substitution game lacrosse offense play

All about “Substitution Game”!

This is an easy way to score easy, extra goals that every coach needs to know! You can use substitution situations and locations to create momentary numbers-advantage situations, just by getting your players on and off the field!

The Pros use "Substitution Game" plays All. The. Time.

Experienced College and NCAA coaches do it every game, every possession. Watching the MLL and PLL this summer, we estimate that 20-30% of goals come from some kind of substitution game situation, either in Transition from Defense to Offense, or during their settled offensive possession substitution patterns. With so many players coming on and off the field, it's pretty easy to see how at least one guy can get open! It's even easier with youth and high school teams, where players are a little more unpredictable. There are goals being served up on a silver platter if you know what to look for!

Create confusion, get a player open, and get the Defense disorganized.

Substitution Game Plays are just as good as any good Dodge. They give you a momentary numbers-advantage situation, usually some kind of 6-on-5 or 5-on-4, almost like an extra five or ten second Man-Up opportunity! You have an extra player on the field fwhile the other team is caught a few steps behind you, or confused about who is guarding the new man coming on the field. Get the Defense disorganized and disrupt their entire game plan! Force them to "Rotate!", change their Match-Ups, force them into bad "Approaches" to the ball, all kinds of advantages, just from substitutions. Cash in on these easy, extra scoring chances!

Keep it Simple! Step by Step!

Below are our best suggestions for Substitution Game plays that we see and use the most often. There are so many things you can do, but you can't do them all at once. Once you as a coach start to see the opportunities, they will be there more and more often. As long as you communicate clearly with your players, and give them time to see and learn how they work as well, this will pay off big time for you in every game from now on! Eventually, your players will learn how to do this on their own!


substitution game lacrosse offense play

Figure 1.) Stay on the field, and "Push the Breaks" on Offense! Any time you get the ball in transition, simply run down the field faster than the other team. If you don't try to sub your players off right away, you will end up with lots more 4-on-3, 5-on-4, maybe even 6-on-4 Breaks! D-Poles, LSM's, no matter who is coming down the field with the ball, leave your players on the field and use the numbers advantage when you get it!

Defense: Rule #1 is "Do NOT Sub on Defense!" Don't give the other team easy extra-man scoring chances just because you're tired. Get tough, get back in the "Hole" and play some D!

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Use these simple tips and tricks with your team in every game to create extra scoring chances. Let us know how it goes, and make sure you tell us when you score your first Substitution Game goals, just like the College and Pro Coaches!