Soccer Definitions that Begin with the Letter A

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Advantage Clause - A clause in the soccer rules that gives the Referee the discretion to allow play to continue even after a foul has been committed if stopping play would unfairly punish the fouled team (e.g., if the fouled team had a breakaway & might score even after having been fouled). The idea is that the team which committed the foul should not gain an advantage as a result of the foul. (See "Fouls"). Soccer Advantage Clause

Age - A player's "Soccer Age" refers to the age group a player is placed in, such as "Under 8" (also called U8), and can be different for different leagues. "Soccer Age" is usually either based on the Calendar Year or the School Year. Ask your League how they determine "Soccer Age" and what age group your child is in. If the "Soccer Age" is based on the School Year, then it is usually based on how old the player was on the last July 31 (for example, if a player was nine as of July 31, they will stay in the "Under-10" (U10) group until the following July 31, at which time they will move up to the U11 group). Keep in mind that a child who was born toward the end of the Soccer Age group is almost a year younger than children born near the first of the Soccer Age group, and at early ages, the older children are often larger and more physically and mentally advanced. Many leagues will let a player "play up" in an older group, but they usually won't let a player play down in a younger group. Soccer Age

Aggressive Receiving - For young teams and most Rec teams it is very important to teach "Passing to Space" and "Aggressive Receiving". What I mean is that you should use the Dribble Around a Cone & Pass Relay Race Practice Game to teach receivers that they MUST stay alert, on their toes, and stop the pass, no matter how bad it is.... they MUST assume that every pass will be bad, get in front of it, and NOT let it get past them.

Many players seem to believe that a pass is supposed to hit them in the feet, and they will just stand there flat-footed waiting for the ball, and if it doesn't come to them perfectly, they just let it go by and say - "It's not my fault - it was a bad pass". That is the wrong attitude. One of the most important things you can do is teach your players that a pass is NOT supposed to be perfect and that they must stay alert, on their toes, and go to the pass, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, do NOT let the pass get past them - they MUST do their very best to stop the ball. Teach your players that most passes are to "Space" and that the pass is NOT supposed to be perfect.

The reason to teach this is that it is unrealistic to expect most Rec players to be able to make a perfect pass when under pressure... SO, teach your receivers to NOT expect a perfect pass. In fact, teach them to expect a BAD pass and that they MUST be alert and do their very best to stop bad passes. Imagine the benefits of teaching "Aggressive Receiving"!

I suggest you give a special patch to encourage and reward this (pick a color or use a Star or Lightning Bolt). If you can teach this it will make a huge impact on your team's play.

Ideally, your players should be able to both pass to feet and pass to space. But the reality is that young players will have a hard time making accurate passes when under pressure, and so will Rec players. That is a big advantage of teaching this approach and of teaching them to "Pass to Space" - it makes it clear that they shouldn't expect "passes to their feet". The Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race practice game is the best way to teach Aggressive Receiving. Soccer Aggressive Receiving

Air Ball - (aka "Lifted Ball" or "Lofted Ball"). A ball that is in the air. A "chip" pass is an "air ball". A pass should stay on the ground unless the passer intends it to be an "air ball". (See "Chip", "Lofted Drive" & "Hopped Pass"). Soccer Air Ball

Arc - This term most frequently refers to the "Penalty Box Arc", which is the arc at the top of the Penalty Box (see "Penalty Box Arc" and the Field Diagram). There is also a "corner arc" (see the Field Diagram). Soccer Arc

Assist* - Refers to a pass that results in a goal (e.g., "He had 2 assists in the game"). It is very important to encourage assists. One way to do so is by congratulating the player who made the assist in front of the team. Also, the player who scored the goal should always thank his teammate who made the assist. Teach your players to do this & ask the scorer if he thanked his teammate for the assist. (See "Create" & "Deliver The Ball"). Soccer Assist

Assistant Referee - (aka "Linesman"). There are 2 per game, one on each side line, who mainly "call the lines" & offside, but can also report fouls & advise the Referee. On throw-ins, they indicate when the ball is out-of-bounds by pointing the flag in the direction in which the attackers will advance (i.e., toward the goal of the team it is out on). Soccer Assistant Referee

Attack Staller - An attacker who unnecessarily slows down or stalls the attack by making a bad, lazy or selfish decision. Examples include not moving off the ball, holding the ball too long instead of passing it, taking away the opportunity for a fast break by dribbling the ball too long or by passing backwards or sideways instead of forward, and the thoughtless player who too often calls for the ball to be passed backward to him or her when opportunities exist to pass the ball forward. Soccer Attack Staller

Attacking (Key Concept) - (aka "Offense"). When a team has the ball they are generally referred to as "attacking", no matter where the ball is on the field. There are 2 different styles of attacking: a "direct attack" and an "indirect attack". A direct attack tries to move the ball quickly into scoring range by using mostly forward passes, through balls and breakaways. An indirect attack is slower and uses a lot of sideways or backward passes while searching for a weakness in the defense. Unless your team is very skilled and has excellent passing ability a direct attack will work best. (See "Styles of Play" for more details). Creating space is a very important part of attacking. There are 2 different ways to create space. One relies on the ballhandler (i.e., the player "onball") to create opportunities. The other way to create space is by "movement off-the-ball" & relies on movement by players other than the ballhandler (i.e., players "off-the-ball") to create space & to create opportunities. (See "Attacking Plan", "Attacking Third", "Create", "Dribbling", "Go To Goal", "Kick-Off", "Pass To Space", "Shift & Sag", "Strength On The Ball", "Through Ball", "Push Up", "Build An Attack From The Back", "Center The Ball", "Coaching Rules", "Commit The Defender", "Counterattack", "Creating Space", "Cross The Ball", "Defending to Win", "Direct Attack", "Finish", "First Attacker", "Formations", "Goal Kick", "Movement Off-The-Ball", "Possession Style", "Rebound", "Release", "Spread The Field", "Styles of Play", "Support", "Switch The Play", "When to Dribble/When to Pass", "Width In Attack", "Win The Ball".) Soccer Attacking

Attacking Half - The half of the field that contains the other team's goal (the other team's goal is the goal their Goalkeeper defends). See Defensive Half. Soccer Attacking Half

Attacking Plan* - For recreational teams ages 10 and older, it is very important to have a simple and realistic attacking plan that players clearly understand & can execute. For example, a simple attacking plan could be to "clear" the ball away from your "Defending Third", have your forwards be positioned to win the ball, and launch a quick attack. This is not as easy as it sounds. How to achieve this is described at SoccerHelp Premium.

(See "Attacking", "Center The Ball", "Clear", "Counterattack", "Defending Deep", "Finish", "First Attacker", "Formations", "Pass To Space", "Push Up", "Rebound", "Shift & Sag", "Styles of Play", "Support" and "Win The Ball"). Soccer Attacking Plan

Attacking Third - (aka "Final Third"). The 1/3 of the field that contains the other team's goal. This is a term used when discussing tactics & strategy. For example, I don't want my players to dribble a lot in the "Defending Third", but it is okay for them to dribble in the Attacking Third. (However, they should still be looking for a pass or a "Give & Go"). Also, our forwards should aggressively pressure the ball & try to steal it if the other team has it in our "Attacking Third". (See "Defending Third", & "Middle Third" & "When To Dribble/When To Pass"). Soccer Attacking Third

Attacking Tips - See SoccerHelp Premium. Soccer Attacking Tips

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