Quick Guide to Understanding Lacrosse Formations

Lacrosse: Getting the most from the 2-3-1 formation

In lacrosse at any level, the 2-3-1 formation is one of the more familiar formations, but this does not mean that it is fully understood.

In order to teach this formation to staff and players, head coaches must understand the concepts behind it. Even though I coached and played for many years, I didn’t feel my teams were getting the most out of this formation until I studied film and reviewed notes from clinics.

If executed correctly, the 2-3-1 creates scoring opportunities through easy cuts to the net. For attackers and midfielders to be able to make plays on the pitch, they must be in constant motion. This is why understanding the basics of the formation is crucial, since players can adjust if things don’t go according to plan if they understand what’s expected of them.

Teams end up living and dying based on how well they execute the 2-3-1 at the lower levels, where there is no time to change formations.

Formation of 2-3-1. In this set, the defense is put under pressure, and space is created. It is certain that your players will have opportunities to score if they are active.

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Three-to-one has several advantages

The 2-3-1 creates good spacing, so doing dodges can unbalance the defense, but players can’t just do it for the sake of doing dodges. A two-dimensional player has to dodge to pass.

In order to avoid double teams, players off the ball need to be active at the same time. By sealing, the 2-3-1 creates space, allowing you to remain active. Defendants are easier to seal and avoid double-teams because there is more room in the middle.

A final advantage of the “X” is that the ball can be moved rapidly through it to the other side, putting pressure on the defense.

Three-to-one disadvantages

The 2-3-1 stalls if players are not constantly moving. The player cannot pass once and go – he or she must continue passing to keep the defense off balance, otherwise, there will be no holes on the weak side. It is important for teams to be able to pass well, as creating opportunities often requires multiple passes.

Shooters in tight formations are also important since defenses set low against them. Furthermore, midfielders must understand that they will play a vital role in linking up with other players to create shots.

A set play

“North Carolina” is a simple curl, but it’s got to be fed well and finished well to work so well.

North Carolina (A).

One of the middies is at the crease and the other two start higher, whereas the attackers (A1, A2, and A3) start at the X, and the goal-line extends. In this case, the play begins with a pass from one of the top middies to another (M1 to M2). A middie who passed the screen for middies at the crease (M3), and attackmen on the weak side screen for attackmen at the X (in this case, A2 for A1).

North Carolina (B):

M2 now moves across the field to the side where the screens are set using a change-of-direction dodge. In order for M2 to be effective, he must move quickly and get to a position where one of the open offensive players is coming off the screen so that he can make an easy pass to him.

North Carolina (C ):

A1 or M3 should be open if M2 has two options. It should result in a good shot if you set up a good screen, cut well, and pass well.

You need to be able to adjust when you are facing a double team. Let the other middies know that they need to be ready to relieve the pressure and reset the play if needed.

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