We came up against the 3-3 Deep Zone Ride in games this weekend. Luckily we had been practicing this standard Clearing Formation you can use to get past this and other common Rides your players will see in games!
From youth to pro lacrosse, the most successful teams are usually the ones that Clear the ball the best--usually over 80 percent of the time. "Clearing" the ball away from your own goal can be the most frustrating part of coaching youth or high school lacrosse. This Ride can be very difficult for younger and inexperienced Teams to break, which is probably why it's so common.
The 3-3 Deep Zone Ride was very challenging for us as coaches when we first encountered it 5+ years ago. With a zone of three (3) Attackmen across the field in front of the Midfield Line, and another zone of three (3) Midfielders right behind them, it can be hard to see a way through. Now we've got several ways to beat it!
The 3-1-3 is a classic Clearing Formation every coach should know. It gives your players multiple options against several other common Rides- Man Ride, 2-1 Attack Ride, etc. This means you only have one Formation to teach your players, no matter what you will come up against!
HERE'S THE PLAY:
Figure 1.) Here's the Secret- Clearing is a 7-on-6 numbers-advantage situation! With six Defenders plus the Goalie (6+1=7), Clearing is a numbers advantage situation when your team gets the ball. Defender, Goalie, Defender (3) across the bottom, one (1) in the middle, three (3) across the top. Coach Danowski (Duke/Team USA) calls this guy in the middle the "Floater". He floats around in the middle looking for an easy short pass. Other coaches call him the "Hunter", because he has to hunt the ball, get it and run it over.
- Related: Every team needs to know this simple 4-3 or "43" "Punt Return" Clear.
All of your players should be comfortable carrying the ball against 1-on-1 pressure, especially Midfielders. If they draw any extra Defenders, they should have a teammate open Down Field.