lax lingo gilman clear defense play practice drill

Lax Lingo: The “Gilman!” Clear

This is a special play that any experienced Coach should know, even if you may never use it. Even if not useful all the time, it's definitely a part of Lax History.

The "Gilman!" is a special Clear that everyone will need to use at least once in their coaching or playing lifetime. You shouldn't use it very often, but when you do, it can get the job done. In fact, it's hard to get some younger and inexperienced players to stop doing the "Gilman!" when they get in trouble in their defensive end of the field.

We can only assume this play is named for the famed Gilman School in Baltimore. No one will ever know for sure. But seeing as how Gilman School Lacrosse is one of the oldest and most famous high school programs in the country, and has cranked out big names in the sport for decades, what else could it be?!


You might need the "Gilman!" late in a game or a quarter, when there isn't enough time to Clear the ball. Or you may need it when you're two men down, and you just need the ball out of there. Maybe your Goalie or Long Pole is trapped on the sideline with no chance of escape. "Gilman!" might be just the play you need!

Of course it's always better to work the Clear and keep possession. Remember, Clearing is a 7-on-6 situation. With six Defenders plus the Goalie (6+1=7), you have an extra man open somewhere on the field. Spend extra time in practice on Clearing, so you don't have to use the "Gilman!" every time your team gets the ball in the Defensive end.

Here's All-Pro, All-World, All-MLL, All-NLL, All-Everything All-Star Brody Merrill using the "Gilman!" to tie it up late in the 4th quarter in the MLL.

That's not a Hail Mary. That's a "Gilman!"

If the situation calls for it, just chuck it! Short time, short-handed, no better option, throw it to the other end. Better lose the ball down there than right in front of your own Goal.

lax lingo gilman clear defense play practice drill

Use this Lax Lingo with your players to give them the go ahead if they get in trouble. Maybe your Attackmen can get it and score a quick one, or hold for possession to give your Defense a break. Maybe the shot goes out of bounds and you get it back on the chase.

Pro Tip: The "Gilman!" is also useful as a shot against a Ten-Man Ride, when the other team's Goalie normally comes out to cover an Attackman.

lax lingo gilman clear lacrosse defense play practice drill

Your players are under constant pressure on the field during a Ten-Man Ride. The only person that can see that the Goal is WIDE OPEN is you, and maybe a few parents. (But who listens to them?)

"Gilman!" tells the man with the ball what to do! It's short, two syllables, and isn't easily confused with any other terminology you might use. Take the shot!

Have fun with this, and make sure to let us know if the "Gilman!" comes in handy for your team!