10 v 10 Offensive Strategy

When we are discussing offensive strategy, no matter how many players on each side, we need to start with the transition game.  When the ball is brought up the field during play (not out of a dead ball situation), we want to make sure we follow a few rules:

  1. Do your best to bring the ball up the side of the field that is opposite the bench.  This helps avoid all of the confusion that often is generated as players are exchanging through the box.  this does not mean that you can never bring the ball up “box side”, but it is best to first look to the “off box side” to clear.
  2. Hustle on and off the field.  There is no reason for players to jog on and off the field.  Running hard off the field allows players to change quicker, and running hard on the field puts pressure on the defense to match up with players and affords an opportunity for them to miss something.
  3. Maintain some offensive pressure to keep the defense honest and not allow them to easily settle into their defense. Often as teams are changing players, I see the offense get the ball to “x” and just wait until all of their players have gotten into position.  The problem with this is  that the defense has as well.  I like to ball carrier to put pressure on his man by carrying the ball and maybe starting a dodge.  This makes the help defenders pay some attention to the ball carrier and opens up the opportunity that they may miss a match-up with one of the substituting offensive players.  However the ball carrier should NOT get into a situation where the defender can take the ball away from him.  Just put a little pressure, move the ball, put a little pressure, move the ball etc.  If this is unsuccessful, then the ball can be pulled out, an offense set up and then begin the motion for that particular set.

Once the transition has ended and all offensive players are in a particular set, we begin everything with a specific dodge, carry or pick that initiates the motion for that set.  Off ball movement off of this dodge/carry/pick depends on the particular motion ( dodge, carry, pick), how effective that particular move is and how the defense reacts.

Different sets allow offenses to attack the defense in different ways.  I will go over 4 different basic sets and discuss  the philosophies for each one.  I will be calling the sets from behind the cage to the top.  Meaning a 1-3-2 would have one player behind the cage, 3 across the top of the crease (one on the crease and one on each wing) and 2 on the top of the box.


In this set, we have the ability to drive the ball from “x” and hopefully create a slide from the defense.  Even if we never get a full slide, we can get the off ball defenders looking behind the cage and allowing our off ball offensive players to cut to open space for a good shooting opportunity.