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Setting the Pick

Setting a pick in lacrosse, also known as a “pick-and-roll” or “screen,” is a fundamental offensive play. It is designed to create space for a ball carrier or an off-ball player to either shoot, pass, or dodge past a defender. This the main premise behind the two man game. The mechanics of setting a pick involve precise positioning, timing, and communication among players.

Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how it works

  1. Player Roles:
    • Picker: The player who sets the pick. This player usually has a good understanding of timing and positioning.
    • Ball Carrier: The player with possession of the ball, looking to either pass, shoot, or dodge.
    • Defender: The defender guarding the ball carrier.
  2. Communication:
    • Before setting the pick, the picker should communicate with the ball carrier. Use verbal cues, eye contact, or predetermined signals to ensure both players are on the same page.
  3. Positioning:
    • The picker positions themselves between the ball carrier and the defender. They should create a solid obstacle for the defender to navigate around.
    • The picker can use their body or stick to set the pick. When using the stick, the player usually holds it horizontally across their chest or waist.
  4. Timing:
    • Timing is crucial. The picker should set the pick just as the ball carrier approaches the defender. Setting it too early or too late can be less effective or result in an illegal pick.
    • The picker should be stationary when setting the pick; moving picks are typically illegal and will result in a turnover.
  5. Maintaining a Legal Pick:
    • To avoid illegal picks, the picker must keep their feet stationary and not initiate body contact with the defender. They should keep their arms close to their body and avoid swinging the stick.
    • The picker must not move or lean into the defender after setting the pick. Doing so can result in a penalty.
  6. Creating Separation:
    • Once the pick is set, the ball carrier can use the screen to gain separation from their defender.
    • If the defender tries to go around the pick, the ball carrier can move in the opposite direction, taking advantage of the space created.
    • If the defender gets caught on the pick, the ball carrier can either take a shot, pass to an open teammate, or continue dodging to the goal.
  7. Recovery:
    • After setting the pick, the picker should quickly recover to an open position to provide an additional passing option or support for the ball carrier if the play continues.
  8. Practice and Repetition:
    • Setting effective picks requires practice and coordination among teammates. Players should work on their timing and positioning to ensure the pick-and-roll is executed smoothly.

Setting a pick in involves a picker positioning themselves between the ball carrier and the defender, timing the pick correctly, and creating space for the ball carrier to make a play. Effective communication and adherence to the rules are essential for successful pick-and-roll plays in lacrosse.