7v7 Soccer Formation Positioning Rules for 7v7
for Fullbacks, Stopper, Midfielders and Forwards
Movement Off the Soccer Ball
Clearing the Soccer Ball from our Defensive Third
Defending the Soccer Corner
How Much of the Soccer Field to Defend?

Hi SoccerHelp,

It seems like the best 7v7 formation is 2-1-2-1 soccer formation. I have solid players throughout my team so I'm very fortunate. Any easy "soccer rules" like you wrote for 3-2-3-2 formation (i.e., simple rules for FBs) etc?

Premium Member (posted in the Forum)


Most of the same rules would apply -- just make adjustments based on your player's abilities, speed, aggressiveness, your Style of Play (whether you Push Up and how much of a controlled passing game you play), and the length and width of the field (for example, is it long, wide, short or narrow?).

I would give my Fullbacks specific "rules" that ensure the Goal Front is covered so I NEVER gave up a goal on a Breakaway (make the opponent earn them - NO EASY GOALS). For example:

  1. The LFB and RFB should never go past the Center of the Goal except in an emergency.
  2. FB's don't go into the Goal Box except for an emergency (that way they won't get in the Goalie's way).
  3. FB's don't go more than 3 steps past the Near Post (that will keep them from pulled too far out to the side) - perhaps even tell them to not go more than one or 2 steps past the Post if 3 steps is too far. REMEMBER: You MUST defend your Goal Front.
  4. FBs and Stopper should clear the ball by kicking it straight ahead -- MF's and Forwards should shift from side-to-side with the ball --- that way everyone knows what to expect and are in position to win the cleared balls.

Most of the "Rules" for MF's and Forwards would be the same as for a 3-2-3-2:

  1. Stay about a pass apart.
  2. When a teammate dribbles toward you, move away into open space so you are ready for a pass (see Movement Off the Ball)
  3. If you don't have the ball, don't move closer than a pass to a teammate who has the ball (if you do, you will pull your defender toward the dribbler). See Movement Off the Ball
  4. When our goal is under attack, MF's should stay a pass out from the ball and Forwards should stay a long kick or Pushed Up as far as possible (coach decides) -- that way players will be in position to win balls that the FBs and Stopper clear. MF's and Forwards should shift from side-to-side with the ball -- the FBs and Stopper should kick it STRAIGHT ahead - that way everyone knows what to expect and are in position to win the cleared balls.
  5. If you are a LMF or RMF, do NOT go past the Center of the field except in an emergency -- but when the ball is on the Far Side (the side the other MF is on), shift to the Center so you are closer to the ball and in position to stop an attack down the Center (the Center is an imaginary line between the 2 goals -- it is NOT the "Middle" third).

Who Covers the Corner in Your Defensive Third?

I suggest with a 2-1-2-1 soccer formation that the Stopper cover the corner when the ball is in your Defensive Third and that the Near MF come back to be "Second Defender" and the Far MF goes to the Penalty Box Arc to cover balls that are centered.

How Much of the Field Should You Defend?

As a coach you will have to decide how much of the field you need to defend. Your decision will depend on what your players are capable of (how fast and how much stamina), how strong your opponent is, and how wide and how long the field is. Keep in mind that most Rec teams can't score on crosses and that most goals are scored from in front of the goal inside the Penalty Box. If you can't defend the entire width of the field (and most Rec teams can't, you MUST defend and try to control the Center of the Field - if you control the Center and defend your Goal Front, you will usually win.

Hope this helps. Read 22 Coaching Rules, Quick Team Improvement Program , Positioning Rules , Positioning Tips , Shifting - Importance Of and Movement Off the Ball for more about this.

David at SoccerHelp