Best Check: Lift Check
I think the best check in lacrosse is the lift check. The lift check is where you get the head of your stick under the other player’s glove and simply lift up. It is very simple but can be extremely effective. Lacrosse players can be rendered virtually useless with the inability to get their hands free, meaning they pretty much can’t do anything without their hands offensively.
What’s great about the lift check is that it doesn’t take much effort on a defenseman’s part. The idea is to just be running with an opponent and just have your stick “living on his bottom glove”. When he goes to make a pass or a shot, that’s when you would lift through his glove, elbow, or even into his armpit. This will disrupt his mechanics and motion causing a poor shot or pass. There are a couple of things you could do to get out of lift checks, but it certainly puts you in an awkward position really quickly and really easily. This check has the ability to disrupt opposing players without taking the defender out of position, which is why I dislike the wrap check as much as I do.
Worst Check: Wrap Check
In contrast, the worst check in lacrosse would have to be the wrap check. The wrap check is when a short stick defenseman, middy, or a riding attackman wildly swings his stick around the player who has the ball. It requires that you take one hand off your stick and you just wrap it around a guy’s waist in the hope that you luckily hit his stick. There’s so much upper body movement going on that you tend to stop your feet, and any good player has been taught to simply run through the check. Defensively, if you’re playing with a long stick, you’re keeping two hands on the stick, and you’ve got to throw your top hand and snap that bottom hand to make that wrapping motion. It’s a really long and violent motion, and it takes a lot of concentration. And again when you’re focusing on your upper body, you’re not moving your feet and defensemen tend to get run by. If you’re a righty sweeping in on a guy throwing lefty, it’s not as hard. But if you’re a righty throwing it on a righty (which is what happens 90% of the time) you’re throwing it over his back shoulder. So not only are you already giving up good position, but you’re actually almost pulling yourself out of position for the check. All in all, it is just not a good move.