Use this common Ride to pressure the ball, force long, difficult Clearing passes for the other team, and score more exciting Goals off of Turnovers!
Riding is your first line of Defense! Because of the Offsides Rule at the Midfield Line, the Ride is a game situation unique to Lacrosse, like a Full-Court Press in Basketball every time the other team gets the ball. If your Attack and Midfield players Ride hard, they can create lots of turn overs, extra possessions and scoring chances for your team!
The 21 Ride is a great way to put pressure on the Goalie and Defenders. Especially with younger and inexperienced players, Clearing can be very difficult, especially against an aggressive Ride. Defenders and Goalies are not typically the best Ball-Handlers at the youth and high school level. The 21 Ride forces them to handle the ball, and make long, difficult, cross-field passes. Very similar to the 3-3 Deep Zone Ride, the 21 Ride keeps everybody down field covered man-on-man, leaving Defenders to carry the ball in difficult 1-on-1 Match-Ups against an Attackman.
Riding is mostly just a way to slow the other team down. Make the Clear as difficult and slow as possible. Good college teams Clear the ball 85% or more, so Rides only cause Turnovers some times. It's all about hustle and effort for your Attackmen. They need to know how to play good 1-on-1 Defense too! Stay under control, play smart, and No Penalties! Don't give the other team Fast Breaks and Numbers Advantage Situations that make it easy to score on you! Make them score long, slow, tedious settled goals against you.
HERE'S THE PLAY:
Figure 1.) It's called the "21" Ride because you have two Attackmen down low, covering three players- the Clearing Goalie and Defenders. Get in front of the Goalie and force the pass to an adjacent Defender. No quick outlet passes. The third Attackman stays high in the middle to cover the short easy pass to the "Floater" or "Hunter" that many teams will use in their Clears.
Midfielders get back to the Midfield line, three across the field. This is sometimes called a "Match-Up Zone"; the Riding Midfielders match up with any player that comes across the Midfield Line into their zone. Always cover the deepest man in their area of the field. Do not leave a man open down field, closer to your own goal. That's how Fast Breaks start.