Author Topic: Clearing the ball...  (Read 9675 times)

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Offline jinhopark

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Clearing the ball...
« on: March 04, 2010, 08:35:13 PM »
I occassionally play a local DYP tourney in my area...  Lot's of great players randomly show up to this bi-monthly event (quite a few pro-masters, pro, semi-pro, etc...)

In any event I am by far the worst player there, and as nice as everyone is I know deep, deep down inside they must cringe when they draw me as a partner.  I am a stronger front player than a back player, but my 5 bar is no where near as good as any partner than I could draw so by default I am always left to playing the goalie role.

I am getting better at blocking, but then I am left with trying to clear the ball.  In actuality the reason I am getting better at blocking is because I have to do it so much because I can't clear it well (sort of a self fulfilling prophecy).  I'll usually get stuffed at the 3, and if I get past the 3 then I rarely ever pass the 5.  It is pretty pitiful and games go agonizingly long because of this (me and whoever I partner with are always the last ones to finish our games).

Anyways enough about my horrid game.  Not sure why, but I was running out of ways to try and clear the ball so I decided to front pin on the 2 man and do a roll over from there...  It actually worked pretty decently and I was a lot more successful at clearing the ball.  Never scored from back there, but I came closer than I ever have before.  I noticed that no one else clears the ball with a roll over, and when ever I did it I kind of felt a weird vibe like, "what the heck is this rookie doing?" - followed by what I think were a few eye rolls, and mind you everyone I play with is much too nice to say anything directly to me or discourage me from trying something out...which is both good and bad.  So I guess my question is, is it "uncool" or "corny" to clear the ball from back there with a roll over???  Or is it just an ineffective way to clear the ball???
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 12:05:51 PM by jinhopark »

Offline ComebackKid

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 10:29:15 AM »
Ok, I don't have a lot of time now, but I'll post more later. 1st things 1st. When you get possession of the ball, get a quick set-up. Which ever is your best shot, pull or push, you need to practice shooting short, medium, and long angles from setting up on the wall and moving the ball 1" or less. Then practice the same, moving the ball far enough to go around the middle man on the oposing forwards 3 bar when it is on the wall. That gives you 6 options. Then start practicing passes, either down the wall, or the lane just over a mans width just off the wall so that if the oposing forwards man is on the wall, the ball goes between his first 2 men on the 5 row. Now you have 7 options. Then add in a pass to your forwards middle man on the wall, either an angle from the 1" shot, or pull/push to the near side of the goal and square it off to hit it straight down to your forwards middle man. Now you have 9 options. Now practice these options on different counts. If it takes you 5 seconds to set-up, you have 9 seconds to execute your shot or pass. Now you have 81 options. When you get all this accomplished, learn a push or pull kick and some banks from the set position and on the roll. Hope this helps.

Offline mudfarmer

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 11:07:37 PM »
if it kept you from getting stuffed i'd say it was effective for the moment.can't really offer any advice but i know how you feel. i played my first no2pro dyp in dallas wed nite and had the luck of having to defend against a pro-master in both rounds. i didn't get stuffed but i didn't score any shots either. i fired off a couple that got me a "nice try", but really not much made it past the 5 man. it was still fun to watch the big boys have passing practice,lol.

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2010, 11:42:46 PM »
Except for a few very advanced players who can pass from a rollover grip, clearing only with a rollover immediately cuts down your opponents required duties, whether they're trying to stuff you, keep the ball in your half, or just making sure no freebie points get scored.

The potential of passing instead of always just shooting or clearing, specifically along the walls with a brushdown or brushup angle (whether you pushed, pulled or kicked the ball) is one of the major worries of the D.  It's like defending a basketball team that you know will never drive to the basket, or perhaps will never shoot 3pointers.  Makes the job that much easier.

If you're beginning to block well and retaining possession more and more, with less rebounds.. then you've already done your primary duty as a goalkeeper.  Obviously, when you clear with a rollover, they know that you'll release the ball within the roll area of the 2bar figure you're pinning with.  Makes the D simple, unless you can bank at will from a rollover pin at the 2bar.

Learn to pass and clear along the sides... gives your forward a better chance to catch. Which means keep away from shooting in front of your goal.  Pushes, pulls, and moving releases from shuffling the ball from end to end should be relatively easy to practice, for both clearing and then shooting.

Offline bstone

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2010, 02:08:43 AM »
There's no wrong way to play. It's only wrong if you lose.

Offline jinhopark

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2010, 10:25:03 AM »
There's no wrong way to play. It's only wrong if you lose.

Unfortunately I lose quite a bit...mind you the good and the bad about playing in my local DYP is that I get to play (mostly watch though since I get knocked out the first round every time) against Spredeman, Amedio Gilmore, John Merkel, Don Hines, Terry Moore, Frank "Kronko" and many other great players.  The skill spread is me = rookie, then it jumps up to like semi-pro thru promaster...  The DYP is basically a $10 "donation" into the pot from me, which everyone but my partner will appreciate...I sort of consider it a bargain to watch and learn from these great players, and other than the occassional argument between the pros of what I should work on (which is pretty much everything)...most are willing to take the time to teach me something new.  Just a little depressing sometimes because the skill gap between me and the next worst player is pretty huge.

Well everyone keeps telling me that the only way to get better is to play better players and to practice, practice and then practice some more.

ComebackKid, I like everything you are saying and I'm waiting to hear more details about your ball clearing techniques.

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 11:45:49 AM »
So, you're the runt of the litter, and still you're doing well enough to start blocking some shots while retaining their posession.

It would be WRONG for you to try to score, since your forward is most probably better, perhaps even a PM.  So it would be best for you to clear or pass.  A clear or shot that falls in can only be icing for you.

To try to score through the middle with most prolly a SP-Pro or better combination defending against you, it would then be WRONG, and pretty stupid to try to out pull, out push or power a shot through the defense, especially if they teamzone all open sprays and square shots from the back.  Not to mention the defending forward is faster, more alert, and more experienced in trapping any normal on-goal shots from you.

Like I said, in your environment, (Q's right? perhaps another Chi-town area venue...) you jez block, don't give up rebounds, and practice clearing on down and up brushes or even simple passes. Whomever your forward is, he or she's prolly quite good enough to catch lane or wall brushdown passes.  Even stick passes off the wall.

Defenders can block these too, but they have to focus on the primary mission of stopping all stupid-@ss straight shots on goal, the 5 basic "natural" release points from the goal area, plus your basic goalkeeper shots (pull, push, kick palm rolls).  They can't be concentrating on blocking simple wall clears and passes from your goal area ... so learn to clear and pass along the walls.  Stuff blocks on your wall and lane passes also safely come back to your wall, NOT INTO YOUR GOAL.

Quote
*note The five "natural" release points are:

1 & 2 : the area and lane where the goalkeeper can easily release an ongoal spray pull or push after setting the ball between the big goalbox and the wall.
3 & 4 : the release lanes (where the ball is fired) starting between the last two goal area dots on either side for squares or slight sprays.
5: the area around the big central goal dot, where longs are shot, as well as a lot of tick tack and push/pull kicks.

These are the quickset and set shot lanes that most good forwards are watching for.  Especially when goalkeepers try to speed up the game with natural quicksets.  Whatever a good active defensive forward may do with the 5bar, depending on the 5bar lanes he/she wants to leave for the defensive goalkeeper to cover, a good shuffle back & forth to continuously cover these points or a wait and jump to these (baiting) with the 3bar is common in most 2player zone D's.

As described, allmost anyone you draw is prolly a higher percentage scorer than you, so it would be WRONG (in a match, not for pickups!) for you to not just block, retain the ball and clear or pass to your forward.  Jez lak in football or basketball.

Offline jinhopark

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 10:49:23 AM »
Yup I be the runt at Q's...

Yeah I am doing better blocking, retaining possessions and keeping an occassional slop ball here and there.  I don't feel the most comfortable playing goalie yet.  Keeping in mind before playing at this DYP I have only played up front in bar-room hack situations...in basketball this is sort of like being 6' 3" - 6' 4" and playing center at the playground growing up and in high school, then skipping college and then going straight to the NBA and now being asked to play point guard...and trust me when I say that I don't have Kobe or LeBron skills on the foosball table.

At this DYP I go to, there are a lot of great players that play forward, and goalies are in very short supply...I figure (rough guestimate) 1 in 5 prefer to play goalie, and if you are one of those that likes to play goalie (ie Don Hines) people will line up to partner with you at tourneys (provided you are good, and no one is taking numbers in my line).  I still get a high from the sound that the ball makes when it slams against the back of the goal when I play foward...and I haven't reached the point of feeling that same high on defense when I "block" a shot, and that ball on plastic man "clack" or "thud" doesn't quite have the same euphoric sound that the ball on sheet metal does.

I guess I've got to find a way to pump myself up to play the goalie role...and I figured I was doing something wrong back there.  I don't ever have a coordinated pass thing going on, if my partner gets it then it's pure luck.  My partner is probably just thinking, "clear the ball, clear the ball and let me outplay their 5 and advance the ball and score".

It's just baby steps for me at this point...and I just need to keep practicing and to play as much as possible.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 02:11:14 PM by jinhopark »

Offline ComebackKid

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2010, 01:13:27 PM »
Sorry I didn't get back here sooner. I'm old and have forgotten more than I remember. LOL



It would be WRONG for you to try to score, since your forward is most probably better, perhaps even a PM.  So it would be best for you to clear or pass.  A clear or shot that falls in can only be icing for you.

To try to score through the middle with most prolly a SP-Pro or better combination defending against you, it would then be WRONG, and pretty stupid to try to out pull, out push or power a shot through the defense, especially if they teamzone all open sprays and square shots from the back.  Not to mention the defending forward is faster, more alert, and more experienced in trapping any normal on-goal shots from you.

Like I said, in your environment, (Q's right? perhaps another Chi-town area venue...) you jez block, don't give up rebounds, and practice clearing on down and up brushes or even simple passes. Whomever your forward is, he or she's prolly quite good enough to catch lane or wall brushdown passes.  Even stick passes off the wall.

Defenders can block these too, but they have to focus on the primary mission of stopping all stupid-@ss straight shots on goal, the 5 basic "natural" release points from the goal area, plus your basic goalkeeper shots (pull, push, kick palm rolls).  They can't be concentrating on blocking simple wall clears and passes from your goal area ... so learn to clear and pass along the walls.  Stuff blocks on your wall and lane passes also safely come back to your wall, NOT INTO YOUR GOAL.

Quote
*note The five "natural" release points are:

1 & 2 : the area and lane where the goalkeeper can easily release an ongoal spray pull or push after setting the ball between the big goalbox and the wall.
3 & 4 : the release lanes (where the ball is fired) starting between the last two goal area dots on either side for squares or slight sprays.
5: the area around the big central goal dot, where longs are shot, as well as a lot of tick tack and push/pull kicks.

These are the quickset and set shot lanes that most good forwards are watching for.  Especially when goalkeepers try to speed up the game with natural quicksets.  Whatever a good active defensive forward may do with the 5bar, depending on the 5bar lanes he/she wants to leave for the defensive goalkeeper to cover, a good shuffle back & forth to continuously cover these points or a wait and jump to these (baiting) with the 3bar is common in most 2player zone D's.

As described, allmost anyone you draw is prolly a higher percentage scorer than you, so it would be WRONG (in a match, not for pickups!) for you to not just block, retain the ball and clear or pass to your forward.  Jez lak in football or basketball.

 This is good stuff, but it is also one persons opinion. I agree that it would be wrong for you to try to score every time you get the ball, but, I see it this way. If all you do is try to clear and pass down the sides and on the wall, and that's all you try, then a good defensive forward will just take the ball from you time after time which will do nothing but frustrate and put a lot more pressure on your forward. If on the other hand, you are very unpredictable, even a slow shot, timed right can clear and/or score. Killah is right about the zones. Down in Houston we have a couple of pretty good shooting goalies. One of the best is someone you may not have heard of, but I think you have heard of his brother. Shawn McMillin can flat light it up. He shoots every bit as good as Tracy, but even he has trouble against a good zone forward defender. Everything I wrote in my first post came from Tracy McMillin and Scott King. Both Pro Masters, and the former is the best shooting goalie in the world. IMHO I guess I may have given you to much to work on, so start with the first part,

1st things 1st. When you get possession of the ball, get a quick set-up. Which ever is your best shot, pull or push, you need to practice shooting short, medium, and long angles from setting up on the wall and moving the ball 1" or less.
 
Now let me go into a little more detail. If the oposing forward is giving you that 1" hole, in front of, or behind his closest man on the 3 rod. Learn that 1" pull or push and be able to acurately hit it in the short, middle, or long side of the goal, all from the same release point, 1" or less from where the ball is set at. Now what you have to do is figure out which hole will be left by the forwards 5 man. He may show you a hole then take it away, or he may show a hole and dare you to hit it. If you get acurate so you can hit the ball where you want to, it becomes a game of chess. Now as FoozKillah said add in the straight down lane, and the brush. You now have 5 options. If you get a quick set, 5 sec. or less, you have 9 seconds to advance the ball, that's 45 options.
In order to pass effectively, there are 3 things that have to take place.

1st  At HOME set up the oposing defence and put your forwards 3 man on the wall, Now practice passing. Not for 5 min, then on to something else. Practice your pass for 15 minutes. Then before you move on to the next pass to practice, successfully complete 10 in a row. Do this with each pass, and change the defence you are shooting against from time to time. Also do the same practice pattern with your shots on-goal. But remember what Killah said, try to keep from shooting in front of your own goal, shooting from the sides you are much less likely to get stuffed. Another BIG thing to remember is that the set-up is part of the plan. You MUST practice this too. Use each practice ball as a posesion, you have 15 seconds to start play and execute a pass or shot.
2nd  You must learn to time the pass so that you don't hit it to hard. You don't want to hit it to soft either, it needs to be a speed quick enough to get through a hole in the defense, but also a speed that is easily catchable for your forward.
3rd    BEFORE you start playing matches, tell your forward where you are comfortable passing the ball. If you are in your comfort zone you will be much more successful.
Give me an update on how you are progressing and I will give you more HOME WORK!

Offline willhawkes

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 11:29:27 PM »
The five natural release points is really interesting...

Offline ottawafoos

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2010, 10:13:54 AM »
I would ask the pros for tips to clear the ball.  Ask them to help you develop a series - either pull or push.

Consider yourself lucky to be in the position you are in with all of the top players around you.  You'll only be as good as your best opponent.  Where I am from that is a good SP.

So keep at it, but I would drop trying to do a roll over from the back.

Offline ComebackKid

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2010, 12:57:58 PM »
I would ask the pros for tips to clear the ball.  Ask them to help you develop a series - either pull or push.

Consider yourself lucky to be in the position you are in with all of the top players around you.  You'll only be as good as your best opponent.  Where I am from that is a good SP.
So keep at it, but I would drop trying to do a roll over from the back.

Everything I posted was from Pro Masters. If he practices these things, his  game will improve by leaps and bounds.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 12:59:29 PM by ComebackKid »

Offline foosdragon

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2010, 01:28:54 PM »
jinho, I feel your pain. I've been away from foos for 20+ years, and trying to get back into it has been a love/hate relationship (I love the game, but people hate to draw me as a partner). It makes you want to just play singles so that you don't feel like a burden to someone. All the practice in the world isn't going to get me back into tournament shape if it's done at home by myself (and my wife, bless her heart, doesn't have the passion for the game to take too many practice sessions). Bar hacking is about the only "competitive" atmosphere to feel comfortable in because it's just 75 cents that someone is gambling versus an entree fee for a DYP. I really thought I would be able to get back in it, but with the eyesight deteriorating, the ability to catch the ball consistently is going too. I'm just going to sell my table and move on with my life...

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2010, 10:53:35 PM »
jinho, I feel your pain. I've been away from foos for 20+ years, and trying to get back into it has been a love/hate relationship (I love the game, but people hate to draw me as a partner). It makes you want to just play singles so that you don't feel like a burden to someone.

My, my.... you sound a bit down... did you ever ask those you play with for any kind of pointers and whatever kind of system they use for playing D?  They consistently shun you as a partner?  What kind of foos group are you playing in? There's usually one or more individuals who will more than help you improve or restore your game.  You just have to accept that you're a beginner again after 20 years.  Any attitude from you at your level and yes, they would shun you.

Offline foozkillah

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Re: Clearing the ball...
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2010, 10:54:56 PM »
All the practice in the world isn't going to get me back into tournament shape if it's done at home by myself (and my wife, bless her heart, doesn't have the passion for the game to take too many practice sessions).

Have you downloaded or even viewed free foos vids?  There are literally thousands of them on the Internet, and some are even instructional! Live practice and pickups are always better, but you can get a better idea of how pros and promasters both shoot and defend.  Have you tried whatever D they have in those vids?  You couldn't find one you were comfortable with, out of all the dozens upon dozens of styles and examples?  You got a table and never bought or borrowed any vids of pros doing it the right way?  And noone will come and play with you at your home?