Two-thirds of all points in soccer are scored from play restarts: Corner kicks, penalty kicks and throw-ins.
Throw-ins occur about ten times more often than either corner kicks or penalty kicks.
A team that is organized and practices "throw-in" plays has a huge advantage over teams that have not.
Fractals and Julian Sets
One of the fascinating things about fractals is how a very simple rule set can generate extremely intricate and complicated outputs.
The throw-in play described below is fairly simple but looks very complicated to the other team.
Mid-fielder throws in. Holds ball in hands in low position. They shout out either the name of a random food or a color. This serves two purposes, it starts the play and is a distraction to the other team....there is only one play.
Two strikers (forwards) are up-field from the throw-in. They should be positioned about 5 yards farther away from the mid-fielder than he/she can throw and spread out by 20 or 30 feet cross field. At the sound of "SPAGHETTI!" or "RED!" they start walking toward the mid-fielder. They should be hollering "I'm open. Throw it to me!" The strikers should be synchronizing their speed so they stay even with each other as they move toward the mid-fielder. Ideally, the defenders will follow the strikers.
One eludes defenders with changes of speed and/or changes of direction. This play requires that the strikers do both.
The mid-fielder is running this play. He/she "turns" them when they lift the ball. The mid-fielder should not turn them until they are within spitting distance. The strikers then spin 180 and sprint toward the goal or up the sideline.
At the same time, a stopper will accelerate up the sideline from behind the mid-fielder.
The mid-fielder must be able to throw the ball in front of one of the strikers. There is no off-sides penalty on a throw-in.
If that does not work out, the mid-fielder can drop the ball in front of the stopper. The stopper can either cross the field (where a mid-fielder is waiting), loft it between the opposing keeper and the strikers or dribble the ball up the side of the field. These options are listed in order of preference.
- The mid-fielder runs the play. They start it. They control when the strikers pivot and accelerate.
- The mid-fielder must know how far they can throw the ball. Practice, practice, practice. Better too soon than too late.
- The strikers must coordinate and distract
- The stopper must be positioned, and ready to clean up any messes
- On field mid-fielders must be ready to receive a cross from the stopper.