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Middie Back - how to react when a long pole goes over the mid-line

Asked by: Aidan who plays defensive middie on a regional club team in Florida

Question: I just started to play on an indoor winter league where the defensemen are comfortable coming across the mid-line to clear the ball. As a middie I am never clear on what I'm supposed to do when I am closest to the ball. If I'm 'middie back' do I just hang back or do I take over the long pole's job?

Answer from Nick: Hi Aidan!

Thank you for your question. As a defensive midfielder myself this is a very common question to ask yourself and I promise you that you are not the only one to ask this.

When a pole goes over the mid-line he becomes part of the offense but your team still needs to only have six players on one side. When you say you are the 'middie back' the best thing to do is hang out by the mid-line with your stick raised. By doing this you are signaling that the defenseman is on sides (and gives you the opportunity to rest!)

In that time frame you are a defenseman until the defenseman returns to that side of the field. You stay back because if your team loses possession then by your staying back your team still has three defensemen 'back behind the line' to play defense and defend the goal.

Often when a middie has to stay back there has to be a lot of communication - so if your near the ball and the defenseman is going over, make sure you are yelling "MIDDIE BACK" as loud as you can so that the defense man knows he is clear to run over and once he returns you can then back cross over. 

Playing in winter leagues is a great way to get better and learn more about lacrosse! Definitely check back to to see if we can help you find other leagues you can play in during the summer and fall!

Keep on laxing Aidan!

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