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To man mark or zone?

My Girls team I coach get caught a lot between man marking and zonal marking in the 23 yard area and sometimes end up with half the team doing one and the rest the other. Suggestions on the ideal defensive set up inside the 23?

I would suggest everyone marks but 3. But it depends on the situation. One person is outside the 23 looking for the break. One is the sweeper who will clear up any crash ball. One will look to go to the person taking the free hit / self pass and everyone else should be man marking. Just my take. Hope your girls team get better! Al

We work with 2 'sweepers' - one behind the defence (organising, and providing a last line of defence), and one in front of the defence (to go toward the ball carrier, put pressure on the play, etc.) We then have 2 man marking defenders for the opposition's 2 forwards (or 3 if they play 3 up front), and then our midfielders drop back with their players...

Well its depend on the situation, But your 1st battery play a very important role with the required distance and try to cut the passing line with the help of communication gave only 2 options to ball carrier 1st play in sides (corners) or Back pass if ball carrier try to creat somthing then 1st battrey ready to face and approch her in sides. 2nd battery must be at frontal marking all the time with banding position. 3rd battery didn't gave a chance to create a space in danger zone distance is very important.If ball goes in sides then generate a group defense in corners and cut all passing line of the ball carrier and put pressure as soon as you can.{Points} All players must be pro active and expecting a ball.

I would agree with Alastair. When the opposition are in possession inside our 23 I'd want the majority of players man-marking. A lot of my girls play netball and so are very good at marking nice and tight. I've started shouting 'Netball!' to remind them how to mark when we're under pressure. The problem is that in netball they never leave their player's side, regardless of who has possession. To deal with this my other command from the sideline is 'Hockey!' for when I want zonal marking. Although this somtimes results in girls waiting for the command, they are starting to get the hang of when/where the ball/opposition are dangerous, and therefore what defensive tactics they should be using. Hope this helps.

While saying a difference between man-marking and zone-marking, it purely depends upon the situation and class of playing eleven. Man marking certainly mad hockey more defensive but when opponent team got ball in 23 yard area the mostly likely choice would be man-marking but zone-marking played a role in counter attacking mode.

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