Ground Ball In Lacrosse

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In the lacrosse world, the phrase “ground ball” is frequently used. You may hear lacrosse coaches and players repeating this phrase from the sidelines during any lacrosse game. The average observer could find this to be a little puzzling.

Any lost ball on the field that is not in the hands of either team is referred to in lacrosse as a “ground ball.” Players have the chance to give their side more offensive possessions by winning ground balls. This explains why opposing players engage in such ferocious competition for loose ground balls.

Even if the definition of “ground ball” is straightforward, its significance to victory cannot be denied. In lacrosse, there are a variety of specific conditions that lead to ground balls. You’ll be more prepared to grab these ground balls when the game starts if you are familiar with these unique ground ball circumstances. To understand more about the specifics of these unusual events, keep reading.


What Are Game Situations That Result In Ground Balls?

There are a few particular game circumstances that result in ground balls. The discussion of these scenarios can help you improve your overall field awareness.


  • Face-Offs

Each quarter’s opening face-off and the goal celebration both take place following the face-off. The face-goal off’s is to establish a fair system for determining possession. The best strategy to establish fairness is to set up a scenario where possession is mostly determined by the players’ effort.

That is what happens during the fight.

Four wing players are placed equally apart from the ball, and two face-off players are placed opposite one another in the middle of the field. These six players fight it out to gain control for their team as soon as the whistle blows.

Therefore, be ready to get your hands dirty if you find yourself in the center or on the wing during a face-off. Grabbing ground balls is not a graceful endeavor.


  • Stripping the Ball Carrier of Possession

Another common cause of ground balls is denying the ball carrier possession.

The ball becomes available as soon as a check knocks it out of play. Nearby players frequently take up to a half second to even notice when a player loses control. Only when a participant shouts “Ball! Ball! “that the players realize the ball is out.

This is the main method used by defensemen to create turnovers. They use a defensive check to strip the ball carrier, then they recover the dropped ball to give the offense the ball back.


  • Errant Pass

Ground balls can also be produced by errant passes.

Lacrosse is a sport where inaccurate passes are frequently thrown, especially at the lower levels of competition. During attacking plays and defensive clears, these erroneous throws frequently happen.

These errant passes frequently simply float outside the boundaries. It is understandable that the ball gets carried out of bounds because lacrosse players frequently zip their passes to one another.

However, if the erroneous pass manages to remain in play, it presents a free ball that is just waiting to be claimed. The amount of ground balls produced by this technique typically pales in comparison to the quantity produced by face-offs and defensive strips.


  • Errant Shot

Erratic shots are additionally a source of ground balls.

Accurate shots are common in lacrosse, just like wayward passes are. Almost all misdirected shots that miss the net fly out of play. However, ground balls do occasionally happen on rare occasions.

A shot that hits a goal pipe, for instance, can keep the ball in play so that players can compete for the ground ball.

If the ball bounces off the goaltender and becomes a live ball in front of the net, there is another illustration of this. Since the lost ball is in such a busy area, this type of ground ball situation typically produces the most brutal impacts.


What Is The Importance Of Ground Balls To Winning Games?

Coaches in lacrosse frequently emphasize the importance of ground balls. Some coaches even assert that one ground ball has the power to change the course of a game. How could ground balls be so crucial?

In the end, battling valiantly for ground balls not only gives your team extra scoring opportunities, it also steals any prospective scoring opportunities from the opposing team.

One of the most important predictors of whether a team will win is their time in possession. Any reputable lacrosse coach will agree if you ask them.

Teams that lose the battle for the ground ball frequently become dissatisfied because they are unable to secure enough possession. A team can become hostile to one another due to the additional pressure on the defense and the offense’s lack of control.

Lacrosse games ultimately boil down to whose team can put the ball in the net more often than the opposing team. You cannot score if the ball is not in your possession. This is why winning the battle on the field is so crucial to lacrosse victories.


How To Pick Up Ground Balls

It’s been said that “ground balls win games.” And the reason is. Teams who generate more ground balls frequently win the battle for possession and enhance their chances of scoring. Gaining ground balls deters opponents from having a scoring opportunity, which improves a team’s defense as well.



To take control of a ground ball, you must first stride into it while securing the side of the ball with your foot and leg. After that, be sure to get low with your stick and body. After scooping through the ball, you’ll emerge running and cradling.

Getting as much practice as you can be a priority because it isn’t always clear how you will come across a ground ball during a game. The one-on-one drill is one method for doing this.



One of the simplest yet most efficient drills for practicing ground balls is this one. Two players should first stand on the opposing side of a coach. The players will then run to the ground ball and contend for possession once the coach throws it. The exercise is over when a player recovers the ball.

Try playing the one-on-one with a finish to improve defensive play and offensive teamwork. Three players are used in this exercise, two on offense and one on defense. One of the attacking players will take possession when the coach rolls the ball into play while the defender challenges them. After then, the offensive players will cooperate to try to score a goal.

As you keep collecting ground balls, you’ll get more adept at the movements required to finish strongly. For many teams, a player with good ground ball skills may make all the difference.



In lacrosse, a “ground ball” is essentially the same as a “loose ball” or “free ball.” The distinguishing characteristic of a ground ball is that neither team has possession of it. The ball is in the play area and is essentially available for grabs.

As a result, ground balls frequently draw a large audience. This incident is so commonplace that the lacrosse community has given it a name. The frenzied struggle for control of a stray ball is known among lacrosse players and coaches as a “ground ball scrum.”

The shape of a ground ball might vary depending on the circumstance.

Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

"I live and breath Lacrosse"

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