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Lacrosse Basics: Glossary

Hey everyone,

Now getting into the month of February, lacrosse season is right around the corner. It's even likely that some of you have begun winter training. As we gear up for the season, I am planning on releasing a series of posts outlining lacrosse strategy. To make that job a bit easier, the first post in this series will simply be a glossary of lacrosse jargon.

The Field

I'm going to skip past the lined portions of the field and just reference this diagram. 

Non-official Points of Interest (commonly accepted lacrosse jargon)

The Box is the substitution area. Not to be confused with the offensive/defensive boxes which are referred to above as the "Restraining Box"
Between-the-boxes is defined as the space between the two restraining boxes. This will usually be used when discussing transition (ride/clear).
X is the area behind the goal.
Face-off X is the spot at midfield where face-offs occur.
Crease for offense is usually the space above the actual lined crease that surrounds the goal. It's lacrosse's unofficial version of the 'lane' in basketball.
Hole is to the defense as the "Crease" is to the offense.
GLE or the goal-line extended. It takes the goal line and draws an imaginary line all the way to either sideline. Pretty important point of interest for both offense and defense. It runs parallel to the end-line.
The field is usually defined by the goalie's point of view. So going through each of the spots as if it were a clock ("Goalie call [clock location]"): "Top-Center [12]" "Top-Right [1-2]" "Side-Right [3]" "Back-Right [4-5]" "X [6]" "Back-Left [7-8]" "Side Left [9]" and "Top-Left [10-11]"
The Alley is roughly the entire side of the offensive zone above the GLE. Again, using the clock from the goalie's point of view, the Right Alley covers 1-3 o'clock and the Left Alley covers 9-11 o'clock. The allies run parallel to the sideline.
Wing is another name for Side-right or side-left

Player Positions

Attack are the three full-time offensive players.
[Close] Defense are the three full-time defensive players.
Midfield/middies are the three players that can play both offense and defense. There is a ton of specialization in college lacrosse, so this requires some more clarification.

  1. Offensive Middie will usually just be referred to as a "middie," but there are usually middies that specifically play offense. They will sub off when their team is on defense if given a window to make it to the box. 
  2. Long-stick Middie (LSM/"Pole") is a midfielder that uses a long-stick. They will sub on for defensive runs and sub off when their team is on offense.
  3. Short-stick Defensive Middie (SSDM/"Shorty") will also be referred to as a "middie" but will specialize on the defensive side of the field.
  4. FOGO means "Face-off, get-off" and will be a player that only takes face-offs. Regardless of face-off outcome, his team will try to sub him off for one of the 3 specialties above. FOGO will usually be thrown around for anyone that takes face-offs, but there are cases where the face-off man will not need to be subbed - just getting semanticky. 


All Even is standard 6v6
Man-Up/Extra Man Offense(EMO) is lacrosse's power play.
Man-down is the penalized team in a power play situation. Man-down will generally refer to 5 defensive specialists tasked with defending the EMO.
Clear is transitioning the ball from the defensive side of the field to the offensive side of the field.
Ride is defending the clear. Like a full-court press in basketball.

I'll close the first Lacrosse Basics post here and reference back to it for future posts. I'll introduce more terminology in later posts, but this should at least provide a baseline to use as short-hand for future posts. Check back soon for the Offense Basics and Defense Basics.


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