14Tactical Awareness U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program Welcome to U.S. Soccer’s online training for the Grade 6 State Referee Course.Training for this course is specific to preparing officials for the most competitive game within a state and region.This presentation focuses on tactical awareness.U.S. Soccer Federation Referee ProgramGrade 6 State Referee CourseMost Competitive Games Within State and Region
15Tactical Awareness Defensive play Man-to-man marking Zonal marking Attacking playDirect playWide playPace playAerial playIn order for referees to have better match control it is important to develop tactical awareness on how teams play.In defensive play referees will see either man-to-man marking or zonal marking.Both of these systems will occur mostly in the defensive third or midfield areas of the field.Each system has a different impact on the types of fouls that players will commit.In attacking play, referees are most likely to see these four different styles; direct play, wide play, pace play, or aerial play.These plays typically start in the midfield and continue into the attacking third of the field.
16Man-to-Man Marking Player tactics Increase in holding fouls Greater potential for retaliationReferee tacticsGet to a position to maximize viewMove quickly to location of foul to minimize retaliationWhen teams are playing man-to-man marking, where each defender has a specific attacker that he or she is responsible for, there is an increase in the likelihood of holding fouls to be committed due to players being in close proximity to one another.There is also a greater potential for retaliation to occur.Referees who are aware that teams are defending man-to-man can utilize their own tactics for match control purposes.Referees will need to get to a position where they can maximize their view on the play.Referees will also want to be sure that play is in between themselves and the lead assistant referee.Referees will need to get to the location of the foul quickly in order to minimize the potential for retaliation.Their presence can be a natural deterrent for that type of misconduct as the player who was fouled can see that the referee has things under control.
17Zonal Marking Player tactics Defenders mark attackers within their zoneDefenders moving with speed may result in an unfair or reckless challengesReferee tacticsSprint to get close and adjust positionAssistant referee tacticBe prepared to assist on counterattacksWhen teams are playing zonal marking, where defenders mark attackers as they enter their zone of responsibility, referees will often find defenders moving at full speed in order to make up for a greater distance versus man-to-man marking.As a result, unfair challenges are more likely to occur.These are often reckless if the defenders have mistimed their runs.Referees must sprint to in order to get close to play, while adjusting position in order to get the best angle of view.Assistant referees must also be prepared to assist with counterattacks.
18Direct Play Player tactics Long aerial passes A team changes defense into attack quickly, to put pressure on opponentsExcellent way of beating an offside trapReferee tacticsAnticipate long ballsQuick reaction and sprinting is required to ensure a clear view and good angleIt is also important for referees to understand attacking play tactics.The first discussed is direct play.An example would be the use of long aerial passes, where the team will change defense into an attacking play as soon as possible to put pressure on their opponents.This is an excellent way of beating an offside trap.When teams use this tactic, referees must anticipate long balls as defenders are looking to get the ball to their attackers as soon as possible.This will require referees to react quickly and sprint to ensure that they can get a clear view and a good angle on the play as it transitions down the field.
19Wide Play Player tactics Ball is directed to teammates on either touchline who try to beat defenders and cross the ball into the penalty areaReferee tacticsAwareness of possible tactical foulsRequires constant mobilityWide views to see next phase of playWide play, also known as flank play, is when the ball is directed to teammates on either touchline who try to beat the defenders and cross the ball into the penalty area.Referees must be aware that this is a time where tactical fouls are more likely to occur.It requires constant mobility from referees, who need to have wide views in order to see the next phase of play.
20Pace Play Player tactics Players use their pace to turn defenders or chase the ball played in behind the defenseHolding fouls are likelyReferee tacticsAccelerate into a position with good angle of view to see between playersAssistant referee tacticBe prepared to assist due to better anglePace play is when players use their pace to turn defenders or chase the ball played in behind the defense.Holding fouls are more common and there is an increased potential for denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity.Referees must accelerate to get into position with a good angle of view, with the possibility of having to see between players.Assistant referees must also be prepared to assist as they may have a better angle on the play as it develops.
21Aerial Play Player tactics Targets for teammates Use aerial strength for scoring opportunitiesMore player contactReferee tacticsRequires a lateral viewAware of persistent infringementBig decisions in the penalty areaAerial play is when players, usually tall players, become targets for teammates.They will use their aerial strength to create goalscoring opportunities.There is often more player contact when teams are using aerial play tactics.Referees must move to get into position when they have a lateral view of the play to see the aerial challenges, where players will often push their opponents in the back when they are both going up.This is a time to be aware of persistent infringement as it is common with aerial play.Referees will be faced with some big decisions to make when aerial play takes place within the penalty area.
22Systems of Play Common formations 4-4-2 4-3-3 3-4-3 3-5-2 4-5-1 Referees must also be aware of the various formations and systems of play that teams employ.These are varied and can change at anytime during a game.An understanding of defensive and offensive formations used by each team can assist the referee in their preparation and subsequent actions.Some of the more common formation are listed here.
234-4-2 The most common formation is known as a 4-4-2. In this formation, the midfield supports both the defense and the offense.There are two central midfielders, one goes forward to support the offense.The other central midfielder will play a holding role, and gives extra protection to the defense.
244-3-3 The 4-3-3 formation is an attacking line-up. In a there are three midfielders that play close together to help protect the defense.There are three strikers split across the field to provide width to the offense.
253-4-3 Online Training Script: Playing can also provide a good deal of positional and tactical flexibility for teams.Again, a more compact defense can be supported by a layered midfield or allow a team to simply commit more numbers to attacking space wide and up the field.This formation may also see players employ a short passing style while allowing them to defensively swarm the opponent when not in possession of the ball.Classroom Instructor Talking Points:
263-5-2 Online Training Script: The formation sees a more central and compact defensive trio support a variety of midfield approaches that can result in orThis formation can also allow for a great deal of tactical flexibility depending on the team’s needs throughout the game.This formation can provide teams with a numerical advantage in midfield allowing for increased pressure on the ball that can lead to turnovers and counterattack opportunities.Classroom Instructor Talking Points:
274-5-1The formation is often a sign that a team will be committed to keeping numbers behind the ball and this approach might be used to protect a result late in the game.This system can also be employed for teams that like to sit back and absorb pressure while looking for breaks on the counterattack.The lone striker is typically used as a target and is required to hold up play while his or her teammates move to support the attack.
28Substitutions Player tactics May alter the way a team has been playing Opposing team may make substitution to nullify possible threat or change tacticsReferee tacticsAware of players’ strengthsAbility to adapt to change and adjust positioningSubstitutions, whether due to an injury or for tactical reasons, will have an impact on the game.Substitutions may alter the way a team has been playing.For example, a team may replace a tall forward whose strength was aerial play for a quick player whose strength is pace play.It is likely that the opposing team will make substitutions to nullify the possible threat and change in tactics.Referees must take notice when substitutions are made.Not only will the substitution have fresh legs, but the referee must also be aware of players’ strengths.This requires that the referee have the ability to adapt and change.In particular, the referee will need to adjust their positioning.
29Set Plays Player tactics Variation of free kicks and corner kicks Invading players spaceReferee tacticsAware of players’ tacticsPreventive refereeingMobility to maximize views of possible offensesTactical awareness is also important during set play situations.There will be variations on free kicks and corners kicks.For example, be aware if the kicker is left footed or right footed relative to the side of the field that the kick is being taken from.Also, anticipate if the kicker has the ability to strike directly to score a goal.Players will often invade their opponents space.This is common when attacking players stand in front of the goalkeeper on a corner kick or in front of a defensive wall on a free kick.Referees must be aware of the players’ tactics.This is a great time to utilize preventive refereeing techniques, as discussed in the U.S. Soccer presentation on command presence.Set play situations also require mobility from referees to maximize their view of possible offenses.
30Final 10-15 Minutes Player tactics Awareness of score at this stage may lead to tactical changesPlayer fatigueReferee tacticsAware of possible changesAdjust profileConcentrationThe final 15 minutes of any match is a critical time.Awareness of score at this late stage in the game may lead to tactical changes by teams in order to defend a tight lead or to score the equalizing or go-ahead goal.Players may also start to show signs of fatigue during the final minutes and may become more desperate.Referees must be aware of possible changes and react accordingly.This might mean adjusting the profile in order to get a better view on the changing team tactics.Concentration is critical, and often becomes more of a challenge for referees in the final minutes.
31Review QuestionIn defensive play, referees will likely see which of the following types of marking play?Man-to-man or zonal markingZonal or wing markingMan-to-man or direct markingWing or direct marking
32Review QuestionWhen teams are playing zonal marking, does each defender have specific attacker that he or she is responsible for?YesNo
33Review QuestionReferees must be aware that tactical fouls are more likely to occur during which style of play?Direct playWide playPace playAerial play
34Review QuestionReferees must take notice when substitutions are made because substitutions may alter the way a team has been playing. Is it true that, as a result, referees may need to adjust their positioning after a substitution?YesNo
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