Perfecting the Question Mark Dodge

The question mark, when set up and executed properly is a highly effective dodge to utilize when at the island (5 yards up and 5 yards away from goal line extended (GLE)).

This article will illustrate some tips and drills to make sure you maximize your chances of putting the ball in the back of the net utilizing the question mark dodge.

First, let’s break down what a question mark dodge is.  

A question mark dodge is a move used at the island when coming from X.  It is referred to as a question mark because if you were to plot the path of an attackman executing this move, it would look like the shape of a question mark.

As you get to the island (5 yards up and 5 yards away from the goal). Here are 4 tips to consider to help maximize your chances of scoring.

1. Get low and engage your defender.

Lower your center of gravity and giving your defender some contact will keep them on their toes and allow you to maintain your balance as you push off to create separation and get your hands free to shoot.

2. Extend your stick out toward the sideline.

GIve yourself a target to create separation by extending your stick directly toward the sideline.  Extend your top hand out towards the sideline.

3. Go and get it.

Take one big step directly toward the sideline to create separation from your defender and quickly shoot with your opposite hand. You want to step directly towards the sideline and not back towards goal line extended.  

You want to step directly toward the sideline for three reasons. One, to protect your stick.  As you drift towards GLE when you shoot, you tend to hang your stick and make it easier for a defender to get in a trail check.

Two, to maintain a better shooting angle on the goal.  Moving back towards GLE, gives you less angle on the goal and decreases your chances of scoring.

Three, to get a shot away even with a coma slide coming. Typically when dodging from X, the defense will try to push you back towards X or inside to the crease where they have the opposite wing defender coming with the slide.  If you fade back towards goal line extended on this move, you are setting yourself up to run right into the slide.

4. Aim low and away.

Typically when performing the question mark, as you shoot goalies will raise their posture leaving the lower portion of the net open.  

An excellent drill to build muscle memory and perfect this movement is to set up a cone five yards up and five yards away from the goal.  With a ball in your stick, standing next to the cone, go through the steps listed below. Be sure to always practice from both sides.

These principles are excellently taught by the Men’s Duke Lacrosse Coaching Staff.   You can find a video that illustrates this drill at the following link:

You can see examples of this drill at around the 7:45 mark.

We hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful for helping you grow your game.  If you liked this post, have any questions, or would like to see more posts similar to this please comment below.  


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