michigan man up 3 man rotation play

Michigan 3-1-2 Man-Up 3-Man Rotation

Michigan ran this great Man-Up 3-Man Rotation over and over in their game against Johns Hopkins this weekend. This play is a great example of how college coaches "Keep It Simple" for their players. Nothing fancy here, just execution.

We see teams miss easy Man-Up goals in games every day. Make sure your players recognize and understand the 2-on-1 in front of them: With six men on Offense and only five on Defense, there is a 2-on-1 and an open man somewhere on the field. Move the ball to the open man faster than the Defense can "Rotate" to cover him.

Use this play to attack the top corner of the typical "Box and One [in the middle]" Man-Down Defense that most youth and high school lacrosse teams will use.

Michigan ran this play repeatedly against the top right corner of the Box, since most players are right handed. (Brilliant!)

Here's THE PLAY:

Set up your Man-Up unit in a basic 3-1-2 or "3-3" Formation- 3 Midfielders across the top of the box, 3 Attackmen across the front of the goal. This formation puts all of your players in front of the goal where they can score!

You could also rotate into the 3-3 from a 2-3-1 formation after you turn the Basic Wheel one time.

man up play 3 man rotation college lacrosse

Figure 1.) Start the simple 3-on-2 Triangle Rotation. Blue 1, 2 and 5 are working against Red 1 and Red 4. Blue 1 will carry the ball to the top center for a good shooting position.

Blue 2 will clear through to the Crease to get open and create space for Blue 1. Blue 5 rotates out to a good shooting position at the goalie's top right. This also creates a simple 3-on-2 on the right side of the field and across the top

man up play 3 man rotation college lacrosse

Figure 2.) Look inside to the "Soft Spot" of the Defense! Blue 2 should be open in front of the goal on the Crease if Red 4 follows Blue 5 to the outside instead of passing him off to the outside Defenders.

This simple "Rotation Overload" forces the Defenders at the top corner of the Box (Red 1) and the Crease (Red 4) to quickly decide who to cover. Most youth and high school Defenders won't know how to handle players rotating in and out of the Crease during Man-Down situations.

man up play 3 man rotation college lacrosse

Figure 3.) 3-on-2 Up Top! Blue 1 will have several options when he gets to top center with the ball.

  • Blue 1 can shoot if Red 1 doesn't stay on him. First look is always to the Goal!
  • Blue 5 will be open for a nice "Time-and-Room Shot" if Red 1 follows Blue 1 into the middle.
  • Blue 1 might also draw Red 2 from the Goalie's top left, leaving Blue 3 open in good shooting position.

man up play 3 man rotation college lacrosse

Figure 4.) Keep working this simple rotation against the top corner of the Box. We saw Michigan turn this triangle 3-4 times in one man-up possession against Johns Hopkins, looking for the best shot.

Blue 5 can carry the ball to the top center, dragging Red 1 out of position and creating space for Blue 2. Blue 2 will rotate off the crease to a good shooting position at the Goalie's top right. Blue 1 clears through to create space.

man up play 3 man rotation college lacrosse

Figure 5.) Work this 3-on-2 on the right side for an easy lay-up! This is how Michigan got their goals against Hopkins. When Red 1 gets caught out of position, Red 3 has to "Rotate!" up to cover Blue 2.

Blue 4 should be open on the doorstep for an easy shot at the goalie's bottom right side. Most youth and high school teams won't know how to rotate Red 5 from the back side of the field to cover this 3-on-2.

man up play 3 man rotation college lacrosse

Figure 6.) Remember to look inside to the "Soft Spot"! If the Defense panics and Slides from the middle, look inside to Blue 1 open in front of the goal on the Crease!

Blue 1 should "C-cut" to get open for a quick catch and a shot, and to stay in front of the other Defenders behind him.


Let us know if you get this simple college play working with your team!