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10 man ride
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How To Break The 10 Man

Breaking a 10-man ride and successfully clearing the ball is a challenging task that requires excellent communication, precise passing, and coordinated movement. A 10-man ride is a high-pressure defensive strategy where the opposing team applies intense pressure all over the field to prevent the clearing team from advancing the ball into the offensive zone. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to break the 10-man ride and execute a successful clear:

Recognize the Situation:

  • As soon as your team regains possession of the ball, the entire team needs to recognize that the opponent is employing a 10-man ride. This requires quick communication and awareness from both the players on the field and the bench.

Create Space:

  • Your team should immediately spread out and create space across the field. This will help open up passing lanes and make it harder for the defenders to double-team and pressure your players.

Outlet Pass:

  • The player who initially gains possession (often a defenseman or a goalie) should be ready to make a quick outlet pass to start the clearing process. The pass should be accurate and quick to catch the ride off guard.

Offensive Transition:

  • As the ball is moved up the field, the midfielders and attackmen should start transitioning from defense to offense. This involves moving into their offensive positions and being ready to receive passes.

Controlled Ball Movement:

  • The key to breaking a 10-man ride is controlled ball movement. Use quick and precise passes to advance the ball while avoiding turnovers. Passes should be crisp and well-timed to exploit gaps in the opposing defense.

Utilize Short Passes:

  • Short passes are more effective than long ones against a 10-man ride. Short passes help maintain possession and control while minimizing the risk of interceptions.

Utilize Midfielders:

  • The midfielders play a crucial role in breaking the ride. They are often the ones who receive the outlet pass and initiate the clearing process. Use their speed, stick skills, and decision-making to move the ball upfield.


  • Effective communication is essential. Players should call for the ball, indicate open passing lanes, and alert teammates to the location of defenders.

Be Patient:

  • Don’t force passes or try to rush the clearing process. Be patient and wait for opportunities to develop. It’s better to maintain possession and reset if necessary.

Maintain Possession:

  • The primary goal is to maintain possession of the ball and advance it into the offensive zone. If the opportunity to transition to offense isn’t immediately present, continue circulating the ball among players until an opening is found.

Transition to Offense:

  • Once the ball has been successfully moved past midfield and into the offensive zone, transition into your offensive set. The clearing players become your offensive players, and you can begin your attack.

Breaking a 10-man ride requires a combination of skill, teamwork, communication, and composure. Practice these situations during team drills and simulations to improve your team’s ability to successfully clear the ball against high-pressure defenses.

You can always go for the long shot as well!

Practice Tip

  • Practice with an Extra Defender on the Riding team to simulate the pressure you’ll see in a 10 man.