Soccer Definitions - B PDF Print E-mail

Back
(aka "Fullback"). See "Fullbacks". In Britain, they sometimes refer to center backs and use the term full-back to mean the right and left backs.

Back Door
(aka "Back Side" or "Weak Side"). See "Back Side" & "Far Post".

Back Heel
Striking the ball with the heel to kick it backward.

Back Pass
Passing the ball backward instead of forward. (See "Reverse Pass").

Back Post
(aka "Far Post"). See "Far Post".

Back Side
(aka Back Door & "Weak Side"). The side of the goal or the side of the Danger Zone that is away from the ball. Attackers will try to quickly "switch the play" to the back side because it is often poorly protected & defenders will have to turn around & reposition in order to defend.

Ball
Soccer balls come in 3 different sizes: 3, 4, & 5. The ball size is shown on the ball. Also, look for a stamp that says either "official size & weight" or "FIFA Approved". Even if a ball is the official weight, some balls are heavier & harder than others. Don't get a ball that is too heavy or hard (some seamless balls are especially hard). Some balls are so hard that it is painful to kick them. If you have a choice, a shiny, waterproof surface is best because it won't absorb water & will last longer. Test the ball to see if it's round & will fly straight by tossing it into the air with a lot of spin on it to see if it wobbles. U-6 & U-8 use a size 3; U-10 & U-12 use a size 4; and U-13 & older use a size 5 ball.

Ballside
Refers to getting between an opponent & the ball (e.g., "John, get ballside"). (See "Goalside").

Ball Watching
Refers to players who only watch the ball & don't know where nearby opponents are. Players must know where nearby opponents are, particularly when defending their own goal, on goal kicks & on corner kicks. Players should know where the ball is, but also where nearby opponents are.

Banana Kick
(aka Bending the Ball, Inswinger & Outswinger). A shot kicked into the air that curves like a "banana". The ball curves because of sidespin. If it curves in, it is called an "inswinger"; if out, it is called an "outswinger". This kick is used a lot on corner kicks, to curve into or away from the goal and to curve around defenders, such as to curve around a wall on a free kick.

Behind the Defense
When an attacker is fast enough to get past the defenders (i.e., except for the goalkeeper) to have a clean shot on goal, he has gotten "behind the defense".

Bend the Ball
See "Banana Kick".

Bicycle Kick
(aka "Scissors Kick"). The spectacular kick you see in photographs where the kicker leaps into the air, falls backward & kicks the ball over his head. Do not teach this. If any other players are near, it is considered dangerous play & a foul can be called.

Blind Side
An area outside the defender's field of vision (e.g., a "Blind Side Run" behind a defender). See "Blind Side Run".

Blind Side Run
When an attacker without the ball (i.e., "off the ball") runs outside a defender's field of vision in order to get open to receive a pass. On a "give & go" the receiver often makes a "blind side run" behind the defender. (See "Give & Go").

Block Tackle
A standing "tackle" made with the inside of the foot. (In soccer, you don't tackle the player, you "tackle" the ball). This is the most basic tackle. It is made head on, using the inside of the foot. It is important to keep the tackling foot low, the ankle firm & the leg stiff. If the tackling foot is too high, the ball may be forced under it; but if it is low, you may be able to pop it over the opponent's foot & thus win the "tackle". (See "Tackle").

Booking
When a yellow or red card is given the Referee takes out his "notebook" (actually a match record card) & writes down the player's name & number. When he does this he "books" a player & the player has been "booked". (See "Cards").

Boom Ball
A slang derogatory term referring to when the ball is frequently kicked in the air toward the other teams goal. This occurs by youth teams who have no attacking plan but it can also be an intentional and effective tactic with forwards stationed in position to win long "over-the-top" balls. You see a certain amount of "Boom Ball" in most professional leagues and it is used extensively by some successful professional teams. For example, in 2001 this long over-the-top tactic was used by Celtic, which had a secure lead at year end in the Scottish Premier League. It is easy to criticize teams for playing Boom Ball, when in fact most professional and select teams "boom" their goal kicks and long corners and punt their goalie distributions rather than controlling the ball and building from the back, and many teams FB's "boom" the ball to clear it when they are under pressure. I think it is fair to define "Boom Ball" as when the ball is kicked long without any real purpose or strategy and when the kicker's team has only a 50/50 chance or less to win the ball. However, if you send the ball forward as part of an attacking strategy, or when under pressure in the Defending Third, or when your team has a better than 50/50 chance of winning the ball, is isn't "Boom Ball". "Boom Ball" is very different from "Kick & Run". (See "Styles of Play", "Kick & Run", and "Attacking").

Boot
Two meanings:
1st The British term for a soccer shoe.
2nd To kick the ball (i.e., to "boot" the ball).

Box
"In the Box" usually refers to the Penalty Box. The "18" also refers to being inside the Penalty Box (e.g., "inside the 18"). (See "Penalty Box").

Breakaway
A fast break where one or more attackers get behind the defenders so that only the other team's goalkeeper is between them & the goal. Breakaway's often happen because a defense is "pushed up" & "flat" (i.e., has no "depth"), which makes it vulnerable to "through balls". The "Sweepers" job (if you use a Sweeper) is to stop breakaways by kicking the ball out of bounds. In recreational soccer, a good strategy for stopping the other team's fast break is to teach your FB's to kick the ball out of bounds. This will give your FB's & MF's time to "sag" back to defend their goal. A "sagging" defense with "depth" prevents breakaways by having multiple layers of defenders in position to slow down the attack. On 1 vs. 1 breakaways, the defending goalkeeper should come out of the goal toward the ball in order to reduce the shooting angle. He should do this when the shooter gets within shooting range & once he starts he must run quickly toward the shooter & cannot stop or turn back; if he does, the shooter will probably score. (See "Counterattack", "Formations" (3-2-2-3), "Push Up", "Styles of Play", "Through Ball", "Sweeper", "Last Defender", "Zone Defense" & "Goalkeeper").

Build an attack from the back
A controlled attack starting with the FB's who pass to the MF's, who pass to the F's. The phrase is also used in a more general way to refer to FB's being involved in the attack. This is very difficult and unrealistic for most youth recreational teams. It only works if your FB's have very good ball skills. If the other team's forwards are better than your FB's, it will probably not work. If you turn over the ball near your goal the other team may score. If your FB's are under pressure, it is advisable for them to "clear" the ball away from your goal. (See "Attacking", "Attacking Plan" and "Clear").

 
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