Chapter #11 - Offensive Zone Team Play
Here's a summary of this chapter....
Roller hockey is played from an offensive standpoint; with plenty of shots, rebounds, and
goals. That's not to say that defense isn't important, but wheeling down the playing
surface with lots of room to maneuver, setting up the offensive attack, and scoring a goal
is how the game is played. All successful roller hockey teams know what it takes to put
the puck in the net; and putting the puck in the net is the primary role of a team in
their offensive zone. That's it, that's all that is required! How a team accomplishes this
role is what keeps every coach planning, preparing, designing, and revising throughout the
season. Putting the puck into the opponents net sometimes comes from luck, but most goals
are scored because a team has an effective offensive strategy. Your offensive zone
strategy should incorporate the following six factors:
- puck control and movement form the basis of any successful offensive attack. To
score goals you must first have control of the puck, and as we know from the 3PO
Principle, puck possession provides opportunities. These opportunities are created by
having the puck carrier in motion and constantly looking to pass, shoot, or skate on net.
The puck carrier should move with the puck to draw the opposition out of position. Forcing
the opposition into making bad plays is good offensive roller hockey and is critical in
the offensive end.
- positioning of non-puck carrying players with respect to the puck carrier/shooter
is important because movement by all players creates an attack which is always more
difficult for the opposition to cover. Non-puck carriers or supporting players should
maneuver themselves into an open position to create options and should base their movement
on the puck carrier, the defenders, and the open playing surface available. Supporting
players should make themselves available to receive a pass, clear an area to allow space
for the puck carrier, screen an opponent, and offer close support to the puck carrier.
- defined plays with improvisation will always create a better organized attack
than an ad-lib attack, all things being equal. By working on defined offensive plays,
players develop the confidence and ability to improvise on defined plays when different
situations arise. Though roller hockey is a game in which the players must do a lot of
improvising because of ever changing scenarios, they will be able to select the right
moves more often if they have learned as many basic offensive plays as possible.
- shots on net from a high percentage scoring location will improve any team's
scoring chances over haphazard shooting. Move the puck from the perimeter scoring areas
toward the slot. Once in this area, a direct shot, screen shot, or deflection can be
executed. After the initial shot, there is always the potential for a second opportunity;
a rebound. Remember that each shot is really a potential one-two punch; the initial shot
and the rebound.
- patience by the offensive team, especially the puck carrier, is required to make
effective use of puck control. Since your team has control of the puck, why be quick to
get rid of it? If you have the puck in a high percentage location, shoot. If another
player is open in a better scoring location, pass the puck. If neither occurs, be patient
and continue to move the puck while your teammates maneuver into better positions. An
immediate and direct offensive attack is great, but when nothing is available, use your
head and wheels and be patient while your supporting players set up.
- read, react, and anticipate to best make use of a current situation and to create
additional ones. This involves all offensive players knowing the tendencies of their
teammates as well as learning the opponent's defensive strategies and incorporating this
information into your overall offensive zone strategy. Employing these skills teaches the
offensive team to create their own opportunities as well as to take advantage of the
opposition's weaknesses by attacking specific positions, areas, or players.