EXTRA MAN OFFENSE. RYAN BOYLE & MATT STRIEBEL TRILOGY LACROSSE. Ryan Boyle Bio. Industry Trilogy Lacrosse Co-Founder and CEO ESPN NCAA Lacrosse Analyst International 3x Member of Team USA: 2002, 2006, 2010 Professional MLL All-time Leader in Points and Assists
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EXTRA MAN OFFENSE
RYAN BOYLE & MATT STRIEBEL
Special Teams Matter: Too many teams don’t put in sufficient time practicing Extra-Man Offense and Man-Down Defense.
Easy Goals: Extra Man provides an excellent opportunity for teams to get easy goals.
Helps Less Athletic Teams Even Playing Field: Aggressive, overly-zealous, physical defenses must be punished with extra man efficiency.
Take Advantage of Skills: EMO provides an excellent opportunity for teams to use their shooters, feeders and skill players in a less “pressured” environment.
Ball Movement: All of these offenses should initiate with good ball-movement. Teams should get the ball around the perimeter at least once or twice before initiating any plays.
Understanding: Players must understand where they are supposed to be in order for these plays to work effectively.
Execution: As always the success of these plays will rely on the execution of the offensive players. Shooting, passing, feeding—all of these need to be done cleanly.
Patience: In a man-up situation, the offense has the advantage. Don’t panic. Take your time. Let the defense make its mistakes.
Play to Your Team’s Strengths (KYP): If you have a superior shooter or feeder, this should determine what offense you run. Put players in positions in which they can (and will) be successful. Be smart (savvy) as a coach—that’s why they pay you the big bucks.
Plays vs. Sets—which is better?
Sub-question: What is a play and what is a set?
Set: A set is one of many specific alignments (like any other offense) from which an offense can operate. Some Extra Man examples include: 1-3-2, 3-3, 1-4-1, 2-4, etc.
Play: A play is a specific, choreographed set of movements designed to get certain individual looks depending on where personnel is located, and where the defense is vulnerable (Play to your strengths!).
Moving Between Both: Sometimes an effective man-up “play” occurs when an offense simply cuts a player or moves a player from one spot to another and changes sets, catching the defense off guard.
So which do I use?
Have 2 or 3 Plays: Have an arsenal of at least two or three plays in various sets (alignments) in which your team is comfortable (successful).
Have at Least 2 Sets: Understand that plays are not always successful. If the defense stops your initial “look” your players must be comfortable playing out of whatever “base” sets you have, and they must understand how to attack out of that set.
Have Scenario Plays: Short-time, quick-shots…you’re going to need a play to take advantage of these instances (But don’t panic and don’t shoot just to shoot!)
Have a “Go-To” Play: Every team is going to have players better-fitted to certain plays. Know what plays work best for your team/players.
Set #1: 1-3-2*
*In the lacrosse world there are a variety of differing opinions on how to describe sets (from above the goal to the back, or from behind the goal to the front). For the sake of simplicity, we will describe alignments from the back of the goal (X) to the front.
1) My best player is a feeder who is most comfortable behind the goal.
2) I have 1 or 2 good shooters on the perimeter.
3) I want my players to have adequate time and space when handling the ball.
4) We run a 1-3-2 as our base offense.
5) I want to stretch the defense with my alignment.
6) My players don’t handle pressure very well (can’t throw skip passes).
So What Are We Looking For Out of a 1-3-2?
The hope is to move the ball fast enough to the back side that we can create a 2v1 or a 3v2 situation before the defense can recover.
Set #2: 3-3
1) My best player is a capable feeder who can also shoot the ball well.
2) I have good righty and left base attackmen.
3) I have a good crease guy who puts a lot of pressure on the defense.
4) My team is highly skilled and can move the ball quickly.
5) I want to keep the ball above the goal (careful here).
6) My players DO handle pressure well (and can throw skip passes).
Don’t be a statue: The 3-3 does not have to be a static, keep-the-ball-above-the-goal man up offense. Too many teams assume that the 3-3 requires offensive personnel to stay above the goal.
Be Active: Don’t be lazy! Move your feet. Be mobile on the perimeter (both with the ball and without).
Be an Immediate Threat: Too often players catch the ball and move into spots that are dangerous. Put yourself in positions where you’re a threat as soon as you receive the ball. Defenses hate this!
So What Are We Looking For Out of a 3-3?
Red: set-Up/Level of Play
Red is one of the most basic man up plays in the game, but is effective at all levels because it ends up in a 1-3-2 with an easy read for the player at X.
Red starts in a 3-3 and ends up in a 1-3-2.
X6 should be a good outside shooter.
X4 should be left-handed.
X5 should be a good crease player.
X3 should have a good outside shot.
X1 should have a good outside shot.
X2 should be a good ball-handler and decision maker.
When X2 gets the all he can sneak around the crease if no one slides. Pass to X5 cutting towards him on the crease. Throw cross-crease to X4 on the backside pipe if the defense slides coma and fail to recover from the top down. Throw a skip pass to X1 or X3 for the outside shot. If the adjacent defender covering X6 tries to recover X2 should feed X6 for the outside shot.
Red: Final Thoughts
After the initial movements happen and a shot takes place, the team wants to stay in the 1-3-2 formation and play out of it. X2 should push the sides and play with the adjacent attackmen and then look for his skip lanes.
Orange: Set-up/Level of Play
“Orange” is slightly more advanced than “Red”. It requires simultaneous movements that may be difficult for some teams. Players are also required to play a variety of different spots depending on the rotation, so they need to be proficient with both their right and left hands.
Once the play is mastered, it is highly effective at all levels and can be run repeatedly without needing to reset.
Orange starts in a 3-3 and remains in a 3-3 following each rotation.
X2 should be a good ball-handler and the teams best decision maker, as he will have to make reads and skip passes. The rest of the players should be comfortable as both shooters and crease players.
X6 wants to look at X3 on the cut, X5 on the roll-off, or he can throw ahead to X2, who can decide whether to re-direct or skip to X1 and X4 on the backside.
**The real benefit of the 3-3 Rotation, is the field is always balanced after every rotation, so the play can be run continuously from one side to the other.
The 3-3 Rotation is a balanced, continuous man-up set that requires players to be very competent using both their right and left hands.
Orange: Final Thoughts
After the initial movements happen and a shot takes place, X2 needs to read the defense and look for skip lanes. The two bases (they will rotate) will most likely be open for skip passes.
** The base players in the 3-3 want to be sure to stay low enough that they can exchange the ball behind the cage. This will force the defense to turn their heads and play behind the cage as well as in front.
Blue: Set-up/Level of Play
This is a very general play designed for a team with a good outside shooter. This play is highly effective at all levels of the game from youth to professional.
This is a 3-3 roll off play that results in a “time and room” shot. The players should begin lined up in a 3-3 set.
Ideally, X3 is a good feeder.
Ideally, X4 is a good outside shooter.
Ideally, X6 is a good feeder.
Ideally, X5 is a good outside shooter.
Ideally, X2 is both a good outside and inside shooter.
Ideally, X1 is a good cutter.
1) The ball moves around the perimeter before it is transferred from the top middle (X1) to the high right wing (X5) and then to the low right wing (X4). X4 wants to make sure that he is wide when he catches this pass so a defender can’t pressure him. As the all is throw to X4, the crease player (X6) gets low on the crease and ready to roll off. X4 then carries towards the high wing, while X6 rolls off the crease to replace X4…
Blue: Execution Continued
2) As X4 and X6 are carrying and filling, X1 begins to cut to the vacated area on the crease, X3 begins to back up behind GLE, X5 drifts toward the middle, and X2 drifts towards the backside. X4 throws the ball to X6 who immediately looks to X1 cutting into the middle of the crease. If X1 is open then X6 should feed the crease. Otherwise, the ball should move from X6 across the back of the cage to X3 behind GLE…
3) At this time, X2 wants to start cutting down the backside looking for an open area or a defender to seal. X5 should drift across the field and find an open area to establish their feet for a “time and room” shot. As X3 catches the ball, they should look to X1 on the cut, or to X5 for an outside shot.
If X5 doesn’t have a shot, X5 can pass across to X4 who can look for his shot, or for X6 on the bottom right. Otherwise, X2 can circle back off the crease, and play out of the 3-3 set.
Blue is a very successful play that is run at all levels of the game. Teams that use this play need to practice it a great deal in order to best establish timing on the various cuts and seals. If the timing on these moves is not synchronized then the play will fail. The base players, X4, X6 and X3 need to drop behind GLE in order to move the ball around the entire perimeter, which will force the defense to turn its head.
White: Set-up/Level of Play
White is a more advanced play requiring a variety of concurrent, well-timed movements. The play is more effective at the high school level and is ideal for a team with a good inside finisher who can draw the defense’s attention and thus open feeding and shooting lanes.
White starts in a 1-4-1 and ends in a 3-3.
Ideally, X3 is a good inside finisher or “crease-man”.
Ideally, X2 is a capable left-handed feeder and inside finisher.
Ideally, X6 is a good right-handed feeder and inside finisher.
Ideally, X4 is a good feeder and decision maker.
Ideally, X5 is a good outside shooter.
Ideally, X1 is a good outside shooter.
The ball moves around the perimeter before it is transferred to the top middle (X1). X1 wants to carry the ball to his right. As this is happening, X4 is going to roll-up from the wing. X1 is going to throw back to X1. X1 is going to continue to carry. As he carries, X5 is going to roll off the crease to replace X4 on the bottom right wing. As this is happening, X3 is going to cut up from “X”. As X3 cuts up from “X”, X6 is going to roll out to the bottom right underneath X3’s cut, and X2 is going to pinch to the bottom left. As he is carrying X4 wants to look to X3 on the cut, or X6 on the underside roll out. If neither of these looks is available he can move the ball to X5 who has rolled up to the top right wing. From here, if nothing is on, we will play out of the 3-3 set.
After he receives the pass from X1, X4 wants to continue carrying, scanning the field for cutters and skip lanes. He will have looks at X3 cutting from “X”, X2 and X6 on the bottom pipes, and X4 on the follow if none of the other looks are available.
White is a highly successful, but very intricate play that requires good timing and the ability of X4, the carry player to read the field and make good decisions. This play needs to be practiced a great deal before everyone is in synch. If X4 can find no looks available off the play, he wants to continue carrying until he is in the top middle. X5 will roll up until he is in the top right, and we will play out of the 3-3 set with X6 and X2 on the bases.
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