Invasion games are games in which the aim is to invade an opponent’s territory and score a goal or point.
These are typically fast-paced games that need teamwork in order to control the ball, keep possession, move into a scoring position, and prevent the opposition from scoring. Teams share the same playing area as they attempt to both score and prevent the other team from scoring.
Chasing or Shadowing
It is when the taggers track and chase down the runners. It involves anticipating, shadowing, and outwitting the runners.
- The tagger watches the runner, tries to anticipate their movements, and moves to cut down the space, perhaps by trying to manipulate the direction of the runners and tag them.
- They could run diagonally to intercept the runner or side-slip to a corner with arms outstretched.
It is when the runners outwit the taggers using quick, deceptive movements. It is more than just running and dodging skills.
- Runners evade the taggers by using quick, deceptive movements (often stop-start or changing direction): facing the tagger, side-slipping, side-stepping, or start-stopping.
Shepherding or cornering
It is when the tagger moves the runner into a corner.
- The tagger traps the runner in a corner so that they can quickly move in to make the tag.
Moving into space
It is when the runners try to move into free space past the taggers to avoid being tagged.
- The runner moves away from the tagger into open spaces.
- They avoid being clustered with other runners so that they have options to escape in different directions.
Using others as a screen
It is when the runners use other runners to hide behind so the taggers can’t tag them.
- Runners use other runners to hide behind or block so that the taggers have to run around them
Teamwork (communicating and cooperating)
It is when the taggers communicate, plan, and implement a joint attack to shepherd and corner a runner.
- The taggers work as a team to corner a runner as opposed to working individually.
Tag games are games in which two or more players chase other players in an attempt to ‘tag’ them and score a point.
The skills learnt in tag games develop to become important in many invasion games. The important outcome is being able to read the opposition.
It is working as a team, with roles and responsibilities.
It involves planning together and playing together to be successful.
It is deciding on team strategies and playing tactically as a team, using all the players’ strengths
- The players work together as a team to achieve success, whether on attack or in defence.
- They take up positions, develop supporting positional play, move into field positions to receive the ball, build an attack with team-mates, or set up a team-mate to score.
- The team supports a ball-carrier by moving into different spaces to create multiple passing options for the ball-carrier.
It is passing, running with the ball, or holding the ball
- The attacking players hold possession, which means they think before acting. They may hold and wait for support, run into a safer place with the ball, pass to another player who is in space, or support a ball-carrier.
- They could move the ball backwards or sideways between players before going forward.
- It could also mean that support players move into a position and call to receive a pass.
- Creating and moving into space. It is making space and using it to build an attack, including moving or passing laterally or backwards as well as forwards.
Creating and moving into space
It is making space and using it to build an attack, including moving or passing laterally or backwards as well as forwards.
- Players recognise space and move into it to receive the ball. They call for the ball or indicate where they are moving to, using pointing or other gestures, such as a nod of the head.
- They create space by keeping the defender behind them away from the open area.
- They call then move into space to receive the ball.
- Players often pass the ball to space rather than directly to the receiver
Supporting the ball-carrier
It is giving the ball-carrier passing and running options.
- Supporting players move into space around the ball-carrier to offer passing or running options. Options include passing backwards, sideways, or forwards.
It is playing in a position that contributes to the success of the team.
- The players stay in position and know what to do in that position.
- They use all the players in their various positions, often passing backwards or sideways until an opportunity arises to move forwards.
- Players communicate and move according to their position. For example, wings will stay in their position most of the time to ensure that there is a wide passing option.
- If one player moves out of position, another player moves to fill the gap until the normal pattern re-emerges.
Controlling the pace
It is being patient and controlling the speed of the game. Pace and patience go hand in hand.
- For beginners, this means slowing down and thinking before acting to control the nature of play. Teams build patterns of attack over time rather than rushing head first into it.
- In advanced games, it means speeding up to put more pressure on the opposition.
Attaching and defending
It is attacking and penetrating the defence or stopping the attack.
- The players break through the defensive line or, conversely, stop the attackers from breaking through.
- They use attacking and defending skills that involve strategic and tactical patterns of play.
- Players use a variety of tactics, including skills that allow them to break through a defence by dribbling through at speed, side-stepping, or dodging through a defence individually.
- At other times, players work together to employ game strategies and tactics to beat the defence. These are often game-specific and include: drawing and passing, passing over a defender or through the defence line, using a screen to block a defender, running at different angles, and so on.
- The defenders use one-on-one defence, half-court or zone defence, front mark or back mark, depending on the game situation.
It is putting pressure on the attack or the defence.
- Experienced players mark their opposite closely. They will know when to hold back, when to attack or when to intercept. This can be seen in a player’s ‘game sense’, that is, how they understand the game context and mark their opponent in a game.
- When team members apply pressure together, it causes a breakdown in the other team’s pattern and creates the opportunity for a turnover.