By: Jimmy Somerville
I’m here to tell you about the sport of lacrosse; specifically, the face off in lacrosse.
The face off is basically a battle for possession of the ball, where you and your opponent line up at the midline, and place your sticks on the line. The ball is then placed in between the heads of your sticks (the head is the part of your stick where you catch and throw so the end of it).
Once the ball is set, the ref gives the cadence of “down, set, whistle.” On the whistle, you and your opponent, as quickly as possible, attempt to clamp the ball – this means to push your stick (more specifically, the head of your stick) over the ball as fast as you can.
If you get the clamp, you then pop the ball out of your stick into your stick again. If you are able to do that successfully, that means you won the face off and you got possession of the ball for you and your team.
The face off happens at the beginning of every quarter, and after every goal, so it happens quite often.
Possession in lacrosse is relatively hard to get, so the face off is very important, as having possession leads to scoring goals.
I take the face offs for my lacrosse team and I FOGO (face off get off), which means that after the face off, I get off the field.
I enjoy these competitive 1 vs. 1s for the ball, as it’s a test of quickness, hand speed, athleticism and determination.
A FOGO is nowadays almost always a position on high school lacrosse teams, college lacrosse teams and pro teams. It is a very unique and interesting position that is also very fun and competitive. I hope to earn a scholarship for lacrosse being a FOGO.
Here are two pictures of me taking a face off (I have the orange helmet):