FIFA Law #8: The Start and Restart of Play: Kick-off occurs at the start of each half, and after each goal scored, and is taken at the center of the halfway line.
In the past, all kick-offs required the ball to move forward, into the other team’s half, before allowing the team in possession to pass back. This often required two teammates standing at half, with one tapping the ball forward and then passing the ball back to the rest of the team. However, as of 2017, FIFA adapted this rule to allow the ball to be played in any direction on a kick-off!
If your team has had a few kick-offs in the game, your opposition will soon be able to read what your team is going to do! The One- Man style kick-off has allowed freedom of play and teams to exercise some creative restarts to keep your opponents guessing. So, you’re at your Gym Soccer game at the start of the half and your team has first possession of the ball. You go to line up at half and you freeze! What do you do? The possibilities are endless!
Outlined below are a few restart strategies to get you started.
- Have your winger (left or right) move quickly forward and immediately pass the ball to them! This will often catch your opponents off guard and allow for a clean shot on net.
- Give and go! Start with 2 players at half (the traditional kick-off set up). Player one passes the ball to player 2 and makes a run through the defending players toward the defending teams net. Player 2 quickly passes the ball back to player 1.
- Go for the Chip! Chip/loft/kick the ball into your opponent’s end (towards the corners). Make sure your winger is ready to run after it and beat the defender to the ball.
- Pass back to your defender (or your goalie)! This is the most common restart strategy. This allows your team to keep possession of the ball and move forward as a unit!
Remember to have fun and don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with some ideas of your own!