3 Slow Break Offensive Options

Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse National Program Director, Brian Lalley, discusses, 3 Slow Break Offensive Options: 

Lacrosse is commonly referred to the fastest sport on two feet. Even with that being said, the game is changing in a number of different ways to increase the speed even more. There are more athletic players deciding to play the sport and rules are changing to create for fast, odd-number situations.

What is a Slow Break?
A slow break in lacrosse is a 5 v 4 or a 6 v 5 in an unsettled, transition situation. This can occur from a faceoff, from a turnover in the defensive end or middle of the field or off a clear. Offensively, we’re trying to take advantage of the odd-number situation before the defensive can get matched back up and play settled 6 v 6 defense. Below are three options (not the only three) to generating opportunity in the slow break.

Early Through X
One common option to the slow break is to move the ball early down the side. If we can quickly get the ball to the backside, we are attacking our numbers advantage with the ball down low where we aren’t as susceptible to transition going back our way on a turnover.

Over the Top
Some coaches don’t even offer this as an option to their team. The case against moving the ball across the top in a slow break is based on reverse transition. If the ball is knocked down or dropped in the middle of the field, a transition opportunity is coming right back at you.

If your team has the stick work to pass and catch on the move and understand how to find good passing lanes, the advantage of going over the top is drawing earlier defensive rotations. The 2-on-1 is usually in the midfield, so going over the top move the ball to our open offensive player causing a defensive rotation to get him covered.

Pass-Down-Pick-Down
This option is a growing trend in the game of lacrosse. The disadvantage in my mind is giving the trail defense some more time to get in and matched up. With a lengthy numbers advantage, the pass-down-pick-down puts a ball carrier in the middle of the field, most likely drawing significant defensive attention and confusion.

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