Bandits- by the time you read this, we hope that you’ve digested the efficiency of ball movement & people movement, and the fundamentals of creating space for team-mates. Now lets graduate to the theory of the triangle and how it is the core of motion offense. First, lets start with the shape of the triangle — or the numeral 3. why is it so important? you can ask an engineer then why is the triangular form being key to building bridges, ask a biologist why birds fly in the form of triangle (the form V) , ask a musician why are all musical chords based on a triad (collection of 3 key notes). It goes beyond the X’s & O’s on a clipboard, it is all around us, surrounds us, serving as a base on why certain things works in life–even in structures of governments. A simple answer would be Balance, strength, and flexibility. (More info on this: http://www.mathsinthecity.com/sites/most-stable-shape-triangle)
Keys in Motion Offense & Triangles
The above was written for 10 vs 10 players (full field men’s lacrosse). And yes, having 3 middies, 3 defenders, and 3 attackers with 1 goalie— the triads of 3 is not a coincidence, it is by design.
In a modified game such as our League 2, we are allowed 1 defender, 2 middies, 1 attacker. This is a simplified set where in offense, you will have 1 triangle instead of two–2 middies +1 attack forming the single triangle.
Footnote: legacy of Native Americans
More than 3 centuries ago, an interesting event happened: Colonial America became independent from British rule after years of a bloody war. The people who’d become leaders/fathers of the new-born country had an interesting problem: what system to implement to govern this land NOW? They assembled for 2 weeks straight for an intense brain-storming and discussed various models. They had researched older great civilizations- the Greeks, Romans, British etc. borrowing good elements while brushing away things which seemed antiquated & inefficient in hope creating a solid democratic structure– free from tyranny and injustice. A majority of these men lived near North-Eastern part of the continent, where many American Indian reservations were stationed during that period. Having been neighbors to the tribes for generations, they’ve had studied & observed from distance but attentively, of how a new law / rule was processed within tribes. First it needs to be accepted by the chief, then explained and passed through a group of leaders within the tribe, but it wouldn’t be finalized into a law until it was reviewed & approved by a key 3rd group—a board of wise elderly women of the tribe. This process of 3 key entities having to all play a part was the key inspiration which was adapted into the US Constitution of how a bill (proposal) becomes a law–in the forms of: President, Congress, and the Supreme Court. Each have distinct rights to veto/ check each other, keeping balance within a complex structure as the backbone. It became the system which is exercised today still and inspiring other new governments as a working model of democracy.
Triangle’s non-believers in other sports
Now lets come back to sports. As I’m writing this, my hometown’s NY Knicks basketball team are going through a terrible season (16 losses and 4 wins) with an expensive player in Carmelo Anthony. On the other side of the coast, the LA Lakers are also suffering a 15 losses and 4 wins season–the Lakers have Kobe Bryant. The 2 superstars and most expensive players in the league are the 2 worst teams right now. Why is this happening when they have great scorers? imbalance and no ball movement is the chronic symptoms of both teams—it is a team sport and these 2 stars are not sharing the ball enough to win the games. The last time Byrant had won a championship was when Phil Jackson was coach who is famous for the Triangle offense approach. Jackson had won 11 championships (this is unheard of today in modern sports) based on this triangle offense philosophy. Ironically, in hope of trying to fix this problem, the Knicks organization had recently hired a new President to guide/ contain Carmelo Anthony into the team philosophy–guess who? yes, the same Phil Jackson.
by Kevin Lee – Dec. 8th, 2014