Attacking Free Hit Strategy
CRITICAL – Strategies for free hits do not rely on the hitter — they rely on the entire team’s movement off the ball – 90 percent of a field hockey game is played without the ball so, good positioning will increase your success rate in moving the ball up the field.
Free hit rules:
- All opposition players need to be a minimum of 5yds from the ball when the free hit is taken
- If the ball is within the 25-yard area of a goal, it cannot be directly hit into the circle it must first travel five yards – before it can enter the circle.
- NOTE – the ball must move a meter before being played by another teammate.
- All players have to be 5yds from striker for all hits inside 25yd
Quick hit IF you have:
- A runner
- Someone free
- They are not aware
Free Hit Options:
- Hit Wide – spread the ball – your team can pass/move up field.
- Self pass – if:
- You have lots of room
- You have no options and you can move the defender to give you options
- Cut through – use when defense has a high press. Free players should cut in front of the opposing team – this blocks their vision and creates space for the ball to travel through the wall.
- Shielding – Use 2 players to create a passing lane within the defensive wall – their aim is to let the hit travel through the wall to a teammate
- Both players stand in front of and toward the inside of the defensive wall — this is the shield.
- These players face each other. No defender should be between them.
- The hitter hits the ball between the two players who are shielding the defense.
- The shield players do not stop the ball, but rather prevent the defense from stopping it.
- The ball is sent to a player on the forward line.
- Step in Front – stand between the hitter and the defender to enable a touch before the defender.
Set play free hits inside 25yd
- Pass the ball (left or right) for a “run on” and shot (Posts?)
- Pass the ball back so it can be crossed thus switching the point of attack.
- Dribble the ball five yards
- Make a five-yard wall-pass