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Strategy for 4 on 4 roller hockey league?

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07-21-2010, 01:15 PM
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Strategy for 4 on 4 roller hockey league?

Hello, I currently play in a casual but fairly competitive roller hockey league. The rink itself is NOT the same size as a full hockey rink. I'd say it's 2/3 the length and width. The league is 4 on 4 so we just do 2 dmen and 2 offense. There is also no offside which is kinda cool.

For the forecheck we just do one man on the puck, the second forward trying to cut off the first pass, and the D men on their sides around half-ice (or covering a guy if he is pinching up).

In terms of D coverage, would man on man be best? Or should it be some other sort of strategy? Or what about breaking it out? No teams really have any sorts of strategies so I feel like if I can get my team all on the same page we could do pretty well. Any ideas?

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07-21-2010, 02:40 PM
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I'm by no means an expert strategist, but here are some things my team did when we played (4v4 full length roller)

If your D-man has the puck and is being pressured by an opponent who is forechecking him, make sure the forwards skate towards the puck carrier. This gives the D-man an easier play.

Good teams do a lot of rotating back, with drop passes to forwards who are coming with speed. This allows the skater to gain speed into the zone.

Yeah, I don't have much to add. I'll be interested in seeing what the replies to this thread are.

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07-21-2010, 02:49 PM
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Not the best strat but my friends and I will rent out a roller rink for 2 hours and will usually get 10 guys and play 3 v 3 subs.

We play 1 Defender and 2 Forwards.

We had our defender at half and the two wingers skate full speed toward the net in sort of a J pattern. (They would skate down the boards and turn in front of the net)

Then our defender at half flipped the ball down towards the net and we tried to put it in. Doesn't work all the time but if you have 4 guys I think it might work better

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07-21-2010, 03:05 PM
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Trap, lol

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07-21-2010, 03:24 PM
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It really depends on who you're playing but I play in a similar type league and when we learned to keep two back, we did a lot better defensively. We were all trying to jump in on the attack when a play opened and got screwed on odd man rushes. Even with two back, you'll be surprised with how the offense starts to open up and you can let one of the defenders drift up a bit while staying with his man.

With 4 on 4, it's been explained to me, you're kinda forced to play man on man but with some teams we play more zone to cut off the passes.

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07-21-2010, 03:30 PM
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Your strat should play to your strengths or the opponents weaknesses.

What are your strengths?

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07-21-2010, 06:49 PM
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The somewhat sad reality is that strategy isn't going to help you too much. The smaller rink might help a bit, but there is generally so much open space playing four on four that the faster, more skilled team will win very often. One thing you need to do without a doubt though is possess the puck and regroup on stalled break outs. No dump and chase.

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07-21-2010, 06:57 PM
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OK, some of the differences from ice are:

No offsides, no icing. Hmmm, one could have a forward deep the whole game...mebee

Less skating agility - the difference seems to hurt D more than O. Inline danglers aren't quite as slick as on ice but you still see some sweet moves. Good one on one D can still slow down a rusher but it's easier than on ice to beat it, and also for O to get open for passes and not get checked right away.

The puck is so light, it is possible (in principal) for a skilled shooter with great aim to put it past the goalie every time since even Yoda's reflexes would be challenged to actually react to a puck moving that fast..

So what's the strategy? One that I've seen is to have 3 guys collapse without too much provocation around the crease to block shooting and passing lanes and to generally help the goalie with the best way to stop pucks regardless of speed - to block them. Let them take their shots and after they are blocked take the puck and whip it down to your sniper cherry picking way down ice (floor). Do that enough and it'll be hard for the other team to keep up with your scoring.

Sounds a little boring and maybe it is but actually it's not too different from the NHL game right now where a lot of the more successful teams are collapsing in the slot to close shooting lanes, focusing on shot blocking and developing systems around counterattacks down the middle to repeatedly beat a team who is concentrated down low. Might be worth working this system into your playbook anyway.

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07-21-2010, 07:04 PM
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Your best players should be on defense, and your weaker players should be forward. Get lots of traffic to the net and depends what league you are in, in mine the goalies weren't that great and my coach (whose now won 2 league titles consecutively) said to shoot when you get in close and that fancy dekes who not work.

The team I was on with the coach won the league championship. The team I was on this year, our weaker players played D, tried fancy moves in the blueline, no traffic in front of the net went winless. I reccomend you consider these strategies, but remember player quality/style differs from league to league.

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07-23-2010, 01:54 PM
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If you've got a couple of defensemen who are good at keeping shots low, send your 2 forwards to the front of the net & have them set up camp between the circles & in front of the goal crease.

We got three or four goals last week from that strategy.

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07-24-2010, 07:51 PM
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What we do often times on my roller team is work a diamond. Best defender covers point (and god forbid the 2 on 1 the other way lol), 1 defender and winger set up near each faceoff circle, 1 guy in front of the net.
Try and work it around the top 3 guys as best you can. D man at point can blast shots in either to try to score or for rebounds. Guys at circles try to work puck in and get an open shot or if they're skilled enough deke in and then shoot. Guy in front goes for screens/ defelections, and sometimes sneaks to one side of the net for a pass if someone breaks in towards the net.

Works well against zone D. Can work with man on man if someone's a skilled dangler.

I'm an absolute plug and skate like I'm on horse tranquilizers, but even I score with this system by cleaning up the garbage in front of the net, sneaking to one side of the net for a one timer, or deflections. My teammates have scored off me screening or just getting open from puck movement and sniping a corner.

Idk how well this works for others, but when it's possible it works for my team pretty well

EDIT: Forgot to put (but fairly obvious) that your D-man working into the zone better be a fast skater to get back to help out on D if you guys lose possesion

For D we do kinda a 1-1-2 setup. 1 guy (more often then not the guy that was in front of the net) forechecks hard deep in their zone to give the other 3 time to drop back. 1 guy forechecks around mid court (or ice) to slow down the rush (and lets the first forechecker jump back in the play), with the 2 D hanging back. Once in D zone, usually keep 1 guy around the net to move screen or step up if someone gets deked out, 1 guy near the point pressuring the D, and 2 on either side part way between the blueline and the net. Guy near point collapses to cover slot when puck is moved in deep.

This works alright for us but not as well as our offensive set up. Any suggestions on how to improve would be greatly appreciated

Last edited by Jimmy Carter: 07-24-2010 at 08:04 PM.
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