sharks minnows dodging defense practice drill game

Just for Fun: “Sharks and Minnows” Dodging and Defense Game

People ask us all the time for easy games to introduce younger children to lacrosse. Here's an old favorite that you can use with beginners, youth and even high school players to have some extra fun at practice!

We play this at practice and camps all the time. Sometimes you need to spice it up during those long, hot afternoon sessions at NCAA summer camps. Play this simple game for 5 or 10 minutes during your fall ball practices to get your kids' energy levels up, especially if you are coaching youth players.

This is the perfect game to practice Dodging, Cradling, and Defense, plus some good old-fashioned Sprinting, all while having a blast! The "Minnows" will run repeated cross-field Dodging Sprints, and the "Sharks" will be chasing and defending, Approaching and Pursuing the ball constantly.

Play with any number of kids, anywhere on the field. The best part of this game is how simple it is. Not a lot of equipment or complicated instructions. Give each player a ball, start in one area of the field. Run to another area of the field. Simple. Have fun!


sharks minnows fun practice drill game

Figure 1.) Start all the "Minnows" (Blue) on one side of the field. Every Minnow needs a ball. Start one "Shark" Defender (Red) in the middle.

Start the Sharks WITHOUT sticks at the beginning. Teach your Defenders to play good "Body Defense", using their Feet to pursue the ball before moving to Stick Checks. A bunch of Sharks in the middle taking big swings with their sticks won't end well for anybody. Trust us.

Become a Member to read the rest of this article!

If you already have an account you can Log In Here.


  • Give the "Sharks" (Defenders) their sticks to work on controlled Take-Away checks, and work on more Stick Protection for your Attackers.
  • No Drops- Make the game even faster. Minnows become Sharks any time they drop their ball.
  • Contested Ground Balls- Let your players fight for the ground balls even if they drop it in the middle. Minnows only become Sharks when the Sharks get possession of their ball