Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reading the Keys

This year's World Cup field provides a couple of interesting challenges for both the offensive- & defensive-minded teams. With the SD as the Home bunker teams will find it more difficult to keep two laners at Home otb despite good lanes to both sides of the field. That will in turn tend to push teams more rapidly into their primaries. Preferably primaries that are reasonably secure and offer lanes that can contain (or slow down) the opponents upfield moves. One of those primaries will be the near T (circled in orange) on the snake side and lots of teams will be tempted to use that Temple to try and control D-wire movement.
This poses a necessary trade-off. The trade off is unbalanced play to one side or the other. (I know what you're thinking. With 5 players there's almost always some imbalance. Except this is different.) It comes from the crossfield position and tends to push teams to favor a strong D-wire play. For example, given the limited options snakeside and the risk involved in running two players wide otb snakeside the tendency will be to keep a snakeside home shooter and run two players D-side as a typical breakout. For snakeside play this deprives the home shooter of a low risk move--except for the prospect of doubling it up and still leaves snakeside as the play's weakside. (An acceptable change of pace but also a key your opponent can "read.")

What are keys--and how do you read them? In this scenario the key is knowing which way a specific position is playing and understanding what immediate options and opportunities exist because of that single fact. Remember the trade-off? Here's where it comes into play. The (orange) temple played on the cross should immediately signal snakeside weakness to their opponent and barring a loss otb should result in an aggressive effort to push the snake and even shift a player to make the snakeside the attack side. (One common counter to this is to play the inside D-side Can on the cross as well but that puts two of your 5 players in a defensive posture otb. Which is fine if you eliminate a body or two. Not so fine if you don't.)

The larger point is that knowledge of the field and the right kind of preparation will allow players to "read" the action at various points in the game play and react in a coordinated effort without delay or communication and press the fast, aggressive game style.


Mike said...

Can you not see teams doubling up the highlighted Temple? Just a thought I had.

Baca Loco said...

Yep. I mentioned the option in passing in para #2. But that falls into another "read" category--how many bodies go wide?

I wasn't so much trying to exhaust the possibilities with this post as I was trying to illustrate a way of translating what you know about a field and an opponent into action and hopefully, advantage.

Mike said...

Ah alright thanks :)

Anonymous said...

what about the inside can shooting snake side?