Box Transition 101

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Transitioning from offense to defense (or vice versa) is relatively simple, as long as everyone knows their role on the field and those subbing in.

The 30 second shot clock keeps things moving, but it is still more than enough time to get set up on attack. The key is for the two wing defenders to sprint into the attack and get set up at the crease and close to GLE. From there the two corner defenders can fill in at the top along with the point person and that is when the attack can start. A quick strike opportunity may present itself if the defense isn’t in position and one of the wings can cut to goal to take advantage.

Upon a turnover (ball is intercepted or the shot clock runs out.), it is imperative that everyone gets back to set-up the “house” as quickly as possible, with only the point person engaging (to slow down the attack, not win the ball). Communication is vital and while it starts with the goalie, it must be a team effort so everyone knows what is going on and where the ball is.

Subbing is not done while transitioning to defense!! That almost always results in a man up and goal scoring situation. Subbing needs to happen once the ball is in control and the team is transitioning to the attack. Wings can first sprint to the bench so fresh legs can then get on and into position on the wings, followed by the corners can run off while their subs then fill in and then the point person.

Of course there are always exceptions and things that happen on the fly, but in general this is the basics of how transitioning works.


It’s all about footwork and positioning!

Too often do we see defensive players rely almost totally on their stick. While having quick hands may get the ball out occasionally, we see way to many defenders whiff and then are completely out of position to help their teams.

Defense is played with your feet first! Whether you are on the lacrosse field, soccer field or basketball court, you have to use your feet to play defense. Cross checking is part of the box game, but it’s not about how hard you hit the player. It is about controlling where that player goes and what they do with the ball. Once a player understands and can use their feet to stay in front of an attacker, then they can control where that player goes.

The other part of defense is understanding that you have teammates and that you do not have to win the ball all on your own. Focus on slowing down the attacker you are covering and then let your teammates help you out.

Check out this clip of Jimmy Quinlan of the Rush (white team) playing defense in the NLL.

Notice how he stays in front of his attacker and very rarely is swinging at sticks or hammering hard checks. Less focus on crushing guys and more focus on positioning and keeping the opposition out of the scoring areas.

Basketball. Watch the best defenders in basketball and how they move their feet and stay close to their player. The games may be different in several ways, but playing defense is almost the exact same. The video below shows several great skills and drills that translate perfectly to the lacrosse field (box or outdoor).

Once players understand and use their feet and bodies to stay with their attacker, they will then have the opportunity to win the ball with an easy poke or lift check. Stop leading with your stick and use it once you have the attacker under control.

5 Reasons to Play Box Lacrosse

1. STICK SKILLS!!!!!!!!!

Box lacrosse is played in a hockey rink or indoor soccer field, 5v5 with goalies and no defensive long sticks.

In such a tight space, players MUST learn to have great stick skills and be able to pick the spots they shoot at! If you watch the Canadians and natives play outdoors (e.g Thompson Brothers, Mark Matthews, John Grant Jr.), their stick skills are second to none and they score goals in bunches. That because they honed their skills playing box on 4’x4′ nets! Being accurate with your stick is a must in Box lacrosse – you cannot just blow it by the goalie, you must be able to hit what you aim for! This is excellent not just for offense but for defensive players who must use short sticks and hone their stick skills!


Lacrosse IQ – Box lacrosse has a 30 second shot clock (like NBA) which means the game is very fast. Players must constantly be aware of the time, score and shotclock. This forces them to take all of those factors and make a split-second decision every time they get the ball. And since the game is so back and forth – players get many more reps. The feedback is instantaneous where as in field it might be a few minutes before you get off to the sideline to hear your coach explain things to you. Box shifts are fast and short which allows you to talk to your coaches a lot more than you would otherwise. For offense, players must be able to know when and where to take a good shot because there is such limited space to shoot at

Which is Harder to Score on?


Scoring in Box is Much Much Harder!


Box lacrosse is played in an hockey rink where the ball hardly goes out of bounds and games are 5 v 5 which makes the game extremely fast paced! Many pro box teams will have upwards of 100 shots on goal each game! Compare that  to the 40 or so a team gets playing field lacrosse!

Players get a lot of playing time – in fact many players will say it’s more exhausting than outdoors! There is no standing around!

Box lacrosse also has a 30 second shot clock, so the amount of shots per game is much higher than that of outdoor lacrosse. The game is back and forth which gives players many more chances and touches than they would have otherwise. Many high level box teams can get upwards of 100 shots on goal per game.  Compare that to just the 40-60 shots on goal per game field teams get and you can see why box players are such effective shooters.

Additionally, a penalty in box lacrosse is 2 minutes long compared to 30 seconds for outdoor! That means you are guaranteed 4 possessions on man up (30 second shot clock). 


Unlike field, where a player has much more space to attack/defend. Box lacrosse is all close – quarters. For offensive players they learn how to handle to ball much better with a defenseman draped all over their hands and must learn how to use their body to shield their stick from being checked! They must also learn how to shoot around their defender. For a defenseman, there is no better way to practice your defense then to use a short stick because you can’t rely on a 6 foot pole!!! You must play proper position defense! In box lacrosse, the 2 man pick game is an essential aspect and defending 10-15 picks a game with a short stick will only help your outdoor game! 


What most people don’t realize is that the movement off-ball in box lacrosse is just as important as on-ball movement. Because the game is so fast paced and in such a tight space, offense doesn’t have time to just sit back and set up a big play – there is constant movement all the time on offense! Off-ball players must set picks, roll off picks, have their hands free, all while having defenseman on their hands!! Defensively, communicating  through the 2 man game is VITAL. Additionally, defensive players  must communicate as a whole in order to be successful with the speed of this game!!

Late Fall Training Program

  • 4/5/6 grade group – Monday’s starting at 5:00
  • 7/8 grade group – Wednesday’s starting at 5:00
  • HS (all grades) group – Friday’s starting at 5:00
  • 1 Hour Training Session
  • $120 for 6 weeks
  • $20 for reversible jersey through Team Unis
  • Groups of 8-10 Players
  • Pads, Sticks & Helmets with face-shield or mask required
  • 40 Minutes – Training
  • 20 Minutes – Chumash Scrimmage
  • USBOXLA Membership Required!!

Why Youth Box Lacrosse?

Of US Box Lacrosse Association’s nearly 25,000 members, most play at the youth level. Prior to USBOXLA forming in 2010, few if any youth in the US were playing what could be described as real box lacrosse. More youth are playing legitimate, safe, and structured box lacrosse under USBOXLA’s guidance and support than ever in the country’s history. 

Why should you play USBOXLA sanctioned box lacrosse?

As everyone has seen both on a national and collegiate level, players with a box lacrosse background have a clear advantage over field lacrosse players who have never played indoors. Box lacrosse forces players to:

  • Make quick decisions under pressure
  • Shoot and pass more accurately
  • Improve footwork and overall speed
  • Maneuver with and without the ball in traffic
  • Develop both offensive and defensive skills
  • Generate optimal scoring opportunities
  • Play an effective multi-man game (i.e. picks)
  • Become smarter and more physical
  • Constantly be engaged due to far fewer game stoppages
  • Generate space away from the play
  • Be more creative while generating offensive opportunities with and without the ball
  • And most importantly… have fun!

Return to Play

Oregon Box Lacrosse

COVID-19 Return to Play

We are asking that our board, coaches, players, and families follow these guidelines.

Club Responsibilities

● Adopt a Return to Play plan, submit to any party as required; share with coaches, players and parents; and post on our website.

● Adopt the US Lacrosse Waiver/Release for Communicable Diseases including COVID-19 and ensure all coaches and parents/guardians sign it prior to participation in any event.

● Capture information during registration or onsite that supports contract tracing: player name; drop/pick up time; family member doing drop/pick up and contact info; staff info.

● Designate a primary person to communicate updates on local COVID-19 requirements to coaches and parents/guardians as needed.

● Track attendance at events.

● Provide a process for coaches and parents/guardians to notify Oregon Box Lacrosse if they or a player is found to have COVID-19. In addition, notify the local public health authority (LPHA) of any confirmed cases among coaches or players.

● Should a player have or be directly exposed to COVID-19, work with the family to determine eligibility to return to play.

● Monitor guidelines from the Oregon Governor and Oregon Health Authority.

● Remind coaches, players, and families of healthy behavior while on the field/at the facility.

● Create stable (same week to week) cohorts of 10 or fewer players, and limit the number of cohorts per event as required by the Governor, OHA, etc.

● Provide sanitation stations at the field/facility.

Coach Responsibilities

● Follow any guidelines noted in the Club Responsibilities section.

● Monitor personal health – stay home if you feel sick.

● Complete the health survey on the day of an event, prior to arrival.

● Wear a face mask, shield or covering once at the field or facility.

● Practice social distancing yourself and ensure among players. There is no physical contact during play as well as before or after the event.

● Wash or sanitize hands before and after the event, and between work with different cohorts.

● Ensure all players have their proper equipment; ensure only they and other coaches handle team equipment.

● Notify Oregon Box Lacrosse if you are found to have COVID-19 or have been directed to isolate/quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19.

Player Responsibilities

● Follow any guidelines noted in the Club Responsibilities section.

● Monitor personal health – tell your parent/guardian and stay home if you feel sick.

● Arrive no more than 15 minutes before the event so that your temperature can be taken.

● Wear a face mask, shield or covering once at the field or facility; players are required to wear this when participating, both indoor and outdoor, when six (6) feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.

● Practice social distancing. There is no physical contact during play as well as before/after the event.

● Wash or sanitize hands before and after the event.

● Ensure you have your proper equipment; be fully dressed and leave your bag in the car.

● Bring your own water; do not share with other players.

● Do not handle team equipment. Balls are to be picked up with gloves or stick only.

● Have your parent notify Oregon Box Lacrosse if you are found to have COVID-19 or have been directed to isolate/quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19.

Parent Responsibilities

● Follow any guidelines noted in the Club Responsibilities section.

● Familiarize yourself with and share with your player these guidelines before attending any event.

● Monitor personal health of your player – keep her/him home if s/he feels sick.

● Complete the health survey on the day of an event, prior to arrival.

● Avoid carpooling if possible.

● Arrive no more than 15 minutes before the event so that your player’s temperature can be taken.

● Wear a face mask, shield or covering once at the field or facility.

● Once your player is checked in and cleared to play, depart the facility. No congregating on the sidelines, in the facility or parking lot.

● Ensure your player has the proper equipment; s/he should be fully dressed and not have anything more than required equipment and water.

● Bring water for your player.

● Notify Oregon Box Lacrosse if you are found to have COVID-19 or have been directed to isolate/quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19.

Field / Facility Guidelines

● Sanitation stations will be provided/present.

● Water bottles will be distanced as well.

 ● Establish separate Entrance and Exits at the facility and field.

Event Guidelines

● Coaches and players must be healthy as defined by our survey on the day of the event, have their temperature checked at the field/facility, and not have a fever of >100.3.

● At the conclusion of the event, players need to gather equipment and leave the field/facility.

● Coaches will ensure equipment and garbage has been cleared.


We start with our 4/5/6 group today! Hopefully you received the email from the Plex PDX and are just as excited to get started today as we are.

For our 7/8 group, you will start off tomorrow as we adjusted the schedule slightly with Wednesdays as your training day.

Remember to be there early enough to get your temp taken and be ready to get started right at 6:00! Helmets with face shield or a mask, gloves, short stick (No Long Poles!!), water bottle and turf shoes or sneakers (No Cleats!!).

We’ll start on the far end and work on Defense for 20 minutes, then move to the other end for some Offensive training. Our final 20 minutes will be a round of Chumash on the small field so you can take what you learned on the big field and use it right away!

We can’t wait to see you at the Plex PDX and get Box Lacrosse started!!

Fall Training Program Update

We got some feedback from a few people and decided to make a slight change which should hopefully benefit more people. We will combine the 4th graders with the 5/6 group and move them to Tuesdays. 7/8 will now be on Wednesdays and we’re adding a HS JV (9/10) group to the Thursday slot.

Grades 4/5/6 – Tuesdays Starting @ 6 pm

Grades 7/8 – Wednesdays Starting @ 6 pm

Grades 9/10 – Thursdays Starting @ 6 pm

  • 1 Hour Training Session
  • $100 per player
  • Groups of 8-10 Players
  • Gloves, Sticks & Helmets with face-shield or mask required
  • 20 Minutes – Offensive drills
  • 20 Minutes – Defensive drills
  • 20 Minutes – Chumash Scrimmage
  • USBOXLA Membership Required

Membership Registration

Grab your spring/summer teammates and signup today!!

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