Grow the Game®

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp

The Double Lock Defense

The “Double Lock” defense is a specialized defensive strategy in lacrosse that focuses on containing an opponent’s top offensive player, particularly an attackman or midfielder who is considered a significant scoring threat. This strategy involves assigning two defenders to lock off and closely mark the targeted player, effectively reducing their impact on the game. The goal of the double lock defense is to neutralize the offensive threat and disrupt the opposing team’s offensive rhythm.

Here’s how the “Double Lock” defense works in lacrosse:

Identifying the Offensive Threat:

  • Before implementing the double lock defense, the defensive team identifies the opposing player who poses the most significant offensive threat. This player is often the top scorer, playmaker, or someone who has consistently caused problems for the defense in previous games.

Assigning the Lock-Off Defenders:

  • Two Defenders: Two defenders are selected to execute the double lock strategy. These defenders are responsible for “locking off” the offensive player they are assigned to defend.
  • Close Marking: The lock-off defenders closely shadow their assigned offensive player, aiming to deny them the ball and limit their movement.

Communication and Support:

  • The rest of the defensive unit must communicate effectively to support the lock-off defenders and adjust their positions based on the movement of the locked-off players.
  • The defense should be prepared to provide help if the locked-off player tries to cut, dodge, or receive a pass.

Denying the Ball:

  • The primary objective of the lock-off defenders is to prevent the locked-off player from receiving the ball. This involves applying constant pressure, maintaining good positioning, and using stick checks to disrupt their rhythm.

Causing Disruption:

  • By effectively locking off a key offensive player, the double lock defense aims to disrupt the opposing team’s offensive schemes and force them to rely on other players to generate scoring opportunities.


  • If the locked-off player is unable to receive the ball or make an impact, the defensive team can use this as an advantage to transition to offense quickly.

Challenges and Considerations:

  • Communication: Effective communication is crucial among the defenders to ensure that the locked-off player is consistently covered, and rotations are executed properly.
  • Teamwork: While the lock-off defenders focus on their assignments, the rest of the defense must maintain proper positioning and support to prevent the offensive team from exploiting gaps.
  • Discipline: Lock-off defenders need to be disciplined in their positioning and avoid unnecessary fouls or overcommitting to the locked-off player, which could lead to openings in the defense.

When to Use the “Double Lock” Defense: The “Double Lock” defense is typically employed against a single dominant offensive player who has been consistently successful in scoring or creating plays. By neutralizing this player’s impact, the defense aims to disrupt the opposing team’s offensive flow and increase their chances of success. You can use this out of a time out or a specific time to throw the offense off.