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Post by Admin on Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:57 pm

3v3 Basics Guide:

Defending: This is the main part of Haxball that will win you games in those decisive moments than attacking well will, quite simply being able to defend better than the other team gives you the best probability of winning games period, this game is about low risk high reward and probabilities with some mild random factors which once worked out can be exploited. For 3v3 we can break this down in to two sections which are for when the ball is in our corner/last third of our half etc and when the ball is more loose and further out where we are likely to be applying pressure to the other team.

Pressuring:  This is talking in terms of when the ball is in possession by the other team or about to be, this is talking about the way you move towards the other team together as a team to mould the way you want the game to go to favour you and make the other team not do what they want (unless you want that and use it to your advantage).

This will follow a logical process that should be going through your head at all times, which is;
1. Can we block every option that the player on the ball has? If yes DO NOT HESITATE to shut down everything, if no then go to step 2.

2. Can we leave one option open that will favour us over them and force them to do that or get shut down? If yes then (DO NOT HESITATE) we must know which option we will give them and work together (the two outfield players) to make them do that otherwise kicking/tackling in to us. More about this after. If no then go to step 3 which can be situational.

3. Do not pressure and fall back to give us another chance later on, there’s nothing worse than both outfield players going and giving up an easy 2v1 when you can slow down the play to open up a better chance later on, one player can still challenge to force them to do something with the other helping cover to stall time and not give away easy chances for the opposing team but as I said this is situational and one we want to avoid as much as possible.

Step 2 explained further: I said we would want to force the other team to go with the option that we leave open earlier and there are two different routes for this (mind you we should always have the line covered unless they have nobody down the line for some odd reason), due to the opposite goalkeeper most often having the ball who we will be pressuring they will have the option of passing it outside of us or through the middle of us, here is how we use both to our advantage:

1. The middle option; In this we want to cover the outsides so that they will be not useable (down the line and round the top/bottom), obviously we shouldn’t just scandalously leave the middle open but we should highlight it’s the open way to go and know that we can also block that too if we can predict it, i.e. the player more central moves down as they try to pass through. Obviously the main idea here is that the ball goes through the middle and then our goalkeeper can use this to prepare and know where it’s coming from and maybe rush the ball/be in position to pass the ball back through the middle to create a fast counter-attack or just to gain possession and look forward from there.

2. Leaving the outside option open is a great way to stall a game out as it obviously takes longer to pass across the pitch and by that time we should be prepared for whatever they will do, this also give the goalkeeper the option of rushing the ball at the outside as it will be slow to get there and predictable, just as always with care not to screw the angle or get rekt.

Generally the best way to do it is in the last half of our half/defensive corners protect the middle and force them outside to let them play the slower option and defend altogether instead of risking on a chance and leaving a 2v1 by goal. Other than that when the ball is cleared from defence and we push out together to pressure the goalkeeper if it is cleared far enough it’s likely gone past the goalkeeper so whilst he is recovering the ball we can get near to him to force whichever pressure we want on them.
The key is to not hesitate because it leaves both options open meaning that’s worse than just pussying out even! We can pick up on the tendencies of the goalkeeper as to which route they would like to be playing and use that to force them in to using the option least favoured making them play worse.

Defensive corners: This is a place we should never concede from about 99/100 times we have them, straight up if we are conceding too many goals here we are garbage or the other team are wizards of some sort.
Quite simply the optimal way for most of our matches due to teams still not using their goalkeepers properly is to use a loose 2/3-def way of defending;-
1. Goalkeeper takes the corner as they should most often get to the corner first, you can let them spam up the side wall in to you as then you are at the advantage, you shouldn’t really try to spam them down the line as this is quite likely to go off towards the centre of the pitch.

2. The first outfield player back takes over defending the goal by sitting front post, if you beat the goalkeeper to the corner play it as a normal 3-def situation with the goalkeeper staying on the post. The key here is not to run away and switch with the goalkeeper because there is no need.

3. The last player back should go to block the other teams forward in the corner by pushing them down so the goalkeeper can lift the ball and clear easily and then we apply pressure to the opposite goalkeeper if they pick it up with the pass to the other teams forward that was in the corner already being blocked creating better pressure. The key things for this player are: you and first outfield player are interchangeable, it’s not the forward does this the mid does that it’s whoever’s back first or second! You do not always need to block as your goalkeeper might have already been able to get clear of the other teams forward and ready to pass to you, if it seems likely your goalkeeper will win the ball then you don’t need to run back so far. YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER go to block if you are second back and your outfield partner is the one in the corner, go to the goal with your goalkeeper to do a standard 3-def layout.

Defending like this will keep us in a good structure and allows us to counter-attack/pressure well as both outfield players can move out in a straighter line rather than moving more diagonally which of course is slower and creates more gaps in our defence plus confusion.

Attack: Attacking is far more situational but is also something a lot of people struggle with, mostly it comes down to chemistry and experience and even more importantly is that in 3v3 the goalkeeper can be the most defining factor in how well a team’s attack can be. Here are some things to consider:-
1. Goals are usually scored from counter attacks, giving 2v1’s, or good build-up play normally starting from the middle to even defensive corners of the pitch with the goalkeeper being essential.

2. When our goalkeeper has the ball we should try to block the other teams outfield players for a couple of reasons, first it gives our goalkeeper more time on the ball and secondly that it creates a route to pass to and we will most often want the ball to go through the middle as it will expose more gaps in the other teams defence. This will increase our chances of 2v1’s and good build up play meaning more chances of scoring equalling more wins.

3. Build up play or play that will have a good few passes before scoring means that the goalkeeper will have to be open and ready for passes so that instead of just trying to score 2v2/3 we can gain a 2v1 advantage over their goalkeeper. Passing to the goalkeeper to gain advantages or carry on the attack is better than trying to get a wonder pass or half decent chance for the other outfield player as this can completely stop our attack and even give the other team a good chance to counter us. Getting good at this comes from experience and requires the goalkeeper to be confident and for the whole team to know how far to risk it and when to bail out and play it safe, e.g. experience.

4. Playing it safe, normally holding on to the ball until possible and kicking it into the other teams corner or as far away from their keeper as possible, is a good idea sometimes as it creates no chance for the other team to counter attack instantly or get a shitty clear that leads to them scoring due to our team being out of position. The times to play it safe is when there is no chances on attack so it’s best to get it forward, or when we have been defending in our corners for a long period of time rather than trying to do a trick or start build up its best to get it forward to reset our focus and concentration and focus on something else like attacking/pressuring in the middle of the pitch.

5. In their corners of attack we should play creatively but make sure that as the forward in the centre you will need to make the call of tracking back to cover/defend or to stay nearer to the goal to get an easy tap in or keep the ball on attack.

There are a few other more advanced things I can touch on at a later date but let’s focus on these simpler things first, these would include:
1. Drop balls/leaving the ball for another player, when to do them (mainly for GK’s) to create another threat on attack.
2. Different ways to use the blocks to our advantage and play differently.
3. Rotating/covering to keep the pace up and be unpredictable using gaps to our advantage.
4. Other general advice on spamming together/aiming to using tackles to direct the ball etc.
Any questions just post but keep this in mind whilst we play friendlies. We should try to play friendlies as if they were matches (so keep focused for the whole time) and to play matches like they are friendlies we dominated in.
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