Guide To Lacrosse Lingo and Terminology

The lacrosse lexicon is quite complex, as anyone who has played enough of the game will likely tell you. The number of them is especially high! A coach was explaining to a novice with alligator arms a few days ago while I was watching a high school game.

This brought back memories of my beginning days when I asked teammates and searched online for definitions of different terms. 

The guide would have helped me get an overview of all the lacrosse slang and terminology I needed back then. To make learning and preparation easier, I wrote this guide.

Relax and enjoy your time. During lacrosse, you’ll hear many interesting terms that you will find interesting.

Related: Rules and Regulations of Lacrosse

Fan’s Guide To Lacrosse Terms

There are thousands of new fans joining lacrosse every day as its popularity increases. We will discuss some lacrosse slang and terms in this section in order to facilitate a great watching experience.


The short name for lacrosse is lax if you didn’t know. Rather than saying the whole name of the sport, lacrosse, it’s a quick and easy way to say it.

Throughout the years, it has developed into a term. Both nouns and verbs are possible with lax. The term laxing, for example, can be used to describe playing lacrosse. 


Around the goal, the crease carves out a space that can only be accessed by the goalkeeper. The crease is not open to offensive players in other cases. Click here for more information about creases. 


Lacrosse defenders use d-poles as their long sticks. Short sticks used by attackmen are shorter than long sticks. Defendants can intercept and disrupt offensive plays on a level playing field. A long pole is also known as a d-pole. Every game can have up to four long stick players and they are usually 60 inches long. 


After each goal and at the beginning of each quarter, a face-off is held. A draw is what is called in women’s lacrosse. Each match begins with two opposing team members lining up at the center of the field and fighting for possession of the ball. A faceoff head is used by these players to handle face-offs. 


“Face Off Go Off” is the definition of FOGO. The term refers to someone who specializes in face-offs. A FOGO does not play as a middie, but only for faceoffs. 

Ground Ball

In a lacrosse game, ground balls are common. An opportunity to ground the ball arises when it is loose on the ground. If you see a ground ball, be prepared for players to race to it and fight for possession, since ground balls are crucial to the outcome of the game. 


In hockey, LSM is short for Long Stick Middie. The defensive middie will also use a long defensive stick since there can be four long sticks per game. Also, 60 inches long is the long defensive stick.


Rather than keeping the arm close to his body and staying stationary, the player uses one arm to cradle and move the other arm to block the opposing player’s stick.


It refers to the position behind the lacrosse net on the field when you hear the word X in lacrosse. Lacrosse goals are set apart by a box about five to ten yards.

Coaches and players should know these lacrosse terms

In order to play lacrosse, players and coaches need to know many more terms. Here, we’ll review the common lingo you’d hear frequently. You should note that this list covers the most common and important lacrosse slang and terms and may not include those that are local or specific to your team.

Having said that, let’s get started.


The term “middle” is often used by middies. The alleys are located near the middle of the field on the left and right sides. Both sides of the field have alleys, left and right. They assist middies in getting past opponents or feeding players in the alleys who are open. 

Alligator Arms

Alligator arms are a common problem among beginners. A player shoots too tight to his body when he tightens his arms. The optimal way to generate power and control is by fully extending your arms. Taking a video of yourself can help you determine whether you have alligator arms.

Bar Down

An offensive player’s dream shot is one like this. It deflects off the top crossbar and into the goal after hitting the bottom of the crossbar. One of the hardest ways to score a goal is to hit a bar down shot with maximum accuracy and speed. Here is an example from real life:

Brave Heart

A goalie and a middie play one-on-one in Brave Heart lacrosse, a one-on-one version of the game. Both teams’ middies compete for the ball in a face-off. The game is won by the first player to score.


An assist or pass worth a dime has been made well. Your teammate may say, “You threw me a dime!” after you feed an excellent ball that led to a goal.

Door Step

Located right above the crease, this area is known as the “doorstep”. In this area, attackmen like to roam around because it presents a great shooting opportunity since it is close to the goal. Often, middies feed attackmen right on their doorstep.

Fast Break

Defending quickly becomes offensive. The act of getting past defenders while speeding up the field with the ball is called a fast break. A fast break is a great scoring opportunity, and many teams incorporate it into their game plan.


When a goalie or defender desperately throws the ball down the field, it is called a Gilman throw. In cases where there is no open teammate nearby and the goalie feels pressured to clear the ball, a Gilman clear may be attempted.

Man-To-Man Defense

When you do defensive drills, you hear this term a lot. In essence, man-to-man defense means every defensive player marks one opponent, which is also known as mark-up defense. Defense players are assigned to mark specific opposing players before every game.

Be prepared to practice this defensive scheme during training as this is a very common defensive scheme.


Riders are offensive players who go up against opposing defensive players in an attempt to get the ball. A good way to force a turnover is to force the defender to make a mistake. Furthermore, it slows down the opponent’s fast break, making it a good offensive strategy.


A player can be penalized for slashing by sticking his stick against a player’s helmet or another body part. It is legal for players to hit only the stick or arm holding the stick of their opponent.


An attacker slides when one of his teammates has been beaten and needs coverage. Defensive techniques like this are pretty common. The players slide constantly during a man-down defense to prevent the opposing team from scoring.


The whip can be defined as the amount of pulling down you receive when shooting or passing. The shots tend to fall to the ground when there is a lot of whipping. Shots can fly higher with a little whip.

Zone Defense

Zone defense differs from man-to-man defense by having players take defensive positions according to the zones surrounding the goal. In other words, players are defending players in specific zones rather than necessarily marking them up individually.

Conclusion: Lacrosse Lingo and Terminology

The post has now come to an end! The list of lacrosse slang and terminology was long, but to be honest I barely scratched the surface. Here are the most common and important ones. You can start with this guide. 

Feel free to add any key terms to the list if I missed them in the comment section. It is my intention to continue to add items to this list so that it will truly become a comprehensive guide for both beginners and seasoned laxers.

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