Lax Lingo: Directing the Clear from the Bench

Clearing can be one of the most difficult pieces of the game for beginning coaches and players alike to understand. Use these simple terms to help your players "Find" the open man when you Clear!

From youth to pro lacrosse, the most successful teams are usually the ones that Clear the ball the best. Top college teams are usually successful 85-90 percent of the time. But even college players need help knowing where to pass the ball.

If your team can't Clear very 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 frustrating downward spiral if you give the other team the ball back every time you finally get it. Simply put, Clearing determines how many chances you're going to get to try and score vs how many chances the other team gets.

Use the simple terms below to help your players "Find!" the open man when they Clear, so your team can keep possession and spend more time on Offense scoring goals!


Figure 1.) Here's the secret- Clearing is a 7-on-6 situation. With six (6) Defenders plus your Goalie (6+1=7), your team has an extra-man advantage. There is a 2-0n-1 and an open man somewhere on the field!

This is why college teams usually look so calm when they are Clearing--they know they have an open man. Your players don't have to run the ball through Double- and Triple-Teams. Make sure they understand how to work this numbers-advantage situation so they can get the ball down field to score!

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