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Dodges - Men's Lacrosse

Video resources explaining lacrosse moves abound on the web.

YML2 has viewed 100s and chose ones from coaches and players that are easy to absorb and shared them here. 

Basic Dodges:

All three of these basic dodges are done when moving towards the defender in a north-south direction.

Face Dodge - an effective face dodge leaves the defender off balance and with their body behind the ball.  With a face dodge the offensive player pretends to break in one direction, but instead moves their stick across their face as they run the other way. Tucking the stick against your shoulder helps maintain possession.

Roll Dodge - the idea is to roll around a slower defender.  The player starts moving in one direction, plants a foot and pivots backwards in the other direction with their back to the defender.  Ideally this is set up so the roll off points towards the goal.  It's important to coax the defender into committing to their forward motion so the roll works.

Split Dodge - the biggest difference between a split and a face dodge is in a split dodge the player switches hands. Some players also throw in a stutter step, while others fake the full switch and move back to their original hand. This is a move that is similar to a basket ball 'crossover' and works best when you go the opposite way from where the defender is facing.


Fancy Dodges:

Behind the Back Dodge - this is basically a split dodge but the change of hands happens behind the back.  This, like the swim move, is a dodge that relies on the element of surprise and has be to executed quickly or it can leave stick exposed to a stick check.

Bull Dodge - a bull dodge is a move used by bigger players. The player holds the stick in one hand and creates an L shape with the other. The free arm protects the ball while the player forces their way past an opponent.  No fancy moves here just force.  The free arm can not be used to push off or a penalty for warding will be drawn.


Bump and Run Dodge - almost a re-dodge.  Most effective when used against a defender that is tight in and playing strong hip to hip coverage.  The player draws body contact by stepping in with one foot then steps out and preps to shoot.  The momentum and shift is created from the legs NOT with ther upper body which can create a ward.


C Dodge - less of a dodge and more of a move relying on speed.  A 'C dodge' uses speed to beat the defender by running up to the goal, around the back of the crease and then come in on the other side with a surprise to the goalie.

Change of Direction Dodge - great dodge quick players with strong legs.  Run in one direction and then plant a foot and quickly go the other way.  The idea is to work to throw off the defenseman by taking advantage of the element of surprise. 


Exclamation Dodge - this dodge is executed from X and similar to the question mark dodge it gets it's name from the footwork path.  The player runs the ball 10-15 yards forward in a straight line, turns around and on the 'dot' fires a shot on goal.


Finalizer Dodge - this is a set of moves intended to trip up a defender at the back of the cage.  By setting up close to the crease, and creating a situation where the defenseman is managing both the physical cage and the opposition, the offense takes advantage of the close quarters, switches direction and shoots from the crease.


Hitch Dodge - hard movement towards the sideline and shift directions and run the opposite way.  This doge drives the defense in the opposite direction and then set up a space for optimal shot position. Similar to the bump and run in that the movement is all in the lower body but the hitch doesn't rely on actual contact.


Inside Roll Dodge - the inside roll differs from a standard roll dodge in the positioning of the hips vis a vis those of the defenseman. The roll is an 'east to west' move, meaning that you dodge while running with the defender rather than at them.


Pump Fake Dodge - is this really a dodge? No. But a lot of resources cover the offensive fake so why not show you how to do it?  Paul Rabil has a great video about fakes - and you can grab your stick and practice them anywhere so why not take a look?


Question Mark Dodge - It is a variation of a roll dodge used for scoring from behind the cage. Watch the player's footwork.  The path creates the 'hook' of the mark and the shot is taken from the 'dot'.


Rocker Dodge - this dodge is often seen in combination with a roll dodge.  It relies on the defenseman anticipating a roll (or inside roll.) The idea is start a roll dodge and go about halfway to one direction while letting the stick hang out a bit, and then turn the other direction and roll the other way around.


Swim Dodge - This is a dodge used when you are reacting to strong defense. It's set up like a split dodge with a plant of the outside foot, but instead of bringing the stick in front and switching hands it's brought over the defenders head and stick with a hop step.

** Doggie Paddle Dodge - some players make the distinction between a Swim and a DPD - modify the swim move by getting pretty close to the defenders stick, start a switch and then move into a swim.**

Toe Drag Dodge - often a last resort when caught in a bad position for a face dodge.  Importantly, the stick doesn't change hands, it just moves through down low past the defender's feet in order to set up a clear shot.

Zig Zag Dodge - also known as the z step dodge.   A set of forward and backward moves that attempt to build a gap from a defender in order to dodge past.  Many players switch from a single hand hold with the open arm set in an L as they move forward and then a two handed hold on the steps back. 

**Viewer note: be ready, the video below is full of all kinds of lax-attitude.**

A number of these moves can be used in combinations - Split then Roll, Split then Swim, Split then Split are the basics. In some cases the dodges above are actually combinations of moves to begin with - no one can execute a Finalizer and not actually be doing a Split combined with a Roll combined with a C Dodge all in one.

The point of dodging is to keep the ball moving and look for opportunities on the field. Combining them together in an effective way is part of developing a player's unique style.

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YML2 holds no rights to the intellectual property embedded in the videos shown above. All rights are reserved by the original producers.