3-on-2 From the Sideline

It's summer lacrosse camp season! We saw this simple drill at camp for one of the top NCAA teams last year. (Hint: They were just in the Final Four!) You can run it at practice with as few as six players, and it teaches all kinds of great game situations- ground balls, spacing, shooting, scoring, everything!

We see this exact same 3-on-2 numbers-advantage situation happen in games all the time, from beginning youth players all the way to high school and college. It can happen when somebody subs in from the box, from a turnover during the Clear, after a ground ball, etc.

It's also very similar to the traditional 4-on-3 Fast Break if the ball comes down on the Goalie's top right side instead of the usual top left.

If your players know and recognize this situation, you can score some really nice quick, explosive goals out of small defensive mistakes!

This is a great drill for teaching your players the basic "Wheel" play- how to draw the Defense to one side of the field to create space for open teammates on the other side. If the Defense doesn't move to stop the ball, everybody should be in great shooting positions for easy goals!

We usually run this drill from the sideline on the Goalie's right side, since most of our players are right-handed, making most of the passes and shot opportunities right-handed. You can run this same drill from anywhere- from the midfield line or endline as well. Give your players experience with the same situation from a variety of locations.


Set up your players in five (5) lines on the sideline- three (3) lines of Attackers and two (2) lines of Defenders.

3 on 2 sideline youth lacrosse practice drill

Figure 1.) Throw out a loose ball to create an unsettled 3-on-2 situation. All five players should contest the ground ball. Throw the ball toward one end of the line of players, Blue 1 or Blue 3 so that the offense is more likely to get the ball and you can practice what you intend to work on.

Defense- Get in between the ball and the goal! Contest the ground ball from the defensive side of the field. If the Attackers get the loose ball, at least the Defenders will be in the correct position to stop the ball.

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  • Keep Time and Keep Score in all your games and drills: Give one point to the Offense for every goal they score, and one point to the Defense for every turnover or shot out of bounds.
  • Send in an extra Defender after 10 or 15 seconds if the Offense can't score. Play out this 3-on-3 situation to a goal, turnover, or a Clear.
  • Lax Lingo: Make "One More!" Pass- Use the "One More!" call to teach your players to move the ball to the open man faster than the Defense can rotate to cover the ball.


  • 2-on-1 Man/Ball Drill: This Lax Classic practice drill teaches your players the most basic 2-on-1 situation since it starts from the ground. Work together to get the ball and attack the goal quickly!
  • 3-on-2 "West Gennies": Another Lacrosse Classic, coaches have been using this great 3-on-2 full-field drill for decades to work on transition, ball movement, defensive help and rotations, everything! Tons of reps and tons of fun with this drill.
  • 3x "Three By" 3-on-3 Practice Game: This is best lacrosse practice game we've ever seen. No joke. Use this back yard 3-on-3 game to work on game situations, stick skills, and scoring. We play tons of 3x at camp and tournaments.
  • 4-on-3 Fast Breaks: If your players understand the 3-on-2 situation, make sure you are practicing this common game situation a ton. We've got lots of Fast Break Drills in the Lax Library.

Make sure to tell us if your team scores some nice 3-on-2 "Wheel" goals after using this drill in your practices!