The offensive players on a men’s lacrosse team are tough, fast, and skilled, making them a formidable force on the field. But as any long-stick defender will tell you, there is one simple yet effective defense strategy that can give even the most skilled attacker pause: the poke check.
A poke check involves sticking your stick out toward an attacker while simultaneously moving your body to create space between yourself and the opponent. This allows you to poke the top edge of your stick into the attacker’s gloves, disrupting his control of the ball and preventing him from making a clean pass or shot on goal.
A well-executed poke check can be an effective defensive move, as it requires very little physical effort or energy from the defender compared to other checks like tomahawk or slap check. However, it does take careful timing and positioning in order for it to be successful, and this takes good technique, experience, and practice to master. In addition, a skilled attacker will often try to anticipate where the defender is going to be and make adjustments accordingly in order to get around or avoid being hit by the poke check. Nevertheless, a solid poke check can be one of the most useful tools in any long-stick defender’s arsenal, allowing them to quickly disrupt an offensive attack while also remaining safely on their feet.
A successful poke check requires skill and timing, as the defender must make the perfect balance between hitting their opponent’s stick just hard enough to knock it loose without causing a penalty foul or injury. However, when performed correctly, a well-timed poke check can be an extremely effective way to defend against an attacking player who is trying to move upfield with control of the ball.