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Tactics and strategy
text is written by bsi-BOBLEN, Norway
There are mainly two ways of building a team(and lots of approaches to
these varying from team to team). Both set-ups have two forwards and two
backs. The difference lies in the assignments of the keeper/wing-pair:One
way to do it is to have one designated keeper and one combined keeper/wing,
the other set-up just have two combined keepers/wings. The wing is still
called left-wing or just left. This dates back to the days when the set-up
involved left-, centre-,and right-wing, a set-up now abandoned because it
was based on a too stringent and two-dimensional way of thinking. Still the
word 'left' is used as short for the outfield-player who supports the keeper
The tasks of the different players depends on the phase of play,
offensive(ball within team) or defensive (opposition has the ball). The
following treats the main tasks assigned to the players, divided according
to the abovementioned phases. This is a general and basic form of strategy,
and we are not interested in revealing our more detailed magic.
Keeper in defensive play:
Main responsibility is naturally to prevent the ball from entering the goal
(the 'bucket'). If player carrying ball comes in along the bottom, keeper
sits in front of the goal, using feet to fend of opposing player. In case of
several 'attackers', or they are already close to the bucket, the keeper
presses his back down on the bucket by swimming hard. He/she acts as a lid.
Keeper in offensive play:
Keeper stays behind in the surface, always able to stop a single
would-be-goalgetter. The team is then safe from being totally surprised by
fast rushes, and the keeper is rested and ready for long time submersions.
Wing in defensive play:
During defence, the wing acts as a keeper. The two changes place since there
always must be a keeper by the goal.
Wing in offensive play:
An offensive wing performs like the forwards(below).
Back in defensive play:
The back s the one to cut off the attackers, acting as a buffer around the
goal-area. This is most easily done by taking position a tad below an
imaginary line between ball-carrying attacker and the goal. It is important
that the two backs also interchange, so that there's always one down and in
action and one up breathing.
Back in offensive play:
A back is supposed to be offensive and active also when his team is
attacking. An important role is to channel the ball to players in a good
position. This requires some overview of the play, and the back is usually
close up but behind in the attacking formation. This overview actually makes
the back the first to see the openings, thereby giving him/her the highest
potential for 'stealing' a goal. Also here it is important for the backs to
Back in the moment the opposition obtains the ball:
This is one of the most critical moments in a match. This is the time when
a back could really make a fool of him-/herself. The back in the surface
should always stay behind and retain an overview of the situation, and ready
to stop a charging player. It is important that the back doesn't come too
close to the other player, so that he/she prevents passing of the ball past
him-/herself. Keep them an arms length away. The other back who was active
in the attack, must quickly return to secure behind the 'stopping' back.
Remember to stay in the surface but on the line between ball and own goal.
If the stopping back is outplayed, the second stoops down to cut them off.
The backs are now in rhythm for the interchanging, defending and
securing/breathing. Under pressure, swap places quickly, rest when in
control. By this method, the backs can stall the opposition until a complete
defence can be set up by the whole team.
Forward in defensive play:
The forwards' task is mainly to try and snatch the ball. That is, to be in
the centre of events all the time. The forwards does not follow strict
interchange. I defence, the usual tactics is for the forwards to 'fall the
enemy in the back' so to speak, while the 'enemy' is occupied trying to get
past the back or keeping clear of the backs 'bullying' and teasing. Another
important task is the 'forechecking', staying close to an opposing player so
that he/she can't be played. If an attempt to pass the ball to such a
forechecked player, the forward might snatch the ball. This method requires
speed, a good eye for the game and a lot of practice. It's a hard but
incredibly effective job.
Forward in offensive play:
The forwards also here have a free position in the play. It's important to
help the other players by making oneself 'playable', thereby tying up some
of the oppositions defence. At least one of the forwards should place
him-/herself up front in the formation, but close enough to receive the
ball. then the ball can be played past the back and the defence might
break(see 'Back in defence'). When the team is in a good position for a
score, be there! More of your own players crowding the bucket, means lesser
room for the defence.