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Archives by Tag 'Offensive Systems'

Chalk Talk: Key Roles & Strategies for the Deuces “2-2-2” Offense

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The “Deuces Offense” has been used at UMBC with great success over the years. By attacking in pairs, this effective offensive system is designed to get high percentage shots from the inside and attack the goal from both out top and behind.

With UMBC head lacrosse coach Don Zimmerman as your guide, you’ll learn how to implement this system with your own team and take away some key strategies in order to be successful. For this session, Coach Zimmerman focuses on the pair of men behind the cage in the offense and many different ways they can work together to create high percentage scoring opportunities.

Deuces Offense – A Brief Overview

The Deuces Offense allows a team to space itself in a way that gives it good dodging lanes from all corners. While you’re working as a six-man unit, the great aspect about this offense is that you’re able to work in three sets of pairs: The two behind players, the two players inside, and the two players up top.

The Men Behind

For this week, we’ll primarily focus on the men behind the cage in the offense. The ball starts with one man behind the goal and on the endline. We will then position the opposite man just on or above the goal line extended (the imaginary line that differentiates behind the goal and in front of the goal. Remember, you can’t score behind the goal, but in front you certainly can.

These two players will be working together. Together, they are going to free up one another. The best way to do that is usually the pick. At the whistle, we will look to time it between these two men where we set a pick at either X behind or Point behind. The key here is that the pick and the man with the ball arrive at the designated spot at the same time.

We do that to create confusion, hesitation, and indecision in the defense. The defense now needs to work together to communicate and talk through the pick. If we spring the pick on them all at once, they have less time to do that. But if the pick man arrives behind the ball, now the defender can read, recognize, and communicate and you lose the element of surprise.


Timing and Proper Movement

When you set or use a pick, timing is everything. Also, get your shoulders squared in the direction you want the dodger to attack the goal. Always be stationary at the time of the pick. Work and read the defensive movement for the best pick location. As for the man with the ball, square your defender up and drive him right into the pick situation.

Front Swings

If you want to throw in a wrinkle early in the game, look to front swing the off-ball man. It really keeps the defense on their toes. Coach Zimmerman is a big believer in deception and opposites. If you want to pick behind, make your man think you are going to front swing, and vice versa. Keep the defense guessing and on their heels.

Meanwhile, the key with the ball man is to sprint into, through, and out of the pick. Don’t slow down and hesitate. Use the element of deception and surprise to get an advantage on the defense. It’s also essential that you sprint. When you hesitate, you give them more time to think and adjust. Don’t lose that extra step.

Also, let’s say that you beat the defense off the pick but aren’t above the GLE. Get your stick in a feeding position. With the threat of a potential slide, the ball carrier must be able to dish off quickly and accurately. If no one comes as you approach the GLE, think like a scorer. Turn the body  towards the goal and keep coming. Look to shoot high to low or on the side of the keeper.


Balance & Double Teams

As for the man who sets the pick, stay balanced. The picker must think about getting to the backside of the net to retain the balance. Now we must read the defense to see how they adjusted to the pick.

Note: Sometimes both defenders will end up on the same side as the pick. If this happens, get to the backside pipe and yell “DOUBLE.” When the ball man is doubled, the double call prevents the ball man from turning into the double team, and we echo the call. The man with ball must turn and run away knowing a blind double is coming. Your goal is to draw that double team to the outside. Meanwhile, his teammate is adjusting to his behind position and you get a man advantage situation. Then you can attack the goal behind the GLE. But as we come around, we are now looking to turn the corner and finish high to low.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “2-2-2 Deuces Offense” with Don Zimmerman. To check out more videos highlighting effective lacrosse systems, simply head over to our lacrosse library. Also, stay tuned in the coming weeks for more on 2-2-2 Offense.  

Essential Offensive Principles for High Scoring Attacks

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In this week’s chalk talk segment, we’ll break down key offensive principles for high scoring attacks. Follow along as Virginia associate head coach and offensive coordinator Marc Van Arsdale runs through essential team principles, individual responsibilities, and off-ball responsibilities for an overall effective offense. By incorporating these tips and techniques, you’ll be able to put your players in the best position possible to be successful on the offensive end.

Team Principles

When we talk about team offense, we start with team principles. It doesn’t matter what set your team runs. These principles can be applied from the youth level and all the way up to the college game.

1) Remain Balanced and Spread Out on Offense

You want the entire field to be covered by the defense. For this example, we’ll attack out of a 2-3-1 set from the top. We’ve got two midfielders up top, a midfielder on the crease, and attackman on both wings, and one attackman behind the cage. This set up is balanced, spreads out the field, and allows you to maintain proper spacing on the field.

Note: With younger players, they have the tendency to crowd the ball. But we don’t want too many guys in one area. This makes it too easy for the defense to double team or prevent you from throwing passes to teammates.

2) The Notion That the Play Happens Two Passes Away From the Initial Dodge

We want to get the ball across the middle of the field and essentially use all four quadrants of the field. Every time the ball crosses a quadrant line, it changes which side is ballside and which side is weakside for defense, so it makes everything more complicated for defenses in terms of sliding. When it does cross that line, it’s a great time for re-dodges, cuts, seals, and feeds to the inside.

For instance, if the ball starts in the top left quadrant, the shot may generate somewhere on the bottom left side. We like the ball moving from the front to back and back to front. This makes defenders turn their heads. In lacrosse, there’s a fair amount of area behind the net to attack, so we want to occupy that space by moving the ball front to back and across the middle of the field. There are many ways to do that and hopefully find the weakside for a high-percentage scoring chance.


3) When Dodging, Always Make Sure the Dodger Has an Outlet In Both Directions

The key is that we want to be able to get the ball through to the backside.

4) Attacking the Long Poles

This puts the short sticks into a sliding position and it reduces one of the long sticks that may be in one of the passing lanes. This means you are also putting the ball into the hands of your best players.

Individual Responsibilities on Offense

Within all of these concepts, there are many responsibilities for the individual.

1) Ball Carrier Responsibilities

The ball carrier has two options. First, they can make a hard penetrating move to the goal. Or second, they can move their feet to make a pass. With younger players, it’s important to remember to run while you are looking and look while you are running. Don’t stand still. Also, don’t catch the ball and then put your head down and charge. If you do this, you aren’t seeing the field. Remember, you are a dodger and passer at the same time.

2) What to Do When a Player Does Make a Pass

First, you can prepare to clear space. Don’t crowd the ball carrier. Move your feet and create some space for the new ball carrier. Second, make a simple cut or prepare to make one, like a give and go. Third, pick away. If you are a midfielder up top, you can pick away for another midfielder. It creates space for teammates to move into. You can also pick for the crease man and create a chance for him.

Fourth, although it’s not recommended for younger players, you can pass the ball and be in a position to go pick for the ball. This way, you can work more of a two-man game (and this is becoming far more prevalent today as well). However, to do this, players need to have very good stick skills, otherwise it’s a bit dangerous to run at a younger level due to high turnover rates.


Off-Ball Responsibilities

The first responsibility of an off-ball player is to make space for the ball carrier (like a backdoor cut). Don’t just stand there and call for the ball. Create some space so your teammate has the chance to attack the cage. It also forces the defense to make decisions as well.

Second, you can V-cut to receive the ball. Read the body language of the ball carrier. This will determine where to go from there.

For the crease player, his job is to maintain a relationship where he is away from the ball. This creates lanes for cutters and makes slides a bit longer. You can lengthen those slides as much as possible. Each time the ball moves, the crease player moves. It gives him the opportunity to read a slide. Look to find an open area and move away from where the slide is. Then back away into the open space to receive a pass and finish on the inside.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “High Scoring Team Offense.” To check out our entire collection of offensive lacrosse videos, click here

The 5-Out Motion Offense: Overview and Key Rules

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The 5-Out Motion Offense is a unique system that has proven to be extremely effective for longtime Villanova head women’s basketball coach Harry Perretta. The versatile offense revolves around a number system that specifies particular actions to be made by the players. This “No Mistake” offense also allows teams to play loose yet aggressively, plus gives them the ability to easily spread the floor and put control in the hands of players.

In this week’s team development feature, you’ll learn basic sets of the offense, key rules, strategies, and options within the system. See what you can pick up and then start immediately implementing with your own squad.

5-Out Motion Offense: Brief Overview

The 5-Out Motion Offense involves five people leaving and filling spots through typical basketball cuts and movements. Each one of the specific cuts is numbered. For instance, 1 is a basket cut, 2 is a curl cut, 3 is a backdoor, 4 is a slip, 5 is a back screen flare, 6 is a pick and roll, and 7 is a handoff.

The object of the numbers is to communicate with the players what you want them to do without having to call a timeout or stopping the flow of the game. Villanova is big on continuous play, so the less the team can prevent stoppages, the more confusion the they can cause for the defense. By using the numbers, Coach Perretta can also say, “start using more 2’s, or mix in some more 3’s.” You can also play where you use a combination of numbers within a possession.

The basic set of the offense is a 1-2-2. It’s important that you keep the court as spread out as possible. Additionally, you’re looking to get more drives out of this offense and get defenders running at you, so keep the lane open. Also, get drives even though you may not be quicker than opponents to force defenders to have to run at you.


Remember, there are no mistakes in this offense. If you make a technical mistake, you just have to fill one of the spots. Once you fill all of the spots, you just continue play from there.

As for the basics, let’s start with the point guard passing to the wing and making a 1 cut or basket cut. The elbow player fills the spot. Next, the player with the ball passes to either one of her nearest teammates. If we are still doing 1 cuts, the players keep making 1 cuts and players continue to fill the spots.

If you make a wing pass and then screen opposite, you’ll want to make a curl cut. So as the screen comes, the opposite player makes a curl cut around the screener. Then we replace.

Rules for the 5-Out Offense

As we are running this, any time the ball gets passed up top, the direction that the ball came from is referred to as the strong side. So we tell players up top to often look back to the strong side (the action seems to work better). Meanwhile, the players on the weak side should delay. Next on the strong side, there’s a screen down by the wing player to the corner player. The corner player makes a 2 cut. If this isn’t open, we can then look back to the weakside because of their delay and we get a chance to go both sides.


All the while, you can play two different ways within the offense. The first is that the players are allowed to play options, where they can play and pass the ball using whatever number they want.

The other way is that you can play where the coach calls out a sequence of numbers, especially if he/she notices that the opposition is trailing on all screens. So the coach may say “do all 2’s” or may say “go with 25”.

With 25, you’ll start by doing the first number twice. Now the kids know that 2 is the first number, so start the top kids a little tighter and the bottom players a little wider for better screening angles. Next, the top players come and screen down and the first move is 2. They curl and replace and hit someone with the pass.

The second time around we do another 2. Now look back to the strong side and then the weakside delay. Now you should move to the second number which is a 5 or flare screen.

Tip: Teach your kids to set opponents up on screens. Also, have the players call out the numbers to each other.

Offensive Keys & Slips

Look to use the numbers 1-5 together, and 6 and 7 as separate. Villanova uses any sequence of 1 to 5. Coach Perretta likes how in the flow of the game, he can change things up without disrupting the action. In this case, Coach will run through “15” quickly to show you it looks and keeps the flow together. Check it out in the video below:


Note: You can use a 4 (slip move) any time you want aside from when curling or backdooring (or else you will run into each other). If you do 4 but there’s nothing open, simple fill the spot, pass, and get the ball up top. The 5 play can also lead to a lot of slips.

The previous clips can all be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “The Unstoppable, ‘No Mistake’ 5-Out Motion Offense.” To check out more videos featuring set plays and specific systems, simply visit our basketball DVD library


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