The Retreating Line

Retreating Line – The Retreating Line is being rolled out in Otago at 9th,10th, 11th, 12th grade levels.

The overall concept of the ‘Retreating Line’ is about helping create players who are confident and capable to develop and prepare for the modern game. It is now down to our coaches to assist players
and teams to be able to develop in this direction.

There are 4 things that we would like to provide further information on.
1. Retreating line distance marked.
2. When the retreating line should be in place.
3. The initial pass from the GK.
4. The Offside line.

The pitch should be split 30% – 40% – 30%, we cannot give exact distances because of the differences in pitch sizes across the Federation, but the retreating line should be slightly closer to the halfway line than the goal line, for some examples.
• 7v7 if the pitch length is 55m then the retreating line should be marked at about 16m
• 9v9 if the pitch length is 70m then the retreating line should be marked at about 21m
*To make things easy for set up if you are unsure of where the 30% is, put the retreating line half way between the Goal line and the half way line. This will assist with more space to ‘play out’ and will bring the ‘offside’ line higher up the pitch.

The retreating line is in place whenever:
• The GK has the ball in his hands
• A Goal Kick
• A Free kick given inside the retreating line:
please note that if it is less than 10 yards from the retreating line then the 10 yard rule is still in place. A Goal kick should be taken from the ground; this goal kick should be taken from about half way between the goal line and the edge of the box, or about 5m from the goal line if there is no penalty box marked. Please do not let goal kicks be taken from the edge of the penalty box.

When the GK passes/throws the ball out to defenders this should be a firm pass or throw, then please get the receiving player to take a touch straight away, in the roll out in other Feds and at SI Rep tournament 2016 too many players were letting the ball roll and roll and some even actually waiting until the ball stops, with players/parents and coaches shouting ‘you can’t come in here until he/she’s taken a touch’ and then kicking it long anyway!
This starts to create a false game and is at a detriment to the overall concept and the player’s development.

7v7 format:
– Offside in the 7v7 format is also the retreating line. This will make the game more realistic and improve with educating our young players.
9v9 format:
– Offside in the 9v9 format is the halfway line, as in 11v11 football.
– As players prepare to paly the 11v11 game it is important they start to understand the concept of offside, the halfway line offside rule will come into play in the 9v9 format.

Coaches are responsible for constantly reminding their players to drop off defensively or to spread out and look to play out and receive a pass from their GK.
When the structure is set up the first pass is guaranteed, [GK to Def] which now allows coaches to work on the ‘2nd pass’ from the defender, this supports coaching – movement of midfielders and
forwards to create receiving angles etc.
In observing the SI Rep tournaments (2016) too many times after the 1st pass, the 2nd pass is long anyway, which means all we have really done is shift the long pass further up the field.
I would encourage coaches to set goals for their teams or targets to really try to become a consistent passing team.

Please note that we are not outlawing the long pass, if it is a pass to a team mate, we understand that it is appropriate at certain times for fast breaks/counter attacks, but as a federation we need to move away from encouraging a long punt down field.
Data collected in NFFs 11th and 12th grade last season showed that 82% of all long balls from the GK went to the opposition and possession had been given away!
In addition to these notes, please also see attached the Retreating Line booklet. This will hopefully assist with the development and understanding of everyone on Gameday and hopefully will take some pressure off your coaches regarding questions of ‘why are we doing this’ etc.
Please remember that we are trying to make a difference to our young players, helping them and NZFdevelop a positive style of play and techniques, obviously, this won’t happen overnight and will takea while for players to be comfortable in possession, but coaches have the responsibility to assistplayers with this development.
Thank you for your continued hard work and best of luck for the coming season.

Football South Retreating Line ‘Support Information’

Retreating Line – 2016, 2017