Passing and Distributing the Ball

How to pass the ball

Time and pressure

Before receiving the ball, you should be aware of how much pressure there is on you. If there is more than one defender around, be prepared to lay the ball off right away. Try to decide where you are going to pass in advance, especially when you are marked and don’t have time to trap the ball. You should always be looking around for passing options, even when you don’t have the ball.

Nature of the pass

Passing back preserves possession and slows down the game. It is considered a “defensive” pass. Attacking passes on the other hand give your team an offensive advantage. Typically when in your own half, you want to make safe, early passes. In your opponent’s half, passing is more about improvisation and moving the ball quickly.

Different types of passes

Passing to the feet

Passing to the feet of a teammate is useful in close quarters. When your teammate is marked, the ball should be directed to his foot that is farther away from the marker. When the pass is slow, the receiving player needs to check back to the ball, especially if he is being marked.

Passing into space

Passing the ball into space increases the speed of the game. If you see a teammate running, always look for open space in front of him where the ball can be played.

Wall pass

One player passes to his teammate who returns the ball with a single touch to the space in front of the first player. The first player should start running into space immediately, before his teammate has even received the pass. A lot of opportunities for the wall pass happen on the flanks as the ball is played inside and out.


Turnovers are plays where one attacker leaves the ball to another. Often, turnovers involve shielding the ball. For example, the attacker with the ball will push off his marker just to clear space for a teammate to run in and shoot.

Updated: July 1, 2016
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