Tactics for underwater rugby, Swedish style (Malmo)
by Henrik Stewenius
Good underwater rugby is like football for 5 year olds. All players very close to the ball.
- General description of what is believed to be the way to success.
- Brief introduction of different player types and some of the possible positions in the water.
- Dispositions for defense.
- Dispositions for offense.
- Going from offense to defense.
- Going from defense to offense.
- Final notes on attitude.
General description of what is believed to be the way to success.during the eighties a lot of teams played with a defensive system based on a stationary keeper that tried to defend the goal sitting in front of it. this game was rather open in type and a lot of goals were scored. in the beginning of the nineties a lot of teams adopted a defensive tactic based on that the default position of the goal keeper is on top of the goal with defenders defending him from attacks from the side.
The weakness of the system with the goal keeper in front of the goal is that it is possible for the attacking team to take the goal and thus restrict the possibilities for the goal keeper to defend his goal from shots and attacks from above.
Brief introduction of different player typesOf every player type there are 2 in the water.
Dispositions for defenseIn defense the starting position position that must be perfected before other maneuvers can be attempted is that there is
- One goal keeper on top of the goal. The two keepers change on on top of the goal and nowhere else!
- One defender in front of the goal. He should have his back to the goal to get good support and try to keep the attacking players at a good distance with his fins. When the defenders change with each others the change should be made at the bottom and nowhere else!
- The attackers have different possible styles that they can chose but a good start if they simply try to take the ball.
Dispositions for attackThink of the defensive responsibilities and all will be well. :-) the following points are important to remember:
- Attack low
- Do not attack alone
- If somebody has the ball almost in, then it is important to help him push the ball into the goal.
- It's not over till the fat lady sings, that is, play until you hear the signal. The ball should be held into the goal until the signal is heard.
- No points are awarded for close to the goal, only all of the ball in the goal counts.
- Remember what they taught you in school, use you head!
Going from attack to defenseHere there are a lot of different at difficult choices but the main lines are
- The players that are down when the ball is lost try to recapture the ball.
- The goal keeper and the defender that are at the surface must be able to reach their own goal before the ball reaches the goal.
- The goal keeper that was on offensive duty will keep diving to try to recapture the ball and will when it is time to change with the goal keeper on the bottom change with the replacement goal keepers who then changes with the keeper on the goal.
- The other players have to decide how offensively they want to play this situation and then all must play by this decision.
- it is important that both attackers don't change when they come home but one change and the other one makes another dive when the first change is made.
Going from defense to AttackSo one player in the defending team manages to take the ball. In this situation most players and especially the attackers are usually very tired but it is very important that they help the ball out from our own defense and if the need to change the change after having done this. a good attacker will when he can see that his team will get the ball will immediately start swimming into a position where he can receive the ball.
Important to think of:
- DO NOT PASS THE GOAL KEEPER THAT IS ON TOP OF THE GOAL.
- Do not pass the defender in front of the goal.
- If the goal keeper captures the ball and is locked into a fight for the ball this is very dangerous so it is important that the attackers see that their goal keeper is captured and take over the fight from him so that he can dive on his goal again.
Final notes on attitude
- If the opponents want a ball they can go and buy a ball. This ball belongs to us.
- During the game all players should keep calm when they are at the bench.
- No screaming at the referees.
- Only the team captain may speak with the referees.
- No screaming at the other team.
- Only encouraging words to your teammates. If you want to change the way he plays we talk about his after the game.
- Never strike back! If somebody hits You, do not strike back!! The attention off the referee will be attracted by the first strike and then he will see when you strike and you are the one sitting in the penalty box!
- I have noticed that it is always the same players who complain that their opponents are playing dirty and that the referees are both blind and unfair. Most of the time the referees are fair and the opponents are not playing in a dirty way.
- We play for having fun!
On the noble art of scoring
General considerationsTo score it is important to think of a few things, most of the might seem obvious but I state some of them here:
As a main rule can be said that it is close to impossible for one player to score in this situation even if this is not completely true is very close to the truth. Therefore we have several players acting with a plan.
Normally the attack should be initiated by one or two players who without having to ball takes up positions in close to the goal, there are 3 types of portions to take
- Taking a position to score. Most of the time a position on one of the walls.
- Taking a position to disturb the defender. This is so that the defender can not my freely from side to side.
- Taking the goal keepers position on top. An interesting possibility, very dangerous for the defending team.
- Around the goal, to score.
Taking position to score and how to scoreEvery player has his/her favorite options but I recommend a position with one shoulder on the wall, face down 20 cm from the bottom head 30cm from the goal keeper with the body ready to jump forward like a spring and score by using head or shoulder on the goal keeper. This works on both the head and back-sides of the keeper and is a lot easier when the goal is bolted down hard close to the wall. Simply follow the wall and it will work!
Another possibility for the head-side to sit with the knees to the bottom, goal keepers head close to my body, one hand down and the other hand to receive the ball. When the ball is received simply bend the arm that is down so that the goal-keepers head is caught close to my elbow.
at the backside it is always possible to prepare for a lift by the legs even if this takes a lot of time and is normally not recommended. The position "around" the goal I have to show you instead of describing, i have no really good fotograph of this one.
Taking position to disturb the defenderSo the goal is the restrict the movements of the defender so that he can not stop my team member that brings the ball. How-to?
- Take up position as a defender close the defending defender. Try to hold your place and do not kick your own player on the head when he comes with the ball.
- Take position next to the defender with your back facing toward the defender.
- Take position next to the defender with your front facing toward the defender.
- Take up position head down, normally looking out toward the game between your legs. The advantage with this one is that there are some possibilities both to score from this position and to aid the attacking player.
taking the place of the goal-keeperSometimes the defending goal-keepers are a bit careless and it is possible to take position on top of the goal. There are two possibilities of how to do this
- Back to the goal as a goal-keeper. This is the positions that is mostly recommended as it is easier to keep the goal in this way than face down. It is very difficult to score from this position so it is recommended that attacking players try to score when the "false" goal keeper try to get out of the way when the ball comes.
- Face down. Here it is important to first check what you may do without causing the the referee to signal for holding to the goal. This is dependent on country and the current year and of course the personality of the referee. A lot of times it is not permitted to have both knees and elbows to the goal at the same time as this is ruled as holding. Therefore it is rather easy for the goal-keeper to get the goal back in this type of situation.
Free ThrowWhen we get a free throw, that is we get the ball. One simple plan on how to play the situation is:
- One defender takes the ball to make the free throw. He is at the surface facing backward toward his own side. This defender is considered as the defensive player in the pair.
- The other defender takes position opposite the first defender at the surface. the player is considered as the offensive player in the pair.
- Under and behind these two players the two attackers and one goal-keeper try to come with good speed to receive the ball.
- The player with the ball should play one of the 3 player that are swimming deep but can if this is not possible give the ball to the other defender at the surface.
- the remaining goal-keeper stays behind.
Time penalties against usWe we get a time penalty against us it is important that
- The player that received the time penalty takes his positions in the penalty box (chair).
- After this we should be only 5 players in the water. Therefore his exchange player may not (yet) enter the water.
- One attacker leaves the water. His replacement player does not jump into the water.
- The replacement player for the player in the penalty box jumps into the water.
- Now there are 4 (or 3) attackers changing with one place into the water. This means that they now should have plenty of air and can make frequent changes. Full speed
If there is a coach standing on the side it is a good idea that he supervises that the correct players enter the water and that the number of players in the water remains correct.
Power-playNormally no special tactics are adopted except that if the opponent gets the ball it is very important to quickly get it back at is otherwise to easy for him to kill 2 minutes of time in a to simple way.
The Life of a goal-keeper
IntroductionThe most important point with the play of the goal-keepers are that the goal-keepers decide upon conventions of how to play in different situations and stick to the rules.
It is in this text assumed that the goal-keeper is defending the goal laying on top on it with his back down and that there are defenders in front of the goal that will at least slow down and disturb the attacking players.
Basic axiomsWhat must be done by the goal-keepers? What does the other team members expect from their goal-keepers? Sensible demands on the goal-keepers are the following?
- No easy goals may be scored on an empty goal.
- No attacking player should be able to gain possession of our goal.
- I should be very difficult to score from above the goal.
- The goal-keepers should participate actively when the team is attacking.
- When we have lost the ball some aid in the recovery of the ball is expected.
- (It is very nice if the goal-keepers have enough air to help the attackers that are trying to take the ball back.)
Rules for static defensive playThis is the easiest situation for the goal-keepers at it is very easy for them what to do. The two players should at all times keep one player at the goal and it is suggested that the players that comes up from the goal takes about 4-5 deep breaths before diving.
- If the player at the surface see that the player at the goal will very soon be in trouble it is important to dive as soon as possible as it is usually possible to intercept the ball by simply taking position on the goal when the player has removed the other keeper and shoots.
- If the goal-keepers catches the ball he must try to swim away from the goal immediately, if he is caught he may fight for the ball for a few seconds and must then let go of the ball to be able to go down and take his turn at the goal. If this rule is not followed very dangerous situations can occur with both keepers at the surface.
- If the keeper on the goal is under attack or the ball is very close when the replacing keeper comes down a change is not possible and the keepers must wait for a better time. It is the replacing keeper that decides when it is possible to change as he has a much better view of the situation. Waiting for a possibility is usually done with both hands on the chest of the keeper on the goal so that it is possible to assist the keeper on the goal with lots of downward force. Please note that it is dangerous to wait to long as both players consume a lot of bottom time.
- If we get the ball, the keeper at the goal decides which player that should go with the goal. This decision is communicated either by himself leaving the goal at high speed in the attack direction or pointing in the attack direction for the other player to dive.
- A goal-keeper diving from the replacement bench is expected to dive immediately to the goal without going to the surface.
- The goal-keeper should try to limit his interest for taking the ball as this usually means giving up his position.
- After we score a goal one goal-keeper will go forward and make a short dive to take the ball. The other keeper is responsible for the goal until he returns.
Hand signals in defenseIn defense all hand signals are sent by the keeper on the goal to the waiting keeper or the keeper coming from the replacement bench.
|Thumbs pointing down to shoulders.
|I want to change NOW!
|Both palms up toward the keeper at the surface
|I have lots of air, please stay at the surface, i will call when I need you.
|Pointing out, we have the ball
|Please help the ball in attack
|Pointing out, they have the ball
|Make ONE dive and try to take the ball.
What way to lie on the goalThere are 3 possible argument in what direction to have the back.
- The back should be pointing to the exchange area as this will make life easier for the exchange player and most attacks will come from the side away from the replacement area as this is safer for the attacking team.
- I must have my left/right arm to the wall and can not play in the other direction.
- As the back is very sensitive to attacks while the side with the head on is safer the back should be where the defender is and should try to follow him.
- The keeper that was on the goal when i came down was in this direction and thus i was in the same direction after the exchange.
- As the back is very sensitive to attacks it should point away from the ball. Please note that this argument is contrary to one of the other arguments.
Skills neededSkills that should be trained by the goal-keepers to be able to play this way are.
- Laying on the goal. Correct position is so that the ring is felt against shoulders and neck. Please note that it is not permitted to have the shoulders into the goal as this is ruled as "holding to the goal" and will result in a penalty throw.
- Taking position on the goal. Standard position is to come at high speed and aim directly for the goal and at the very last moment stop swimming and turn around. almost like driving on snow and pulling the hand brake...
- Making a good exchange with the other goal-keeper. Assuming
that the goal-keeper has his left arm to the wall the change is
done by the following steps.
- Position face to face.
- Left hand on right shoulder.
- Right hand on left shoulder or side.
- Pull myself down on the side with the wall keeping my body in contact with the other keeper until the goal is fully covered.
- Taking the waiting position before changing.
- "Jumping" away from the goal, without kicking the defender in front of the goal senseless.
- Proper and creative use of feet. Please do not inflict damage on the other players. It is also important to understand that it costs a lot of balance to kick.
- The most important exercise is of course to keep the goal from an attack player. what is most important is to be able to keep the goal for a short time as assistance should arrive!
Rules for static offensive playAs the first two demand of the team that one goal-keeper should be able to be the first player on his goal the choice that is most coming is to play by the following rules.
- One keeper dives. the other keeper stays in a position from which he thinks that he will be the first player on the goal if the ball is lost.
- When the keeper that was attacking has come to the surface and almost reached the position where the other keeper is waiting this keeper dives.
- Please repeat.
- Usually the goal-keeper that is coming to the surface will not go straight for the surface but on a diagonal to release the other goal-keeper sooner.
- The time with both keepers on the surface should be short, only one or two seconds.
- When a goal-keeper dives it is a good idea to dive from his
current position and try to reach the bottom well behind the ball
as this will give him a nice overview of the situation.
This means that HE MAY NOT first swim 4 meters at the surface and then dive.
Going from offensive to defensive playWhen the ball is lost one keeper is at the surface and the other one is in his offensive position.
- The keeper at the surface should get back to his goal and dive when necessary.
- The offensive keeper should try to recapture the ball. When he reaches his own side he should be tired and change. It is of course important to notice that when playing without a replacement player it is important to be a little bit calmer to be able to change with the goal-keeper on the goal.
Going from defensive to offensive playit is here very important that one of the keepers dive and help the ball as soon as possible. it is in this situation possible to get a quick goal with speed and luck.
What went wrong, who is to blame
|Goal scored, no goal-keeper present
|Fast goal scored from above
|Slow goal scored from above
|Goal scored from below, defender not present
|Goal scored from below, defender blocked out
|Attackers, bad luck
The Life of a defenderit is very important that the defenders play by a certain pre defined set of rules. the main thing is not what these rules are but that all the defender play by these rules and that the author players nows the rules for the defenders and can rely on that the defenders follow these rules.
For the situation of defensive play it is assumed that the goal-keepers plays on top of the goal and the defenders in front of the goal.
Basic axiomsThere are some tasks the other players expect that the defenders should fulfill. These tasks are not as easily defined as in the case of the goal-keepers but but we can note some main points.
- The goal-keeper is very sensible from attacks from below, especially high speed attacks from the sides. the goal-keeper is thus relaying on the presence of a defender to stop this type of attacks.
- It is of high interest that no player is able to take a position around our goal.
- When the attackers try to take the ball the defender must be available for play and must pick up ball that the balls that the attacks are only able to free from their opponents but not able to take themselves and thus that ball falls down.
- The advance of the other team should be slowed down.
- The defender should give a lot lot of support when we are trying to score.
Rules for static defensive playThe starting position for the defenders are that they should keep the opponents away from the goals. Primarily with their feet but when this is no longer possible with their hands and bodies.
normally the exchange of the defenders should take place in front of the goal, at the bottom. a suitable surface interval is 3-5 deep breaths.
The exchangeWhen the player at the bottom does see that the other defender is coming down for he should try to take some active action. If the ball is a little bit out he should swim out and make a quick try to intercept the ball. If the ball is very close he should try to take the player holding the ball with him when he leaves.
When the ball is far awayIf the ball is far away from the goal, that is more than 4 meters away and there are no obvious preparations for an attack on the goal at the moment the defender can help the attackers to capture the ball. When giving this help it is very important that he simply try to intercept passes, take dropped balls, and assist the attackers. If the defender is to active he will be in the way of his own attackers and he will also easily be outplayed be the opposing team.
- If the ball drops in front of a defender he should, most of the time taking speed from the goal take the ball.
- If we get the ball the defender should help to get the ball away.
- If the defender that is down is loosing his position it is time for the other defender to dive.
- A defender coming from the exchange bench should immediately take his position on the bottom without going to the surface.
- if the goal-keeper is attacked from above the defender must remain at the bottom.
- A lot of time the attacking player will try to get under the defender, this should be prevented and usually proves to be a rather pain full exercise for the attacking player.
- If we score a goal, when the game is restarted one defender will swim for intercept and the other defender is responsible for the goal.
Hand signals in defenseThe defenders usually only send obvious signals like that they want the other player to dive now or that they want him to go ahead when we have the ball.
Skills neededBasic skills that should be practiced are
- Lie in front of goal, fins out. Shoulders should be locked below the ring of the goal and arse in contact with the bottom.
- Quickly dive into the above position.
- Lie in front of the goal, arms out. here it is very important to try to lock the body between bottom and ring.
- Quickly rotate when in position 1 and quickly change between the given position.
- Stop a player that comes at high speed. here it is important to apply a sufficient amount of power. the attacking player should normally lose all his speed. Please note that it is possible for light defenders to stop very heavy attacking players this way
- Stop a player that tries to get under the defender.
- Learn the distinction of what is permitted to do with the feet and what is forbidden. the main question here is that the foot must be put into contact before pushing the opposing player away. Please note that it is not the amount of force that is restricted but that it should be applied in a "nice" way.
- Jump from the goal without kicking the goal-keeper senseless.
- Cooperation with the attackers. this is a very difficult point that only will come with time.
Rules for static offensive playAs with the goal-keepers there is always one defender who is responsible for the defense. he should be in such a position that he can dive and get into position between the goal and the ball. Generally this is implemented by always keeping one defender waiting at the surface while the other is attacking the goal. A good point for waiting is around the middle of the pool. Please note that
- When diving it is important to dive from the waiting point to get into a good place from where to attack. If the defender swims forward before diving he will have to make a much steeper dive and will have problems to get into a good position from where to attack.
- Do not sped to much time with both defenders at the surface as this will reduce our offensive capacity.
Going from offensive to defensive playThis is very difficult to do for the defenders as they have to think of both disturbing the attacking players and make sure that they are always able to defend their goal. the usual tactic is to go down a get to within 1-2meters from the player holding the ball and swim with him (without attacking him) and try to
- Make him slow down.
- Make him go to far to one side.
- Intercept "bad" passes.
- Take the ball if one of out attackers makes the ball come loose.
- When reaching the goal came continues as in static defense.
Going from defensive to offensive playA lot of speed ahead.
What went wrong, who is to blameIf a goal is scored most of the time the defender is to blame. Usually the defender who didn't time in time and left a free passage for the attacking player. Otherwise the defender the failed to stop the attacker is to blame. the only situation when to blame some other player is when a goal is scored from above or if the goal-keeper was not present.
The Life of an attackerMistakes done by the goal-keepers or defenders can very easily result in goals scored on or goal. A mistake done by an attacker can most of the times go unnoticed and therefore it is common to have the position of attacker as a position where new players learn the game. Nevertheless there are some players that lacks the patience for the more defensive positions and stay as attackers even after the initial learning phase. The players who stays for a long time eventually discovers the beauty of the play as attackers and the endless possibilities.
As the attackers have a much more loosely defined situation it is easy to instruct a beginner how to play, unfortunately it is also difficult to give a good instruction how to play as it is mostly a question of cooperation within the the pair in the water. This text and the texts about the defenders and goal-keepers are written by a player who has spent almost half his life as an attacker and whose way of thinking has been influenced by this fact.
IntroductionThe basic setup is 4 attackers in two pairs, in each pair one is on the replacement bench and the other one is in the water. In some systems both pairs are considered to be equivalent in other systems the pairs are named, on pair is always named as right wing (stürmer rechts) the other pair is named either center (middelstürm) or left wing (stürmer links) depending on the naming convention concerning the goal-keepers. In this text they will be named right and left wings.
Basic axiomsThe other players are usually quite unsure why there are attackers in the water but they can usually give some basic tasks:
- Recapture the ball.
- Make goals
- Defend the far corner of our own goal.
- Disturb any attempts of the opponents to use intelligent systems in their attack.
- Prevent the opponents from attacking the goal-keeper from above.
- The rules says that there should be 6 players in the water.
- Bring soap and shampoo, this points apply especially to new attackers.
Rules for static defensive playThe system chosen here is a system with alternating dives from the attackers that is the choice of Malmö, Sweden. Other teams, notably Linköping, Sweden and the Swedish National team has made a choice of a system based on players defending one side each.
It is not possible to do as with the other players and say that the attackers should change with each other and do certain things and this is instead based on what must be fulfilled. the following must be fulfilled.
- If the ball is close to the goal an attacker must be present.
- If any players tries to attack the keeper from above this player must be dealt with.
- If the attacking team blocks out the defender the attackers must see this and act accordingly.
- If possible the attackers should take the ball.
- If anyone captures the ball the ball both attackers must assist in transporting the ball into the offensive zone.
The ball is far out ( >4 meters ), no players present opposing players present at our goalIn this case applies rules 1 and 4. This gives us some different options.
- Both attackers remain at the surface and waits and load their lungs.
- One attacker dives and and does some screening and general disturbance work. he has no intention to capture the ball except by pure luck. The player at the surface is responsible for the goal.
- One attacker dives and tries to take the ball. The other one remains at the surface and is responsible for the goal. In this situation it is some possible to get some support from the defenders.
- One attacker dives and tries to take the ball, the other one dives to a more passive role and tries to intercept a pass or in a similar way capture the ball. The passive player is responsible for the goal.
The ball is far out and there are opposing players close to our goal.As above with the exception that both players at the surface and a new option is present, either for the diving player or the other player.
- Take position on a player close to the goal who will probably receive a bass for a kill
The ball is close to our goal, not many opposing player there
- At least one attacker dives and tries to take the ball.
The ball and a lot of opposing player at our goalIn this situation it is important for both attacker to dive or to remain down if they are already down. Possible options include:
- Take the ball.
- Block the ball, remove player and ball from out goal.
- Cover the far corner where a blocked out defender can not reach.
- Guard opposing players waiting along the walls for the ball.
- Dive down close to the goal and try to by presence push the play out to the playing field again.
The goal-keeper has the ball. The ball is blockedThis means that the keeper has managed to get the ball but was not able to pass the ball before he was caught. In this situation it is important that one attacker goes close and takes control of the situation so that the keeper can go back to his business.
We have the ballin this situation both attackers should good positions to receive and should try to swim a high speed. No exchange is permitted until the ball is at a safe distance away from our goal.
Skills neededNo specific skills needed.
Rules for static offensive playhere there is no restriction on the dive pattern but it is recommended that an attacker who needs to take a few breaths at the surface swims slowly back while taking these so that he is able to dive from a more favorable angle at his next dive. swimming back also makes it easier for him to do an intercept if the opponents should capture the ball.
Going from offensive to defensive playWhen the ball is lost the attackers should try to recapture the ball as long as it stays close to the opponents wall. if and when the ball reaches the mid-field a choice must be made. Here it is very important that both attackers make the same choice. the options are
- No diving. Gather power for the situation around our goal.
- Only tries to slow down the play, if we take the ball it is luck.
- Serious attempts to take the ball. This option must be supported by the defenders who must be present for this to work.
Going from defensive to offensive playFull speed ahead.
What went wrong, who is to blameUsually at least one of the attackers, probably the one at the surface.
- How to take the ball.
- How to score.
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Letzte Bastelstunde: 20. Oct 2020, 18:56:38 » Impressum