defender d pole dodging carrying youth lacrosse practice game

The “Mason Dixon” Man-Up/Man-Down Drill

Our youth players love this Lax Classic that coaches all over have used for years in practice. Teach your players to move the ball on Offense and help stop the ball on Defense in different Man-Up and Man-Down numbers advantage game situations.

We're not exactly sure why it's called the Mason Dixon Drill. We think it's because each team plays Offense and Defense against the other back and forth, attacking the same goal, much like both sides in the American Civil War captured and recaptured the same territory along the Mason-Dixon Line. (History lesson for the day.)

Numbers advantage situations happen dozens of times in every lacrosse game, especially with youth and beginning players. It's easier to score numbers advantage goals than settled 6-on-6 goals. Practice these same game situations so your players know how to move the ball to the open man when you get these critical scoring chances!

This drill is a classic for so many reasons. You can play it just about any day at practice with as few as 9 or 10 players. It works on stick skills, ball movement, defensive help and communication, Fast Breaks, goalie clearing passes, everything!

Plus, your players get to play both sides of the ball, Offense and Defense, so you can work on developing well-rounded lacrosse players!


Split your team into two squads and put them in two lines up by the midfield line.

mason dixon practice drill 3 on 2 behind goal

Figure 1.) Start the ball behind the goal with 3-on-2. Red will attack the goal from "X" with a 3-on-2 advantage. This is the same setup as an Attackman dodging from X.

Blue 1 and 2 will start on Defense ready to stop the ball once it moves in front of the goal. The ball can't score behind the goal, so there's no need to chase it back there.

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Have fun with this one! Our players love this game any day we play Mason Dixon at practice.