How to Defend the Free Position Shot

A free position shot can lead to easy goals in women’s lacrosse. Defenders will need to move quickly and have strong stick skills to prevent the score.

A free position (or 8-meter) shot occurs when a defender commits a major foul within the 8-meter arc.

When the referee blows the whistle and a foul is called, the attacker will move to a hash mark on the 8-meter arc, closest to where they were fouled. The referee will place the defender who committed the foul on the 12-meter arc, four meters behind the attacker. All other defenders will be asked to clear the 8-meter area. Those defenders who were close to the shooter will be given the option to go to a hash mark on either side of the shooter.

When defending the free position shot, follow these steps:

  • Place your foot that’s closest to the shooter on the hash mark
  • Place your hand closest to the shooter on the bottom of your stick as you hold your stick out in front of your body
  • Lean your body weight forward with your body angled toward the goal
  • When you take your first step, it should be into the 8-meter arc

Once the whistle is blown, step at the appropriate angle to get your stick in front of the shooter to block their shot. To successfully defend a free position, you must be quick off the whistle and work hard to get your stick in front of the shooter.

Once you’ve practiced this challenging defense, continue to expand your skills by learning how to defend behind the goal as well.