Thursday, July 12, 2007

Indirect kicks Close to the Goal (hey, It could happen!)

The keeper picked up the ball after it was kicked by his own team. This produced an indirect kick in front of the goal.
First, defense. The defense must be 10 meters from any free kick, but that 10 meters stops at the end line (and sideline). So you will see that the entire team on defense populates the goal right outside of the goal line. This is standard practice in these situations and I see little other choice.

Now, offense. The ball must be touched by two players before being counted as a goal. The players can be your own team, or your team and the other team (throw-ins are indirect as well). The offense here opts for the obvious, though not easy play. In fact nothing here is really easy for the offense. This looks like a gimme play but I have played a lot and never seen the offense score in these situations. The offense here blasts the ball like 25 feet above the goal. Note that these are high school players and probably haven't ever practiced shooting that close to the goal, especially when the opening is between 6 and 8 feet high. Oh well, bad plans lead to bad results.

Better solution? Shoot directly at the defensive wall. Do this on your first touch. Don't tap and shoot, just blast at their bodies. A glancing blow off of them and in is a reasonably sure result. The defense is probably not smart or quick enough to get out of the way (if it doesn't touch them, it doesn't count in this version). The ball has a good chance of bouncing off a defender and going in. Shoot mid body. If you don't get a goal in a glance off the defense, you may get a hand ball which would give you an even easier free kick with only one player (keeper) in the net instead of 11. If the ball bounces back into play, shoot again.

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