Lacrosse dodges are very important to the team and the individual lacrosse player. If your team can’t dodge then there is a very small chance you will score. Technically, a dodge is the act of evading one’s opponent in order to get a pass or shot. Many offences use dodges as a decoy while other players cut and get open. Others use dodges to draw the double and feed to the open man. They can even be used in other ways; it depends on the coach and the overall creativity of the team. There are multiple different dodges that one can practice and more evolving each season. Below is a brief description of the basics.
Lacrosse Dodges – The Bull
I’ll start with the most straight forward dodge in the game, bull dodge. I am pretty sure the name says it all. You are bulling through your opponent. What that means is you are just trying to run them over. Top speed run at your opponent keeping your stick protected. Try to hit over or just run right through them (which-ever comes first). This dodge is not usually for smaller players but you never know, sometimes the small guys pack a punch so watch out. Take some punishment but keep running through.
Lacrosse Dodges – Split and Face
The split dodge is one of the very common and effective lacrosse dodges if done correctly and at the right moment. You are in front of your defender. What you want to do for a split dodge is make it seem like you are trying to run past him/her one way. Then once you have the defender moving a bit plant the foot that is leading and switch directions to the other side. At the same moment you switch your stick from one hand to the other and run full speed right by. It is pretty simple but is great to get your defender off balance or just gaining a step ahead. Practice planting, switching hands and exploding. Make those defenders eat dust! Split them in half and make them look like pylons.
The face dodge is the most common of the lacrosse dodges and is pretty straight forward. What you want to do is make your defender commit to defending just your stick and not your body. Once the defender is concentrated on your stick, all you do is move the stick across the face and run by. Good way to set up this dodge is to fake a shot or pass then just cross-over your stick and run by. Since your stick is protected by your body and face you can just run by then bring the stick back for a shot or a pass. It’s as simple as it sounds but if very effective when you have a defender flat footed.
Lacrosse Dodges – Rollin
I see the roll dodge as one of the best lacrosse dodges. You have to get up-close and personal with your defender for it to be the most effective. Get the defender to over-commit or get off balance….then roll! So you have your stick in your left hand, start running to your left around the defender. Once you are close and you see that your defender is about to make a move. Roll left, (protecting your stick with your body), switch hands and explode away.