Free kicks - general  






General principles for defending all kinds of free kicks:

·         Hold the line. Make sure that the defense does not collapse right into the goalmouth, where it’s easy for attackers to score in a scramble.

o        Hold the line at the edge of the penalty area most of the time

o        For close in free kicks, hold the line no nearer in than the penalty spot

·         Stay between attackers and the goal. As attackers move, stay with them keeping between attackers and the goal

·         Mark tight. Players who are man marking must play the man first. Don’t worry too much about the ball – stick tight with the opponent. Be within touching distance at all times.

·         Be alert. Dead ball defending means getting to the second ball first, before the opponent.

·         Push out. As soon as the ball is cleared out of the penalty area, all defending players (including midfielders) must sprint to push up out of the box. One slow player can leave every attacker onside. Several slow players simply invite the attackers back into the danger zone.

·         Make a wall. The number of players in the wall should range from 1 at about 35 meters out, to 4 (or more in 11 aside) for kicks right on the edge of the box.

o        The goalie sets up the wall. It’s the goalie’s job to position the wall – players in the wall must listen to what he says

o        The wall stays still. It should not jump around.

o        The goalie must have see the ball all the way. The wall should cover one side of the goal, while the goalie covers the rest. The goalie must have a clear view of the ball as it is struck. See below for details.

The following sections give detailed instructions on what to do to defend against very common dead ball situations.