the best laid plans of mice, men and tigers….can go awry
SOMETHING FOR THE SPRING SIR?…
something to look forward to….
SWEEPER / KEEPER…an alternative form of walking football
1.Every aspect of normal walking football apply in terms of non-contact and not running. Kick-in’s and corners, indirect free kicks (wait for the whistle) , height restrictions etc. At Denton Three team runs equals a penalty etc.
2.The game is meant to reduce the power element and replace it with precision and more awareness of positional play. To remove the urge to shoot for goal with maximum power at every opportunity.
3.There is no need of a goalkeeper – often the most injury prone position on the pitch for the normal game.
4.Ideally the format is five versus five or four versus four. Three v three is possible but can be hard work. Reduce pitch sizes accordingly
5. D’s are marked out at either end in front of the miniature goals used. These are about 20% larger than usual for the regular game. A good guide is seven good steps from the goal line to the apex of the semi-circle and about five steps from each post. Use at least a dozen flat markers to denote the ‘D’ area.
6.Each team nominates their sweeper/keeper and informs the Referee. Henceforth known as the SK. The SK will have primarily a defensive role. But can get forward if he decides to. Nominations can be changed during the course of a match with the consent of the Referee.
7.The SK is the only player who can legally enter the ‘D’ at his teams end. To so he MUST follow the ball in and exit within a reasonable time of approximately thirty seconds. He must remain outside the ‘D’ during open play. However if he is under pressure from attackers he can kick the ball into the area and follow it in to relieve that pressure. Another player can pass the ball into the ‘D’ for retrieval by the SK. When exiting the ‘D’ the SK can either walk the ball out OR pass it out to a teammate and then exit. The SK cannot stand in the area trying to block the route to goal and can NOT use his hands at any time when the ball is in play.
8.If the SK enters the ‘D’ before the ball does then a penalty is awarded to the opposition. This also applies if an attacking player enters the ‘D’ while attempting to gain an advantage. Momentum will mitigate in the Referee’s discretion to award a penalty. Any handball offence that blocks an attempt on goal will result in a penalty award to the opposition.
9.In the case of the penalty kick this is taken from the half way line into an unguarded mini-goal. All players must be behind the ball in the half of the team taking the penalty. The ball must be allowed to run it’s full course and when it stops, either in the goal, behind the line or falling short play is restarted either from a kick off in the case of a goal or from the defending teams SK from within their area.
10. On emergin from his area the SK can only score after the ball has been played by another player.
11. A deflected goal directly from a goal kick or take out by the SK is not allowed and a dead ball ( goal clearance) ) is awarded to the opposing team.
Summing up Sweeper /Keeper
A more technical game than regular walking football especially suited to older players and younger ones seeking to improve their passing skills. Players must seek to find a channel to goal which they can take advantage of. Inter passing movement can open up these channels leaving the mini goals vulnerable to an attempted strike. Players can shoot, but the level of accuracy required from distance usually favours a stroked ball . A medium to long range pass. There is no restriction on where the ball is struck from and if a channel is seen from much further back then a more powerful ‘shot’ will be needed and these can succeed with some spectacular results.
The intention of the game is to improve passing precision and movement. There seems to be much fewer cases of running and contact has been low. Scoreline’s are often close. Some players master the SK role very quickly and perform it well. Making chances hard to come by and posing a creative challenge for attackers.
This game is every bit as demanding on the players and levels of exercise that compare with the normal game are achieved.
A three touch format can be used but we have been playing multi-touch sweeper/keeper with no apparent disadvantage. Perhaps due to the players who have been playing it.
The satisfaction of striking a shot very firmly and seeing rocket into the net is equalled by the placement of a stroked ball from distance finding the target.
Note: Mini goals vary in price. We are lucky and have two sets of the expensive folding ‘SAMBA’ type thanks to various grants we have been awarded over our time as a group. Taking advantage of them in this way was always envisaged. It’s appreciated that regular Goalkeepers will not much like this format BUT the custodian role is specialist and there are few people willing to do it on a regular basis, much fewer who are very good at it. Our group has several ‘keepers who are but it is hoped they will join in the fun of ‘sweeper/keeper’ when they get the chance to do so.
On the way in May: