The 3-1-3 is a standard Clearing formation that every Coach should know. Make sure all your players understand this very common numbers-advantage game situation so you can get the ball down field to score more goals!
From youth to pro lacrosse, the most successful teams are usually the ones that Clear the ball the best--usually over 80 percent of the time. "Clearing" the ball away from your own goal can be the most frustrating part of coaching youth or high school lacrosse. If your team can't Clear well, chances are you are spending most of your games on Defense, and your players aren't getting very many chances to score. It can be a disappointing downward spiral when your players start giving the ball back to the other team every time they get it.
You can run the 3-1-3 Clear against several of the most common Rides that we see teams at every level using in games today. There doesn't have to be a lot of complicated passing involved, which could be good if your team doesn't have very good stick skills yet. Just one easy pass to a solid Midfielder in the middle is all it takes, rather than a series of long passes across the field. Spend time practicing this Clear over and over and over again.
- Related: Check out our Wall Ball Workouts and other Passing and Catching Drills for more help on building up your players' stick skills.
Coach Danowski (Duke/Team USA) calls the guy in the middle the "Floater". He just floats around looking for an easy short pass. Or maybe he needs to stay back "On Sides". Some coaches call him the "Hunter" because he has to hunt the ball to get it and run it over. All of your players, especially your Midfielders, should be comfortable carrying the ball against 1-on-1 pressure.
HERE'S THE PLAY:
Figure 1.) Here's the Secret- Clearing is a 7-on-6 numbers-advantage situation! With six Defenders plus the Goalie (6+1=7), Clearing is a 7-on-6 situation when your team gets the ball. This is why NCAA and Pro teams always look so calm when they are clearing. They know they have an open extra man somewhere on the field!
Don't run away with your back to your Goalie! All players should be looking for the ball wherever they run to. If they are the open extra man, the Goalie can make a quick pass and start the 4-on-3 Fast Break!
- Short Stick Sideline Clear: Simple and effective! We think it's brilliant the way the DU Coaches move the short stick to the Sideline for this Clear. This way, pressure on the player running with the ball only comes from one direction.
- Substitution "Box" Clear: You can use the 3-1-3 Clear combined with the Substitution Box to get a Defender off and a Midfielder on to start the 4-on-3 Fast Break with this simple Clearing Play!
- The "D-Pole Deep" Clear: This is another simple Clearing play that you can use along with the 3-1-3 Formation to get a Defender open down field to start some sweet Fast Breaks!
- Open Clear vs 3-3 Zone Ride: Open up the middle of the field and work the ball down the sidelines with this Clearing Play we see from top NCAA teams.