3 3 man up skips lacrosse play

Man-Up 3-3 “Skips”

This is a great college man-up play that is so simple, we see high school and even youth teams using it now to score easy goals!

We see too many teams using the classic 2-3-1 Formation leaving their open, extra man behind the goal at “X”, where he can't score. The 3-1-2 or “3-3” Formation is great for Man-Up and settled 6-on-6 Offense since it helps keep all six of your players in scoring position at Goal Line Extended (GLE) or in front of the Goal, while you can still back up shots that go out of bounds behind the goal.

Here's Lyle Thompson finding Matt Danowski using this play for the Chesapeke Bayhawks in the MLL last week!

This play works great against the usual “Box-and-One [in the Middle]” Man-Down Defense that most youth and high school lacrosse teams will use. It will also work against the more effective “5-Man Rotation” that college and top high school teams use for their Man-Down Defense.


We like to start this play on the left side of the field (when looking out from the Goal or Goalie) so that we can draw the defense over, then move the ball to the right side of the field, where there is more space to attack the goal. Most of our players are right-handed, so on the right side of the field, most of the pass and shot opportunities are also right-handed.

man up play 3 3 skips

Figure 1.) Set up your Man-Up Offense in the 3-3 or “3-1-2” formation. Three Midfielders across the top of the box in an “Umbrella” (Blue 1, 2 and 3). One Attackman (Blue 5) will play the Crease. The other two Attackmen (Blue 4 and 6) will be on either side of the Goal at Goal Line Extended (“GLE”).

If the Man-Down Defense doesn’t “Rotate!” to cover the 3 Midfielders up top, play out this 3-on-2 situation up top until one of them gets enough space for a nice “Time-and-Room” or “Step-Down” Shot.

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  • Offense: Stay Spread! Open up the Box-and-One or 5-Man Rotation and force the Defense to cover more ground.
  • Defense: Sticks Up! The #1 Rule for Man-Down Defense is sticks UP in the passing lanes.
  • Practice this in a 5-on-4 situation. This is almost like a Box Man-Up Play! Take away the attacker and Defender on the Crease and work on the Defense rotating in a Box or Diamond to cover the ball as it moves.