Select Team Defense: General Principles Communication: Team defense starts with communication. Most goals are scored because of a breakdown in this area of the game. Most offenses do not stand still in one formation. They create movement to confuse the defense. Teams must communicate vital information about “slides” and “defensive packages” their in. Communication will cut down on mental errors. Protect The Middle Of The Field: When above the cage, defenses must prevent their opponents from getting to the middle of the field. Below the cage, they must prevent them from getting “topside”. Dictate Where The Offense Can Go: A good defender plays an aggressive positional style. Dictating where an offensive player can and can not go will make slides and defensive packages more efficient and predictable. Breakdowns occur when the offense dictates play. On-Ball Defense: On ball defense should always start with a poke and a drop step. The defenders stick should be up field at all times. Off-Ball Defense: Defenders who are “off-ball” should always stay between their man and the goal. The exception is when they are “hot” or at sliding position, they should be between the man and the ball about one stick length away and ready to help.
Crash and Near Man: Level of Play • Level of Play (Crash and Near Man) It is expected that all HYL teams install both Crash and Near-man (or adjacent) sliding defensive schemes. Our general philosophy on defense is “team” and “slide” conscious. We demand communication and aggressive physical play out of our teams. Crash should be our standard defense any time our opponents are using a crease-based offense. In “Crash” we will be sliding out of the crease. Anytime an offense is using a “zero” set or a non-crease, we will be sliding Near-Man or adjacent. All teams must be versed in both of these base defenses and prepared to recognized and implement them when necessary. In “Near man” the defense is an “adjacent” based sliding defense, and should be run anytime the offense DOES NOT have a player positioned on the crease.
Crash: Set-up • Set-up (Crash) “Crash” is the base defense for all HYL select teams. The defense is a “crease-slide” base defense and should be run anytime the offense has a player positioned on the crease. If an offensive player is on the crease, then the slide will come from the defender guarding him. This player wants to declare he is the slider by shouting “I’m Hot”. This alerts the other players that they have help if they get beat by the dodger. This player wants to stay between the man and the ball, about one stick length away, so he can effectively slide to the dodger.
D2 D3 D1 M3 M2 M1 Crash: Set Up (Midfield Dodge)
Crash: Set-up • Set-up (Crash Continued) • Cover the man with the ball playing fundamental on-ball defense (M1) • Covering an adjacent player getting ready to break down and play on-ball defense (M2, D1) • On the crease ready to slide (M3) • Near of on the crease acting as the “second slide” for the crease defender if they need to slide (D2, D3). This player should shout “I’ve got your two” to let the slider know their man will be covered in the event that a slide is necessary.
D2 D3 D1 M3 M2 M1 Crash: Set Up (Midfield Dodge)
Crash: Execution • Execution (On a Midfield Dodge) • If a midfielder dodges from up top, the on-ball defender (M1) should take away the middle of the field and force the man “down the alley”. The defensive midfielder is to stay on the offensive players back shoulder and not allow him to roll back and beat him topside. They should get ready for a “lift” or “trail” check if their man raises their stick and elbows to shoot or pass.
Crash: Execution Continued • Execution (On a Midfield Dodge) 2. During the dodge, the crease man (M3) should keep his “head on a swivel” checking his man and seeing if the on-ball defender needs help. He needs to identify himself as “Hot” and then slide when the defensive midfielder is beaten. The second slide should come from one of the players on the crease (D2, D3) who are pinching in on the dodge and ready to help.
Crash: Execution Continued • Execution (On a Midfield Dodge) 3. When the slide occurs, the two players (M1, M3) should stay on the double team as much as possible to force a turnover. If the defense doubles the ball the adjacent player (D1) can push out on their man to force a tough pass. If the double team does not occur, the player who was originally covering the ball (M1) retreats to the crease to find a new man to cover. This player can cover the crease man or bounce out to cover a new man.
Crash: Execution Continued • Execution (On a Midfield Dodge) • 4. It’s imperative that the defense communicate to coordinate the coverage. A simple rule of sliding: “If you slide , you stay” which means the defender that slides (M3) now covers the original ball carrier after the pass has been made. The off-ball midfielder (M2) needs to move and stay on the “same level” as the ball and dodge. For if the dodger gets within 7 yards to shoot or pass off to the crease man, he will not be there to help out if he stayed in his original position 12 yards away.
Once he’s slid, the slider wants to remain on the double-team. If recovery is necessary, the previous on-ball defender wants to recover to the crease and find another man. Crash: Execution (Midfield Dodge)
Crash: Execution on an Attack Dodge • Execution (On an Attack Dodge) • When an Attackman dodges from behind, the on-ball defenseman (D2) should force the man one direction (preferably away from his strong hand) taking away the topside of the field. As he gets to goal line extended (GLE), the defenseman wants to “close the gate” denying topside and force the inside roll or roll back to “X”. Crease defenseman (M3) is waiting to see the back of the attackman’s helmet. As soon as he can, the slide is made. • If (D2 and M3) are able to sustain a double team, then the adjacent defenders (D1 and D3) can press out on their men and prevent an easy escape pass. The top midfielders (M1 and M2) should slough to the crease and provide second slides and back up help.
D2 D3 M3 D1 M1 M2 Crash: Execution (Attack Dodge)
Once he’s slid, the slider wants to remain on the double-team. If recovery is necessary, the previous on-ball defender wants to recover to the crease and find another man. Crash: Execution (Attack Dodge)
Crash: Execution Against a Motion Offense • Execution (Against Motion) • At the higher levels, a team will often run a motion offense. The following defensive response is useful against a “motion” offense in which the adjacent players are cutting through to create space for the dodger. In this instance, the attackman adjacent to the dodging midfielder is cutting through to the crease. We want to slide off the cutter with D1.
D2 D1 D3 M3 M2 M1 Crash: Set Up (Motion Offense)
Once he’s slid, the slider wants to remain on the double-team. If recovery is necessary, the previous on-ball defender wants to recover to the crease and find another man. Crash: Execution (Motion Offense)
Crash: Execution Against a Motion Offense • Execution (Against Motion) • When a team is running motion and the dodge originates from behind, we will use a similar slide package to what we use against a midfielder motion. As the attackman dodges from “X”, the adjacent attackman will cut through. Because the attackman is cutting toward the crease, we want to slide off this cutter with (D1) rather than coming off the crease. Depending on the situation, D3 can play hard and cut off a pass to the adjacent attackman or let him go and slough into the crease.
D2 D3 D1 M3 M1 M2 Crash: Execution (Attack Dodge)
Depending on the situation, this Defensman can stay will his man and cut off the outlet pass or let him go and slough into the crease and find another man. Once he’s slid, the slider wants to remain on the double-team. If recovery is necessary, the previous on-ball defender wants to recover to the crease and find another man. Crash: Execution (Attack Dodge)
Near Man: Final Thoughts • Crash: Final Thoughts Crash is our base defense. All teams should be proficient in a crease sliding defensive package. The keys to the defense are the on ball player must keep the dodger down the alley if dodging from the midfield or under when dodging from behind GLE. The defense must communicate slides and all second slides and all slides should be made with the body and not with a swing stick.
Near Man: Set-up • Set-up (Near Man) If the offense does not have a player on the crease, the defense cannot run its regular “Crash” package and must, therefore, slide from the adjacent player. In “Near-man,” all of the slides will come form the player closest to the ball. This defense requires players stay “tight” and making “stretching out” or putting pressure on the ball difficult as this will increase the length of slides…
Near Man: Set-up Continued • Set-up (Near Man Continued) In “Near Man” the slide will come from the player towards whom the offender is dodging. The second slide comes from the next adjacent player and the third slide comes from the defensive player adjacent to the second slide and so on. All defense players are considered to be “on a string”, meaning that when the slide-man “goes”, everyone else must respond accordingly.
D2 D3 D1 M2 M1 M3 Near Man: Set Up (Midfield Dodge)
Near Man: Execution • Execution (On a Midfield Dodge) If a midfielder dodges from up-top, the on-ball defender (M1), should take away the middle of the field, forcing their man “down the alley”. Forcing them down the side decreases their shooting angle and will force a long-pole to slide instead of another short stick. After the slide occurs, the next adjacent defenseman should slide across the crease to cover for D1’s man…
Near Man: Execution Continued • Execution (On a Midfield Dodge) The farthest defenseman (D3) wants to cover for the second slide by getting to the crease so he can help where it is necessary. The off-ball midfielders (M2 and M3) want to stay on the same level as the ball and get down the backside. If the ball-carrier rolls away from pressure and throws to one of their men, then M2 and M3 can recover back up-top.
D2 D1 D3 M2 M1 M3 Near Man: Set Up (Midfield Dodge)
Once he’s slid, the slider wants to remain on the double-team. If recovery is necessary, the previous on-ball defender wants to recover to the crease and find another mark. Near Man: Set Up (Midfield Dodge)
Near Man: Execution On an Attack Dodge • Execution (On an Attack Dodge) If an attackman dodges from behind, the on-ball defenseman wants to deny the GLE and force an inside roll so the backside defenseman can perform a “COMA” (Come Across) slide. The COMA slide comes from the adjacent defenseman on the opposite side of the crease. When this slide occurs it is essential that the top midfielder get down the backside and cover the vacated attackman…
Near Man: Execution On an Attack Dodge Continued • Execution (On an Attack Dodge) The remaining midfielders M2 and M3 want to get to the middle of the field so they are in a position to help. The adjacent defenseman can provide initial support by faking a slide (FIZZ) to thwart the dodge. This defensemen must not get out of position or lose sight of his attackman or else he’ll be vulnerable to a back-door cut. ** If the defender gets beaten topside, then the first slide comes from the ball-defenseman. The second slide comes from the midfielder.
D2 D1 D3 M2 M3 M1 Near Man: Set Up (Attack Dodge)
After he slides, the slider will stay on the double-team. If recovery is necessary, the previous on-ball defender will recover to the crease and find a new mark. Near Man: Set Up (Attack Dodge)
Near Man: Final Thoughts • Near Man: Final Thoughts Near Man is an important defense to know and understand in the event that a team does not have an offensive player on the crease. The keys to this defense remain the same 1) on ball player MUST keep dodgers down the sides (if dodging from the midfield) or “under” (when dodging from the attack 2) the defense must communicate all slides and all second slides, and 3) all slides should be made with the body and not with a swinging stick.