The following posts have been tagged with "soccer boom ball"...

Soccer Styles of Play


On offense, the two primary styles of play are a “direct attack” (which tries to quickly move the ball into scoring range, often using long passes, “through balls”, or long air balls) and an “indirect attack” (also called a “Possession” style, which is slower and uses many short passes, often sideways or backwards, while looking for a weakness in the defense.) On defense, the two primary styles of play are a “zone defense” and a “marking defense” (i.e., a man-to-man defense). There are several different terms that describe other styles of play. For example, “passing to feet” vs. “passing to space” and “onball attacking” vs. “off-the-ball attacking”. With most formations you can use different styles of play.

When comparing styles of play, you can look to other sports for analogies. In American football, for example, the dominant style of play used to be the running game, but today more teams emphasize the pass than the run. The best teams recognize that a balanced attack that uses both the run and the pass is best. In American football, if a team only runs, the defense will crowd the offense to stop the run. In soccer, if a team only attacks with short passes, the opposing defenders will push up to the halfway line or farther. The threat of through balls and long balls “stretches the defense” and is what forces defenders to stay honest. Another analogy to American football is that when you have the ball near your goal you definitely do not want to turn the ball over. In American football, even the best teams will protect the ball and punt. For this reason, it is best for most rec soccer teams to clear the ball away from their goal if there is any pressure, and hope they can win the cleared balls at least 50% of the time. (Although if there isn’t pressure or you have skilled FB’s you can “build play from the back”).

If you watch a lot of professional soccer from different countries you will see that most good teams from around the world control the ball and build play in the midfield, but also incorporate through balls and long balls into their attack (i.e., they mix the indirect and direct styles of play). In fact, depending upon the league, between 15% and 30% of the goals scored are a result of through balls or long air balls.

The style of attack you teach your team should depend on the ability of your players, the amount of time you can practice, and your coaching ability. The style of attack that will work best also depends on the type of defense the other team plays (e.g., whether they are “pushed up” or “defending deep”) and whether your Forwards are faster than the other teams FB’s. For example, if the opposing FB’s push up and your Forwards are faster, you should try through balls and quick counterattacks. A select team that practices 4 hours per week can play a better short passing game than a typical rec team. In any case, you will want to teach the concepts of “First Attacker”, “Second Attacker”, and “Third Attacker”.

As for a defensive style of play, a “zone defense” and “First Defender/Second Defender” works best for most rec teams. This is because many rec FB’s don’t have the speed or stamina to play a man-to-man style of defense. How to teach a zone defense is explained at “Zone Defense” and at “Support”. (See “Attacking“, “Attacking Plan“, “Boom Ball“, “Counterattack“, “Creating Space“, “Direct Attack“, “Possession Style“, “Spread the Field“, “Stretched Defense“, “Through Ball“, “Long-Ball Game“, “Over the Top“, “Zone Defense“, “Support“, “First Attacker“, “Formations“, and the section titled “Scoring More Goals”).


Soccer Kick & Run


A derogatory term applying to youth soccer where a player kicks the ball & then everyone runs toward the ball & there is little passing or ball control. “Kick & Run” has a different meaning from “Boom Ball”. Kick & Run is obviously a style of play that you do not want to teach and that is not used by good teams, whereas “Boom Ball” is used by some excellent teams as a tactic. (See “Boom Ball“).


Soccer Field Size


FIFA’s “Laws of the Game” are published annually and are the official soccer rules. For current rules and field sizes, go to “Laws of the Game” at www.fifa.com or check with your soccer association. The official soccer field size can range from 50 to 100 yards wide by 100 to 130 yards long. However, the rules allow field sizes to be reduced for women, players with disabilities and for players under 16 and over 35 years of age. Field sizes used by youth soccer leagues vary greatly.

Recreational Players Will Have More Fun & Learn More on a Smaller Field. One of the worst mistakes a recreational league can make is to have teams playing on oversized fields. The reason is simple: on a smaller field the players will have more touches & more fun. The field size should be proportionate to the player size, and recreational teams should play on smaller fields than select teams. If a field is too large, recreational players will spend most of their time running & will be worn out by half-time. When players are tired & playing on an overly large field, it is easy for the game to degenerate to “Boom-ball”. It is also more difficult to teach tactics & team play, such as support, on an overly large field. Smaller fields are much better suited to players who are average athletes, are slower, or lacking stamina, as are 50% to 75% of all recreational players. How large should the field be’ If an adult over-30 novice recreational team plays on a 60-yard x 100-yard field (most play on this size or smaller because it is more fun), then youth recreational teams should play on proportionately sized fields. The size of youth fields should be based on the size of the step and the length of the kick of each age group relative to adults. For example, if a 12-year old’s step is about 80% that of an adult, then the field size should be 80% of the adult size, or about 50-yards x 80-yards. Dimensions for recreational teams might be as below:


Soccer Boom Ball


A slang derogatory soccer term referring to when the ball is frequently kicked in the air toward the other teams goal. This occurs by youth soccer teams who have no attacking plan but it can also be an intentional and effective tactic with forwards stationed in position to win long “over-the-top” balls. You see a certain amount of “Boom Ball” in most professional soccer leagues and it is used extensively by some successful professional teams. For example, in 2001 this long over-the-top tactic was used by Celtic, which had a secure lead at year end in the Scottish Premier League. It is easy to criticize teams for playing Boom Ball, when in fact most professional and select teams “boom” their goal kicks and long corners and punt their goalie distributions rather than controlling the ball and building from the back, and many teams FB’s “boom” the ball to clear it when they are under pressure. I think it is fair to define “Boom Ball” as when the ball is kicked long without any real purpose or strategy and when the kicker’s team has only a 50/50 chance or less to win the ball. However, if you send the ball forward as part of an attacking strategy, or when under pressure in the Defending Third, or when your team has a better than 50/50 chance of winning the ball, it isn’t “Boom Ball”. “Boom Ball” is very different from “Kick & Run”. (See “Styles of Play“, “Kick & Run“, and “Attacking“).