Creating structure when bringing the ball down the court, makes it easier to coach breakdowns and errors. No structure will have many players going for the same ball and eventually this can lead to loss of possession.
A mid court or centre third system can take stress off players as they know who goes for the first ball. Utilising a positional court structure will open the court up giving the players vision for shoulder passes and double plays. When there is chaos in the centre third passes will be short and laboured with many players getting involved and trying to help out.
An epidemic at the moment is the GA and WA playing high on the defence transverse line and when there is a rebound or transition in play the two attacking players remain in the defence end wanting the ball and cluttering the centre third. This also can lead to everyone running down court and receiving a ball on the run and this in the junior ranks will attract whistle for stepping.
Having a centre court system keeps the GA and WA in their positional areas and driving towards the ball instead of taking space of defence players and causing chaos.
An example of a centre court system:
- GA and WA have a starting position in their area and not up court
- As the ball comes down the court, where the ball is received indicates who drives
- If the ball is received in the centre third on the GA’s side then the GA drives to the ball
- If the ball is received in the centre third on the WA’s side then the WA drives to the ball
- It doesn’t matter if the WD, GD or C receives the ball in the centre third it is where it is caught to who drives for the next pass
- If the ball is received deep in the centre third maybe get one more pass off amongst the defence before involving the attack line
- Once the GA or WA drive towards the ball to receive then the court will be nice and open for the next pass. GD and WD can back up on the line in the attack end after the ball has moved into the shooting third. Make sure the defence don’t run through and ask for passes as they two can cause overcrowding
Remind the GA and WA that their bib says they are attacks and both positions attack the circle. They are required to be available in the attack end rather than high in the defence end. Let the defenders bring the ball down as that is their responsibility and the GA and WA are then freed up to do their job and what they are responsible for. This leads to a balanced and open court and helps avoid overcrowding or loading.
If you are currently coaching without a system for bringing the ball down court, give this a go. I can promise you it will work and make your coaching experience each game a good one.
Written by: Melissa O’Brien