Our pick of the best videos and other online resources to development your game for the face-off.
Compiled by Bristol Lacrosse.
Technique in Depth
- Right knee down facing ball at a 45 degree angle. Left foot up to the line.
- Moto grip on stick with right hand as far up as possible, left hand in a position so your arm is vertical.
- Before the whistle, get the head as close to the ball as the referee will allow while keeping it vertical (take your time). Your back foot should be up on your toes ready to push off.
- On the whistle, if going for a clamp you want to push vertically down with your right hand and smash your left hand horizontally forward. This will push the opponent's stick away and clamp the ball. Try and get the ball right in the throat of the head .
- If you win the clamp cleanly you want to 'plunge the ball' by raising your bottom hand up so the ball gets stuck in the throat. Then you have 3 options - if your head is tight then you can take it away stuck in your stick and then pop it out once safe. If you have a US regulation head then it probably won't do that so you can pop it to wherever you like and then chase and ground ball it. The third option is to pop it between your legs to one of your players.
- If you do not win it cleanly then you have some work to do. You should be up on your toes in the same sort of position you would be as a flanker in a scrum if you've ever played rugby (sort or horizontal with a flat back ). Then you want to do what they call a screw drill, where your rotate your legs around clockwise, and then smash the bottom hand of your stick horizontally again and repeat until you have won the clamp. By this time the wings will be around you so the exit is more tricky.
- Two types of exit once you have won - first is a fast break offensive exit where you pop
- the ball forward and go score a glorious goal. Second is defensive if they have put a pole at faceoff, or the wings have made it in - rotate your body and exit back towards your own goal.
- If you lose the clamp clearly, don't worry about fighting, get up on your feet and defend the man. If it's a 50/50 do the screw drill and you have a good chance of winning because not many faceoff guys know to do that after the clamp. There are other tactics like raking, but this is the best.
Crucial for a face-off player player to have an head suitable for the face-off. The shaft should be light but otherwise can be any type of shaft.
- Nike CEO - super bendy and sneaks under the opponent's head due to a unique flex point. Can get really illegal and unplayable with warp though.
- String king 2F - very good head for faceoff and springs back to exactly the same shape so can be used after the faceoff as well. US regulation though so unlikely to get it stuck in the back of your stick. More of a speed face-off head than pure power.
- STX Duel - good overall faceoff stick
- Brine dictator - super strong so can be used to outmuscle flexier heads.
- Weapon X - similar sort of thing as the 2F, but might be considered a bit more of a power face-off head.