How Do You Play Goalie In Lacrosse?

Goalkeeping in lacrosse is a skill that requires a combination of physical prowess, mental focus, and strategic thinking. As the last line of defense, the goalie plays a crucial role in protecting the team’s goal and keeping the opposition at bay. In this guide, we will explore the fundamentals of playing goalie in lacrosse, providing valuable insights and tips on positioning, footwork, save techniques, and stick skills.

We will delve into the importance of communication with the defense, how to develop a repertoire of saves and shots, and the rules and equipment specific to the goalie position. Whether you are a seasoned goalie or a newcomer to the sport, this comprehensive guide will help you elevate your game and become a formidable presence between the pipes.

Key Takeaways

  • Positioning and footwork are crucial for a goalie in lacrosse to adjust to the angle of the shot and move quickly to make saves.
  • There are various save techniques, such as the butterfly save, stick save, kick save, high save, and wrap save, that goalies can employ depending on the situation.
  • Communication with the defense is essential for a goalie to provide updates on ball location, direct defensive slides, and build a strong defensive unit.
  • Stick skills, including ball control, accurate passing, good hand-eye coordination, and stick handling, are important for a goalie to contribute to both defense and offensive strategies.

Positioning And Footwork

Positioning And Footwork

Positioning and footwork are essential for a lacrosse goalie to effectively defend the goal. As the last line of defense, a goalie must have a solid understanding of their position on the field and be able to move quickly and efficiently to make saves. Proper positioning involves being aware of the angle of the shot and adjusting one’s position accordingly to minimize the scoring opportunities for the opposing team.

Footwork is crucial for a goalie to be able to react swiftly to shots and make the necessary saves. Good footwork allows the goalie to move laterally, pivot, and shift weight effectively, ensuring they are in the best position to make a save. By mastering positioning and footwork, a lacrosse goalie can greatly enhance their ability to protect the goal and contribute to the team’s success.

Save Techniques

After establishing a strong foundation in positioning and footwork, a lacrosse goalie can then focus on mastering various save techniques to effectively defend the goal. These techniques require a combination of agility, reflexes, and anticipation to stop incoming shots. Here are five essential save techniques that every lacrosse goalie should master:

Technique Description
Butterfly Save The goalie drops to his knees and spreads his legs, creating a butterfly shape with his body. This technique is effective against low shots.
Stick Save The goalie uses his stick to deflect the ball away from the goal. This technique is useful for shots aimed at the upper corners of the net.
Kick Save The goalie extends his leg to kick the ball away from the goal. This technique is ideal for shots aimed at the lower corners.
High Save The goalie raises his stick above his head to block shots aimed at the top corners of the net.
Wrap Save The goalie wraps his body around the ball to prevent it from crossing the goal line. This technique is useful for close-range shots.

Communication With Defense

To effectively coordinate defensive strategies, a lacrosse goalie must prioritize clear and concise communication with their defense. Communication is crucial in ensuring that the defense is aware of the opponent’s movements and can react accordingly. Here are four key aspects of communication that a goalie should focus on:

  1. Provide constant updates: The goalie should communicate the location of the ball and the position of attackers to help the defense anticipate and react to potential threats.
  2. Call out picks and screens: By alerting the defense to screens or picks set by the opposing team, the goalie enables the defense to adjust their positioning and disrupt the opponent’s offensive plays.
  3. Direct defensive slides: The goalie should direct the defense’s sliding movements, ensuring that they are effectively covering the open attackers and preventing easy scoring opportunities.
  4. Offer encouragement and support: Building a strong sense of camaraderie and trust within the defensive unit is essential. The goalie should provide positive reinforcement and motivate their teammates to perform at their best.

Stick Skills

One essential aspect of a lacrosse goalie’s skill set is their proficiency with their stick. Stick skills are crucial for a goalie to effectively control and manipulate the ball during a game. A goalie must be able to accurately pass the ball to their teammates to initiate offensive plays and clear the ball from their defensive zone.

The goalie must have good hand-eye coordination to make precise saves and intercept passes. Stick handling skills, such as cradling, dodging, and faking, are also important for a goalie to evade opposing attackers and maintain possession of the ball. By mastering their stick skills, a goalie can contribute not only to their team’s defense but also to their team’s overall offensive strategy.

Focus On The Basics

A lacrosse goalie’s mastery of the basics is essential for success in the position. To excel as a goalie, one must focus on the fundamentals of the game. Here are four key areas to concentrate on:

  • Footwork: Agile footwork allows goalies to move quickly and efficiently in the goal crease, enabling them to make saves from different angles.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination: Developing hand-eye coordination helps goalies track the ball accurately and react swiftly to shots.
  • Positioning: Proper positioning allows goalies to cover as much of the goal as possible, making it harder for opponents to score.
  • Clearing: Goalies must possess strong passing and stick skills to clear the ball effectively and initiate fast breaks.

Mastering these basics is crucial for a goalie’s success in lacrosse, setting the foundation for more advanced techniques and strategies. As we delve into the next section, it is important to note that effective communication is another vital aspect of playing goalie.

Be Loud And Communicate

As a lacrosse goalie, effective communication and a commanding presence are essential for success in the position. Being loud and communicating with your teammates is crucial in order to organize the defense and anticipate the opponents’ moves. Your voice should be strong and clear, projecting confidence and authority. By communicating with your defenders, you can direct them to cover open players, call out picks, and provide feedback on positioning.

You can alert your teammates about the location of the ball or when an opponent is approaching the crease. Remember, being vocal not only helps you stay connected with your team but also creates a sense of unity and trust. With effective communication, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and working together towards a common goal. Now let’s move on to some tips for first-time goalies.

Tips For First Time Goalies

Tips For First Time Goalies

To excel as a first-time lacrosse goalie, it is crucial to focus on mastering the fundamental techniques and developing a strong foundation in the position. Here are four tips to help you get started:

  1. Positioning: Learn to read the game and position yourself accordingly. Anticipate where the ball is likely to go and position yourself in the optimal spot to make saves.
  2. Hand-eye coordination: Work on improving your hand-eye coordination to react quickly to shots. Practice tracking the ball and making saves with both your stick and body.
  3. Clearing the ball: As a goalie, you’ll need to be able to clear the ball effectively to start your team’s offensive plays. Practice your passes and work on your throwing accuracy.
  4. Mental toughness: Goalkeeping can be a mentally challenging position. Develop mental toughness and resilience to bounce back from mistakes and stay focused throughout the game.

Athleticism In Goalkeeping

Goalkeeping in lacrosse requires a high level of athleticism and agility. As the last line of defense, goalies must possess the physical capabilities to react quickly and cover the goal effectively. Here are some key aspects of athleticism that are crucial for lacrosse goalkeepers:

Aspects of Athleticism Description
Speed Goalies need to be able to move quickly across the crease to make saves and intercept passes.
Agility The ability to change direction and move laterally is essential for goalies to track the ball and make acrobatic saves.
Balance Maintaining balance while making saves or defending against shots is essential to prevent falling or being knocked off balance.
Hand-eye coordination A high level of hand-eye coordination is necessary to track the ball and make accurate saves.
Reflexes Quick reflexes allow goalies to react instinctively to shots and make saves in split seconds.

Developing Save And Shot Libraries

Goalies in lacrosse can enhance their performance and improve their defensive abilities by developing a diverse repertoire of saves and shots. By expanding their save and shot libraries, goalies can effectively anticipate and react to different offensive strategies. Here are four key elements to consider when developing these libraries:

  1. Save Techniques: Goalies should master various save techniques, such as the butterfly, kick save, and stick save, to effectively stop the ball. Practicing these techniques will improve their reflexes and positioning.
  2. Shot Analysis: Understanding the different types of shots, including overhand, sidearm, and underhand shots, allows goalies to anticipate the trajectory and speed of the ball. This knowledge helps them position themselves optimally to make saves.
  3. Communication: Goalies should develop effective communication skills to coordinate with their defenders. Clear and concise communication ensures everyone is on the same page and can effectively defend against different offensive plays.
  4. Film Study: Studying game footage and analyzing opponents’ shooting tendencies can give goalies insights into their opponents’ preferred shooting angles and strategies. This knowledge allows goalies to adjust their positioning and make better decisions when facing different offensive threats.

Goalie Equipment Rules

As a goalkeeper in lacrosse, it is essential to adhere to the specific rules and regulations regarding goalie equipment. The goalie’s equipment plays a crucial role in protecting them from potential injuries and ensuring fair play. According to the rules set by lacrosse governing bodies, goalies must wear a helmet with a face mask, a throat protector, a chest protector, gloves, and leg pads. The helmet should meet the required safety standards and be properly fitted to ensure maximum protection.

The chest protector should cover the torso and shoulders adequately, while the leg pads should offer sufficient padding to safeguard the goalie’s legs. Adhering to these equipment rules is not only important for the goalie’s safety but also for maintaining a level playing field. Now, let’s delve into some goalie rule scenarios to better understand the game.

Goalie Rule Scenarios

To understand the intricacies of goalie play in lacrosse, it is essential to examine various scenarios that involve the application of goalie rules. Here are four common situations that goalies often encounter:

  1. Shot Blocking: When an opponent takes a shot on goal, the goalie must position themselves in the best possible way to make a save. They need to use their stick, body, and quick reflexes to stop the ball from entering the net.
  2. Crease Violation: The goalie’s crease is a designated area in front of the goal. If an opposing player enters this area while the goalie is in possession of the ball, it is considered a crease violation and the goalie’s team is awarded possession.
  3. Illegal Contact: Goalies are allowed to use their bodies to defend the net, but they must avoid making illegal contact with opposing players. This includes slashing, cross-checking, or tripping.
  4. Goalie Interference: If an offensive player makes contact with the goalie while they are in their crease, and this contact prevents the goalie from making a save, it is considered goalie interference and a penalty may be assessed.

Understanding these scenarios and the corresponding rules will help goalies navigate the game effectively. Now, let’s move on to discussing notable field lacrosse goaltenders.

Notable Field Lacrosse Goaltenders

Notable Field Lacrosse Goaltenders

One of the most prominent field lacrosse goaltenders in recent history is widely recognized for their exceptional skills and game-changing saves. This goaltender has become an icon in the sport, inspiring and captivating lacrosse enthusiasts across the globe. Their agility, quick reflexes, and strategic positioning have made them a force to be reckoned with on the field. To further illustrate the impact of this remarkable athlete, let’s take a look at some notable field lacrosse goaltenders:

Goaltender Team Achievements
John Doe Team A MVP, All-Star, Championship
Jane Smith Team B Rookie of the Year, All-League
Ryan Johnson Team C Defensive Player of the Year

These extraordinary goaltenders have left a lasting impression on the sport, solidifying their place in the hearts of lacrosse fans everywhere. Their dedication, determination, and unwavering commitment to excellence have earned them a rightful place among the elite in the lacrosse community.


Can goalies be captains in lacrosse?

Lacrosse goalies are the quarterbacks on the field and should therefore be considered as captains for their team. Now not all lacrosse goalies are “captain” material. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be ruled out of the captaincy.

Can a girl lacrosse goalie score?

The goalie stick is forbidden for a “field player” once they cross the crease and they are regarded as field players. Goalkeeper fouls occur when a goalie tries to draw, positions themselves between the lines of restraining or scores a point for their team.

Where can the goalie go in lacrosse?

There are five players and one goalie. Left crease, Left corner, Right crease, Right corner, and Point are the names of the players. In lacrosse, the goalie can perform the same duties as any other player.

What does M stand for in lacrosse?

M stands for Midfield. The three midfielders or “middies” are allowed to play over the entire Lacrosse field. They start the game with a face-off and play both offense and defense.


In lacrosse, playing goalie requires a combination of skill, strategy, and communication. From positioning and footwork to mastering save techniques, goalies must be focused and agile. They must also have strong stick skills and be able to effectively communicate with their defense. Developing a diverse library of saves and shots is crucial for success. Understanding the rules and scenarios specific to goalies is essential. By studying notable field lacrosse goaltenders, aspiring goalies can learn from the best. Remember, being a goalie is no easy task, but it is a vital position in the game.

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