When to use one and when not to. That is the question.
Bounce passes are an effective way of passing in certain situations. Most coaches will teach their players to execute a bounce but do they teach then when and where to use it?
If you notice the Kiwis attack end they tend to whizz the bounce pass around the circle at speed. With Irene and Maria being so tall the pass needs to be perfect otherwise it is easily intercepted by the opposition. Australia on the other hand, rarely use the bounce pass any more. It used to be a very popular pass and I suppose as the shooters are taller it makes it more difficult for them to bend down to receive it. The Aussies tend to execute a few in the mid court but not when playing the Kiwis as that is a zoners gift.
With contact being allowed from both sides it is common for the GK or GD to be a human backpack on the shooters so if they are holding for a bounce it is up to the feeder to give a perfect bounce and from my experience there aren’t too many who can deliver a great bounce. Most tend to indicate to the opposition what they are about to do so it defeats the purpose.
From my upbringing in NZ we were taught to bounce the ball in the middle that is the distance between the thrower and the receiver. In Australia I was taught that the ball needed to bounce two thirds away from me and a third of the space for the receiver. Back then NZ played a slower game and used the bounce and lob along with the chest pass as their preferred passes. The shoulder pass was two handed and many players chose not to use this as accuracy was always an issue.
As NZ have sped up their game their passing is now a lot like the Aussies. There is one major difference and that is their accuracy of the bounce pass. I love it and to introduce it in your attack end is a skill. When you divide your team up for specialist sessions or even start half an hour earlier, work on the attacks moving that ball around the circle using the bounce pass. When you add the defence during the training session, encourage the attack to bounce and see if they can split the defence up with speed and accuracy of the bounce pass. You don’t always have to use the bounce feeding the shooters as it can be used between the Centre and WA to create space to feed into the circle. If you haven’t taught your players to do the bounce this season, put it down on your to do list for 2012.