The "Wheel" is probably one of the easiest youth and high school lacrosse Man-Up plays to run. If your players can catch and throw reasonably well for their age and ability level, sometimes you can score in as few as two passes!
We see teams miss easy Man-Up goals in games every day because they don't recognize or understand the 2-on-1 in front of them: With six men on Offense and only five on Defense, there is a 2-on-1 and an open man somewhere on the field.
Maybe you've heard of ”Rotation Overload” plays before. The first thing your Man-Up unit should do in each game is test the rotation of the Defense.
Most youth and high school lacrosse teams will set up in a 2-3-1 formation to start their Man-Up possession. At the same time, most teams will run a “Box-and-One [in the Middle]" for their Man-Down Defense.
If the other team doesn't know how to rotate to cover the man with the ball, your team should be able to score every time you are given a man-up opportunity. Just turn the “Wheel” and move your outside players to attack the space (or “lane” or “seam”) between Red Defenders.
Here's THE PLAY:
Set up your players in a typical 2-3-1 Formation: 2 Midfielders up top with 1 on the Crease, 2 Attackmen on the wings and 1 Attackman behind the Goal at "X".
Figure 1.) Everybody in front of the goal is in Man-on-Man Coverage- five Red guys covering five Blue guys. Your extra man (Blue 6 in this case) is behind the goal. Turn the Wheel so that Blue 6 has space to step in front of the goal on the strong side of the field, close to the ball.
- You can practice this same wheel rotation with 5-on-4 or 4-on-3, depending on how many players you have at practice.
- Make sure your players understand how to draw their Defenders high to create space for the next guy in the Wheel.
RELATED MAN-UP PLAYS:
If your players really understand how to find the 2-on-1, try some of our other Man-Up Plays:
- 3-1-2 Man-Up Pick & Roll Up Top: After you've turned the Wheel, try this simple Pick & Roll play from a 3-1-2 or "3-3" Formation.
- 3-1-2 Man-Up 3-Man Rotation: We saw Michigan run this simple Man-Up Rotation Overload against Johns Hopkins this season. It's so simple, it will work with your youth or high school team too!
- 2-2-2 Man-Up Pick & Roll in the Middle: We saw a youth team from Texas run this play 4-5 times in one game. Put your extra man in the middle in front of the goal for easy shot opportunities!
Give it a try at your next practice and let us know how it goes. Definitely tell us if you get more than one goal in the same game from this play!