Here is an alphabetical list of common Lacrosse terms and phrases.  Should you have a question about something you have heard, please do not hesitate to email me.


All Right (All Left) adj. term for a player who has a dramatically dominant hand.

Assist n. a pass to the shooter. A pass that sets up a goal.

Attack n. the player position in the game that is stationed in the offensive end and is responsible for offense primarily. These players are called Attackers or Attackmen.

Attacker n. a player at the Attack position.

Attackman n. a player at the Attack position.

Back Door n. an offensive player without the ball sneaks in, close to the goal behind the defense, where the ball carrier zips a pass to him or her for an easy score. 2: v. sneak behind the defense to receive a feed and get an easy scoring opportunity.

Backup (Back up the goal) n. an offensive player, usually behind the goal and close to the end line, ready to run full speed toward the line to regain the possession of the ball on a missed shot. The player closest to the ball when and where it goes out of bounds is awarded possession on a shot.

Baggataway n. Ojibwe word for lacrosse (derived from an Algonquian verb meaning “to hit with [something]”), and more particularly the Midwestern/Great Lakes variant of the game. Alternate spelling (preferred by ethnographers) is baaga’adowe.

Ball (“Ball”) n. a white, orange or yellow solid rubber orb between 7 3/4 and 8 inches in circumference, between 5 and 5 1/4 ounces in weight and a 2/3 bounce ratio by NCAA rules. 2: term used by a player to another player to let him know that he will gather the ground ball while his teammate takes a man, shouting “Man” and keeping the opponent away from the ball until his team has possession. Once the ball is in possession, “Release” is yelled to prevent player a moving screen violation.

Ball Stop n. the small piece of foam or rubber that is used at the base of the stick head to soften the surface and lessen the bounce off the plastic. also called a stop or stopper.

Bounce Pass n. a pass that is targeted downward and bounces before redirecting t the intended player.

Box (the Box) n. the penalty box, where time assessed for fouls is served. 2: the coaches box.

Brave Heart n. A fun alternative to overtime played in some lacrosse summer and charity tournaments where two players from each team take the field, a goalkeeper and a middie. The two middies face off and go one on one full field until one scores.

Break n. an extra man situation temporarily cause by a quick steal or great outlet pass from the defensive end. The offense uses the extra man to split the defense so that the ball coming quickly down the field can find an easy path from undefended player to undefended player until a very high percentage shot is taken.

Buddy Pass n. a pass that is lobbed high and/or slowly through the air such that the recipient is blind sided and rocked by defenders as he receives it.

Bull Dodge n. protecting the stick by holding it in the outside hand behind the body, the ball carrier basically runs through the defenseman, bulling past toward the goal.

Butt End n. the end of the stick without the head. The cap that covers the end of the stick, usually made of plastic. v. to jab a player in the ribs with the butt end of the stick.

Cage n. slang for the goal.

Check n. an attempt to dislodge the ball from another player’s stick by poking or slapping their stick or arms with either end of your stick, though most often the head. 2: v. the act of attempting to dislodge the ball in this manner.

Clamp v. A face-off maneuver executed by quickly pushing the back of the stick on top of the ball.

Clear n. a play designed to move the ball from the defensive end to the offensive end after a save or turnover. 2: v. moving the ball from the defensive end to the offensive end of the field after a turnover or save.

Crease n. the 9 foot (men’s) or 8.5 foot (women’s) radius circle that surrounds each goal. Offensive players are not allowed in the crease.

Crosse n. proper name for a stick. From the French word “Crossier” or curved staff. Refers to the head and shaft together or more appropriately to the one piece wooden stick used before 1970 and still used by some box players and Native Americans, who, of course, invented them. See picture 2.

Cross Check n. with both hands on the shaft, illegally hitting a player with the section of the shaft between the hands. 2: v. the act of checking in this manner.

Cutter n. Player moving without the ball in order to place oneself in a good scoring position or to open up space for another offensive player.

D n. slang for defense or the group of defensive players.

D- Up v. slang for recognizing and taking a man defensively. Yelled by the Goalkeeper to his defensive unit after an unsettled situation.

D-pole n. slang for defense crosse. : .

Defense n. the player position that is responsible for defense primarily and are stationed in the defensive end near their goal. They use long poles and are sometimes even called “longpoles”.

Defender n. a player at the defense position. See Defense.

Defenseman n. a player at the defense position. See Defense.

Dive (The Dive) n. A move made illegal in college and high school lacrosse in the 1990’s. The player could, before the ruling, dive into the crease while shooting and as long as the ball crossed the face of the goal before the shooter touched the ground, goal or keeper. Goalie safety was the reason cited.

Dominant Hand n. a favored top hand on the stick. Most players have a dominant hand and defenders should exploit that if it is that obvious.

Face off (Face-off) n. term borrowed from the canadian box game and hockey replacing the term “draw” for the men’s game in the 1940’s. To start each quarter and to resume play after a goal is scored the ball is placed at the center of the field. Two players are set equally with their stick heads facing each other and touching the ground with the ball in between. When the whistle is blown, the two move to control the ball and play begins.

Feed n. a pass that finds a teammate cutting to the goal. An assist.

Field Judge (FJ) n. Third member of a three man officiating crew.

FOGO n. acronym for “Face-Off, Get Off”. A player who is only on the field during the face off. Most FOGO’s are the centermen or face-off men during the draw but they can also be wing men, often with a long stick. FOGOs evolved into the game of lacrosse around the turn of the century due to specialization in lacrosse.

Get it in/Keep it in(GIKI) n. Requirement that a team to get the ball into the attack box and keep it there. Usually as a result of stalling or being ahead by more than less than five goals with 2 minutes remaining n fourth quarter.

GLE n. acronym for Goal line extended, the imaginary line of the goal extended to the sidelines for the purposes of planning plays and describing positioning on the field. One would not likely shoot from behind the GLE.

Gilman v. clearing the ball from the defensive end with a long random pass into the offensive end. Names after a prep school in Maryland.

Ground Ball n. A loose ball on the playing field.

Head n. the top portion of a lacrosse stick which houses the stringing or mesh and, with some skill, the ball. Most are plastic and screw onto a shaft made of a composite metal but sometimes wood (old style).

Hot (Who’s hot, I’m hot, you’re hot) adj. slang for defenseman responsible for the first slide. Used by defenses to communicate.

Inside Roll n. When sensing a defender’s overplay on the GLE, the attackman plants his lead foot and rolls back and around the defender with his outside leg, leaving him in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper or an easy goal.

Invert n. An offensive formation or play in which a midfielder will carry the ball to a position normally occupied by an attackman (for example, X), or vice-versa, and then initiate the offense.

Keeper n. Slang for Goal Keeper.

Lead n. Official closest to the goal being attacked, usually on GLE.

Man Ball (“Man- Ball Situation”) n. when two teammates approach a ground ball along with one opponent the one closest to the opponent will yell “Man” and engage the opponent head on to keep them away while the other yells “Ball” and attempts to secure the ball.

Man Up (Man Up Offense) n. slang for Extra Man Offense. Offensive scheme geared toward taking advantage of man-up situations after penalties on opposing players. 2: The group of players assigned to play in extra man situations.

Midfield n. the line bisecting the field, separating the teams’ offensive and defensive ends. 2: a player position that covers the whole field. Each team has three on the field and they start the game and face offs at the midfield line. players called Midfielders and Middies.

Midfielder n. a player position that covers the whole field. Each team has three on the field and they start the game and face offs at the midfield line. Also called a Middie.

Midfield Line n. the line bisecting the field, separating the teams’ offensive and defensive ends. 2: a group of three midfielders that play together in games. Usually a team will have a few lines of midfielders which are rotated. Also called Middie Line.

Middie n. slang for a Midfielder.

Motion n. Offensive style or system in which players move and cut simultaneously to create space and feeding/shooting opportunities for other players on the field.

Moving Pick n. Slang for illegal offensive screen; occurs when an offensive player actively interferes with a defensive player’s advancement while pursuing the ball carrier.

Off Hand n. refers to a players weak or non-dominant hand.

On the Fly adv. making substitutions while the play is still on. Before this rule change in the 1980’s teams would have to wait for a stop in play before making a player change and a horn would be blown to signify the change.

Over and Back n. technical foul.  Once the initial ten count is satisfied, the offense may not allow the ball to cross the midline unless this is the result of a shot or a deflection by the defense.  Similar to a back court violation in basketball.

Play On n. a loose ball penalty that is noticed by the referee but, if called immediately, would stop the advancement of the team that was fouled. A flag is thrown and the referee shouts “Play on” and continuation is allowed. At the next loose ball, turnover or score the whistle is blown and the penalty is assessed. If a goal were scored, it would count and the face off would ensue with the penalty in force.

Plunger n. a Face-off move where you half clamp the ball (45 degrees) then keeping right hand on ground raise left hand and butt end of stick. This distorts the sidewalls of the head of the stick trapping the ball like a plunger. You can then drag the ball to an open area or even flip the ball over opponents stick for fastbreak.

Point (the Point) n. the forward attack position on a fast break. This player splits his man with the man on the break who has the ball. He shouts “Point” or “I’ve got Point” and moves toward to restraining line and the ball to split men and is usually the first attackman to touch the ball on the break and usually has a great pass open to them on the crease as they receive the ball from the breaking man. See Picture 26.

Pole n. slang for a defenseman.

Quickstick v. catching the ball from a pass while in the shooting or passing motion or the moment before the forward thrust of the shot or pass.

Rake v. using the backside of the stick to pull the ball back, then positioning the head in front of the ball as it rolls in. Not a good fundamental skill to develop but OK for old coaches with bad backs.

Referee (the R) n. The crew chief of the officials.  In the event of a disagreement among officials, the R decides.

Release (“Release”) v. term used by a player to let a teammate know to stop taking the “man” in a “man – ball situation”. When two teammates approach a ground ball along with one opponent the one closest to the opponent will yell “Man” and engage the opponent head on to keep them away while the other yells “Ball and gets the ball. The rules say that a player on a team with the ball cannot hit someone so the “Release” call turns off the aggression by the teammate and they both go on offense with the ball.

Ride n. a play that is designed to stop the defensive unit of the team with the ball from “Clearing the ball” or moving it up field to their offensive end. 2: v. covering a defensive player in the attempt to prevent advancement to the offensive end.

Throat n. the part of the stick head that meets the shaft.

Transition n. when a team goes from offense to defense or from defense to offense.

Transition Game n. concept of substitution on the change of possession to get a team’s best offensive or defensive players on the field for that purpose. Popularly adapted in college lacrosse in the 1990’s along with the idea of specialization.

Two (Who’s Two?, I’m Two!) n. the second defensive slide. “Who’s Two” replaces the “Hot” slide.

Umpire (Ump, U) n. second official in a two or three man crew.

V-Cut n. Running in at one angle, then immediate breaking back into another direction to receive the pass. The Path resembles the letter V.

Withholding n. a penalty called for keeping the ball from play. 2: v. to keep the ball from play by laying on it, covering it with any part of your body or even the stick if no itent to pick the ball up is shown. Holding the ball in the stick against your body or with your thumb is a withholding call, as well.

Wrap Check n. check in which the defender holds his crosse in one hand and “wraps” his stick around the opponent in an attempt to hit the opponent’s crosse and dislodge the ball.

X (The X, at X) n. the area on the field behind the goal or the player at that point who usually starts the play on offense. 2: the point at which a play is started.

“Yellow” v. announcement by coach and players to teammates when they are in the process of substituting players off the field. The aim is to not attack the goal, but wait until the substitutions are complete.