Like passing and catching, shooting is a fundamental action in the game of lacrosse. In order to score goals and win the game, the attack must field precise and powerful shooters. Shooting in lacrosse is the act of a player on the offensive team taking a shot towards the goal in an effort to score a point. In this tutorial, we will cover basic shooting technique, the different types of shots, the statistics related to shooting that demonstrate individual and team strength and the procedures for disallowed goals.
For a simple overhand shot, the physical technique is much the same as passing. Stepping forward with the opposite foot and pulling the crosse back before swinging it forward are the key motions of a shot. To produce more power on a shot, the shooter can crank the stick back farther and generate more torque with their upper body and whip with the stick. Netting in the crosse forms shooting strings. The shooting strings in lacrosse are horizontal cotton or synthetic strings sewn into the standard crosse pocket that affect the whip and speed of the ball on a shot.
There are several different kinds of shots in the game of lacrosse:
The behind the back shot in lacrosse is the act of shooting on goal by wrapping the stick behind the back.
A bounce shot in lacrosse is a shot that bounces on the field in front of the goaltender. An attacker may intentionally use a bounce shot when field conditions are slippery or uneven and the direction of the ball is unpredictable.
The close-in shot in lacrosse is shot taken on the crease or close to goal. It is more likely to result in a goal than a perimeter shot because the goalie has less time to react. A close-in shot does not count if the ball is released by a player who has stepped into or on the goal circle.
The corner shot in lacrosse is a shot aimed for the corners of the goal. This is often a high percentage shot because the goalie must move their body or stick far off center to make a save.
The crank shot in lacrosse is a high-velocity outside shot in men's lacrosse where the shooter has time and space to "crank" their stick with a big wind-up. This motion creates added speed and power on the shot.
The elevator shot in lacrosse is a shot that starts low when it leaves the pocket and travels high toward the upper corners of the goal. it is more commonly seen in men's lacrosse because of the deeper stick pocket. It can be useful if the attacker receives a low feed and has time to set their stance and pull the stick back and follow through high. It is a difficult shot to attempt if a player is surrounded by many defenders.
A fake shot in lacrosse is a stick trick used to confuse the goaltender in order to create more opening for a second shot on goal. Attackers use their stance, body positioning and a stick fake to aim the ball to one side of the goal in hopes that the goaltender will jump to that side, allowing space for the attacker to shoot the other way.
The free position shot in lacrosse is a rule in women's lacrosse that allows for a free shot on goal from the 8-meter or 12-meter arc. When the foul is called, the player in possession of the ball when the whistle is blown, or the player closest to the spot of the foul, lines up on the 8-meter hash closest to the spot of the foul. All players clear the 8-meter fan and stand at least four meters away. This gives the shooter a free path to run, pass or shoot.
A garbage goal in lacrosse is a goal scored from a rebound that ricochets off the goaltender or the goalposts. To take advantage of garbage goals, attackers who did not shoot the ball will rush the crease area on a shot. It is called a garbage goal because did not result from a "clean" shot.
The low shot in lacrosse is a shot aimed close to the ground near the lower part of the goal. The low shot is effective because the goalie must quickly react and rotate their stick down to make a save.
The over the shoulder shot in lacrosse is a shot that is taken from the non-dominant side of an attacker's body. The attacker will cradle across their center line, keeping the stick head above the shoulder, and spin their wrist so that the ball can be shot on goal.
The overhand shot in lacrosse is a shot made with the stick perpendicular to the ground in an upright position. It is the most basic style of shot and is more powerful than an underhand shot.
The perimeter shot in lacrosse is a shot from the perimeter of the 8-meter arc in women's lacrosse or from farther outside the goal circle area in men's lacrosse. Players must get a strong rip to ensure that the ball can travel an extended distance while keeping pace and accuracy. A perimeter shot typically results in a lower shooting percentage compared with a close in shot.
The pop shot in lacrosse is a quick shot taken without a wind-up or crank. It is an effective close-in shot near the crease area when surrounded by defenders or other attackers. It is often used in a pick and pop play, with an attacker exiting a pick, receiving a quick pass and then placing a pop shot. The pop shot relies on accuracy over power.
A sidearm shot in lacrosse is a shot made with the stick at a horizontal angle to the player's body. A sidearm technique can also be used for passing. To generate more power on a sidearm shot, the player slides their top hand down towards the butt end of the stick. The sidearm shot is an effective technique to shoot the ball around a defender. It is a risky play because the ball may be checked away for hanging the stick.
An underhand shot in lacrosse is a shot made with an underhand motion. If the ball travels from low to high, it is also called an elevator shot. Underhand shots are more commonly taken from the perimeter because they are difficult to execute in front of goal. Underhand shots are very rare in women's lacrosse because the pocket is much less deep and the ball will fall out during the windup.
The wraparound shot in lacrosse is a shot by a creaseman coming from behind the goal and wrapping the stick around the goal post while diving into the crease. It is a very difficult shot to execute well.
A successful shot on goal where the ball fully crosses the plane of the goal results in a point for the attacking team. In Major League Lacrosse, perimeter shots scored from behind the 2-point arc count for two points. A team with a high shooting percentage converts most of their shots on goal. The shooting percentage in lacrosse is can also serve as a measurement of an individual player's accuracy. The shooting percentage is calculated by the number of goals scored divided by the number of shots on goal. The goalkeeper attempts to make a save on each shot on goal. A single player who scores three or more goals in one game earns a hat trick.
When a successful shot on goal is in violation of the rules of the game a goal can be disallowed. This can occur for several reasons, including a player entering the crease on the shot or the attacking team having too many players in the offensive half. When a goal is disallowed, the defense takes possession of the ball.