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The Futsal 3-1 System Of Play - See Futsal 1-2-1 System Below
Small sided soccer training games played in small areas have been played worldwide under many different names for over a century. These games evolved from static games with players assigned positions they couldn't leave to the modern game of Futsal with dynamic player exchanges.
Static 3-1 System of Play
The 3-1 system, with 3 defenders and 1 attacker, can be played as a static system (see below) with all players playing in the same positions all of the time. A 3-1 static system makes things very easy for opponents because they only have to defend the same players in the same positions for the entire game.
Dynamic 3-1 System of Play
Starting in the 1950's the static 3-1 system started to evolve into today's modern dynamic 3-1 system of play with constant player movement and exchanging of positions that forces opponents to have to defend up to 24 different dynamic attacking combinations of attacking players exchanging positions.
In dynamic 3-1 system features 2, 3 and 4 player exchanges designed to create attacking spaces and opportunities to score. If the goalkeeper joins the attack it becomes a dynamic 3-2 attacking system with over 100 different dynamic combinations of attacking players to defend against.
Dynamic Futsal systems are an opponent's worst nightmare because, as defenders, they must all instantly work together without any errors and correctly anticipate:
The dynamic 3-1 and 4-0 systems in Futsal have become so successful some national and professional teams in Europe and Latin America have used a dynamic 4-6 attacking system (4 defenders - 6 midfielders and/or strikers) in their 11-a-side soccer games. For example, in Euro 2012 Spain played a 4-6 system successful against most of their opponents.
In a dynamic 4-6 attacking system 2, 3, 4, 5 and in theory as many as 6 attacking players dynamically exchange positions with each other to create open spaces and opportunities to score. And their opponents are forced to defend against many of the 720 possible attacking combinations of 2 to 6 players exchanging positions in the run of play.
Futsal 3-1 System Positions of Play
In the Futsal 3-1 System there are 3 defenders and 1 attacker. The Center Defender usually plays slightly behind the outside defenders. The outside or lateral defenders play on each side of the Center Defender. The single Attacker (also know as the Striker, Forward, Point or Pivot) moves in any direction that creates space and opportunities for their team to score.
In the dynamic Futsal 3-1 System all players, including the Goalkeeper when the team needs to score, attack when their team has the ball and defend when their opponent's have possession of the ball. All players also freely exchange positions with their teammates to fool opponents, create spaces and generate shots on goal.
In training, cones can be placed 2 meters in from the sideline to create a lateral line for training. This creates a wide center area that is 70% to 80% of the width of the court. In practices and training games left and right side players are taught to play outside the cones on the attack and to use the space in the middle of the court to create spaces for attacks and shots on their opponent's goal.
In Soccer and Futsal practices and training games adding an extra line with cones or in a different color of paint creates narrow outside lateral lanes that help players learn to play wide and to use the space in the middle of the field as the area for creating space and shots on goal.
Position names vary by language, country, system of play, player experience and in some cases by player personality. If all 4 players are slow to come back to defend they may be called center defender, left defender, right defender and attacking defender to remind players of their roles when their team does not have the ball.
The Futsal 1-2-1 System of Play
The 1-2-1 System is the same basic system as the 3-1 with the same basic movement patterns except the outside defenders are assigned outside midfield positions to play. They still go forward on attack and come back to defend on defense.
The advantages of the 1-2-1 are:
The advantages of the 3-1 are:
Futsal 3-1 - 24 Player Exchanges