The following glossary is a list of lacrosse terms commonly heard in and around the women’s game.

Assist – Preceding pass to a shooter that results in a goal

Attack – Players at their scoring end See Position Descriptions and Field Diagram

Attacker – A player at the Attack position

Back Door – A play, pass, or cut taking advantage of a (back) turned defender

Backer (Backer Zone) – A “roving” or “floating” defender that follows the ball ready to double

Baggataway – A form of lacrosse played by the Ojibwa Indians

Big (Play Big, Get Big) – Term often used in a Sag defense when a player is dropped in with her stick up in the lane to block a pass or make a slide

Cage – The goal

Check (Stick Check) – Contact with the defender’s stick to a ball carrier’s stick to dislodge the ball

Clear – Transitioning (clearing out) the ball from a team’s defensive end to its scoring end after gaining possession from a turnover or a save

Cover – Placing the stick pocket on top of a ground ball to prevent others from scooping See Girls Lacrosse Rules

Cradle – Rotating motion of the stick in order to maintain possession of the ball using its own gravity and inertia

Critical Scoring Area – The area inside the 12 meter fan and also extending beyond the goal; penalty administration is different in this area See Position Descriptions and Field Diagram

Crosse – Proper name for a stick; originated by the French who thought the Native American’s lacrosse stick resembled a Bishop’s Crosier

Cross Check – An action of contacting (checking) a player with two hands on a stick held parallel to the ground

Defense – Players positioned down in front of the goal they are protecting See Position Descriptions and Field Diagram

Defender – A player at the defense position

Dehuntshigwa’es – Onondaga (Iroquois) word for lacrosse meaning “to bump hips”

Deputy – A player who enters the goal circle when the goalie is out of the goal circle and her team is in possession of the ball

Dominant Hand – A player’s natural hand

Dodge – A move to evade a defender

Double Team – Effectively, two defenders on the ball carrier

Draw – A technique to start or resume play by which a ball is placed in between two sticks held back to back and drawn up and away

Eight-Meter Arcs – A semi-circular area in front of the goal used for the administration of major fouls See Position Descriptions and Field Diagram

EMO – Acronym for Extra Man Offense which is the game situation when the team in possession is trying to score against a team with a player serving a penalty

Face Dodge (aka Pull Dodge) – A combination of foot and stick movement whereby the stick is brought “across the face” in an effort to mislead a defender as to which direction the ball carrier is going

Fast Break – Game situation (transition) often the result of a quick turnover in the middle of the field that results in the possessing team moving with more players against the defending team

Feed – A pass to a player cutting to the goal

Free Position – An free and clear restart opportunity awarded to one player when a major or minor foul is committed by a player from the other team; the player may run, pass or shoot the ball

Free Space to Goal (aka Shooting Space) – A cone-shaped path extending from each side of the goal circle to the attack player with the ball; the shooter’s right of way See Shooting Space Explanation

Full Strength – Term used following the release of a penalty meaning both teams again have the same number of players on the field

Goal Circle (Crease) – 8.5 foot (women’s) radius circle that surrounds each goal

Ground Ball – A loose ball picked up from the ground

Hang – The action of a ball carrier holding the stick head exposed below or behind the body; stick held in a checkable position

Hot (Right, Left) – Term(s) used on defense to communicate which player is the first slide; e.g. an adjacent defender is telling the on-ball defender she is “hot right”

ISO (Isolation Play) – Creating a one on one situation for a player

Lax – Slang for lacrosse

Laxer – Slang for lacrosse player

Man Down (Man Down Defense) – A game situation when a team serving a penalty is on defense; often uses specifics players and assignments

Midfield – Players position in the middle of the field that can play end to end See Position Descriptions and Field Diagram

Midfielder – A player position that covers the whole field; also called a Middie.

Middie Back – Term used in the situation when a team (on a fast break); when a defender in an advantageous position crosses over the retaining line into the scoring end a midfielder needs to stay behind the restraining to prevent an offside condition until the defender retreats back to the defensive end

Motion – Offensive strategy of passing and moving to create open players and / or 1 v 1 situations by moving defenders from the adjacent slide

On Ball (Defender) – Defender guarding the player with the ball

Off Ball (Defender) – Defender guarding a player (or space) away from the ball ready to help (slide) or engage on ball

Pick – An off ball player stands in a stationery position in the path of a defender playing the ball carrier to attempt to free the ball carrier

Pipe – Framing (tubing) of the goal

Ponytail Cut – Same as a backdoor cut; anytime you see the ponytail of your defender, you should cut for the ball

Post – Upright metal side-pipes of a goal

Quickstick – A quick and short pass, catch, or shot with limited motion of the stick

Redefending – The situation or act of playing defense following the loss of possession (by turnover or save) to prevent the other team from (clearing) moving the ball out of its defensive end into its scoring end

Ride – Same as redefending, but a term mostly used in the men’s game, as the term redefending has been adopted for the modern women’s game

Roll Dodge – An evasive dodge used by a ball carrier where the ball carrier plants a foot in front of the defender’s opposite foot and rolls back to the opposite side (typically to the dominant hand) to protect the stick and free hands and get by a defender to shoot, run, or pass

Sag (Defense) – A defense where on ball players play no higher than the 12 meter, always forcing to help and off ball players remain on the 8 meter

Sphere – An imaginary area, approximately seven inches which surrounds a player’s head

Split Dodge – Similar to a Face Dodge but the player changes hands

Stall – The tactic or game situation whereby the offense is not attacking to score but rather playing pass and “keepaway” from the defense in an effort to use up game time

Stand – All players, except the goalkeeper in her goal circle, must remain stationary following the sound of any whistle

Stick Check – Inspection (for legality) of a player’s stick by an umpire; conducted before the game for all players and can also be done during a game upon request; for the defensive tactic see Check (Stick Check)

Swag – Gear, such as t-shirts and shorts, which a player gets free while playing for a team

Transition – Game situation when a team goes from offense to defense or from defense to offense

Triple Threat – Referring to an “ideal condition of being” as a threat to Dodge, threat to Feed / Assist, and a threat to draw Shooting Space

12 Meter Fan – A semi-circle in front of the goal used for the administration of minor fouls See Position Descriptions and Field Diagram

Twig – Slang for lacrosse stick

Two (or Fill or Second) – Term(s) used on defense to communicate which player is the second slide; e.g. a defender two away (from the ball) is telling the hot defender she has “got your two” or “I am two” meaning she can replace the “hot” slide

V-Cut – Cutting at one angle, then breaking to another in a path resembles the letter V to receive the pass.

Wall Ball – Practice method of throwing a ball against a wall and playing catch with oneself See Sample Wall Ball Routine

X (The X, at X) – The area on the field behind the goal or the player at that point who usually starts the play on offense

Zone (Zone defense) – A defense where players are responsible for spaces rather than specific players (or marks)