off maneuver executed by quickly pushing the back of the stick on top of the ball.
  • Clearing
    Running or passing the ball from the defensive half of the field to the offensive half of the field.
  • Crease
    A circle around the goal with a radius of nine feet into which only defensive players may enter. Defensive players may not take the ball into the crease.
  • Crosse (Stick)
    The equipment used to throw, catch, and carry the ball.
  • Defensive Clearing Area
    The area defined by a line drawn sideline to sideline 20 yards from the face of the goal. Once the defensive team gains possession of the ball in this area, it has 10 seconds to move the ball beyond the Goal Area Line. Once beyond the Goal Area Line, the defensive team may not pass or run the ball back into the Defensive Clearing Area.
  • Extra Man Offense (EMO)
    A man advantage that results from a time-serving penalty by the other team. Also known as "Man Up."
  • Face-off
    A technique used to put the ball in play at the start of each quarter or after a goal is scored. The players squat down, and the ball is placed between their crosses.
  • Fast-Break
    A transition scoring opportunity in which the offense has at least a one-man advantage.
  • Goal Line Extended
    The imaginary line that extends from the front goal posts to the sideline on either side of the goal.
  • Ground Ball
    A loose ball on the playing field.
  • Handle (Shaft)
    An aluminum, wooden, or composite pole connected to the head of the crosse.
  • Head
    The plastic or wood part of the stick connected to the handle used to catch, throw, and shoot.
  • Inside
    The side closest to the goal. An offensive player cutting to the "inside" would be cutting between his defender and the goal. A defensive player "protecting the inside" would be ensuring an attackman cannot get between him and goal.
  • Move without the ball
    This means to stop standing still and to try to get open for a pass.
  • Man Down Defense (MDD)
    The situation that results from a time-serving penalty which causes the defense to play with at least a one-man disadvantage.
  • Midfield Line
    The line which bisects the field of play.
  • On-The-Fly Substitution
    A substitution made during play.
  • Outside
    The side furthest from the goal.
  • Pick
    An offensive maneuver in which a stationary player attempts to block the path of a defender guarding another offensive player.
  • Play On
    If a player commits a loose-ball technical foul or crease violation and an offended player may be disadvantaged by the immediate suspension of play, the official shall visually and verbally signal "play on" and withhold the whistle until such time as the situation of advantage, gained or lost, has been completed.
  • Pocket
    The strung part of the head of the stick which holds the ball.
  • Rake
    A face-off move in which a player sweeps the ball to the side.
  • Riding
    The act of trying to prevent a team from clearing the ball from the offensive half to defensive half of the field.
  • Release
    The term used by an official to notify a penalized player in the box that he may re-enter the game occurs at the conclusion at a time-serving penalty.
  • Run thru or to "X"
    The "X" is a spot behind the goal. Coaches will yell this to move the ball around or setup a play.
  • Unsettled Situation
    Any situation in which the defense is not positioned correctly, usually due to a loose ball or broken clear.
  • Yard Sale
    When a player gets their stick knock out of the hands during play.