Lacrosse Clearing – Instructions

Lacrosse Clears for Beginners

This page will provides information on lacrosse clears and clearing plays. A lacrosse clear is when a goalie stops a shot and then passes (clears) the ball to a defender or middie in order to get the ball over to the opposite (offensive) side of the field.

As children get older and the rules get stricter, there will be a limited amount of time (20 seconds) that a ball stopped by the goalie can remain on the defensive side of the field. Therefore, lacrosse clears are important in order to avoid a “failure to advance” penalty. In addition, clears are very useful for starting a quick transition in order to achieve a scoring opportunity where the opposing team is out of position. Goalies and coaches should also visit our Lacrosse Goalie section for information on how to throw outlet passes and perform clears.

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Simple Clearing Drills

  • A basic clearing drill involves having defenders & middies standing in a line near the goalie. They will take turns running towards the midfield line. The first player will run to the right side and the goalie will pass him the ball. The second player in line will run towards the middle of the field and the goalie will pass the ball. The third player runs left & goalie passes ball… and so on. This clearing drill teaches young players how to catch clears on the run.
  • To make this drill more realistic, once players can catch clears well, add a player (i.e. attackman) to ride clearing player after they have caught the ball.
  • Defenders should practice cross field passes (done while stationary and on the run) because they often have to clear the ball by passing to an open teammate on the far side of the field.

Instructional Videos for Lacrosse Clearing Techniques