Responsibility Distribution

A team's responsibility distribution refers to its assignment of positional responsibilities through its assignment of tactical roles.

In order to achieve an appropriate responsibility distribution a team should consider the importance level of each positional responsibility, its system fluidity and the role specialisation of the tactical roles that it assigns.

In addition, a team may consider the symmetry of its responsibility distribution and the use of auxiliary players.

The importance levels of the main positional responsibilities were detailed in the Positional Responsibilities guide, while system fluidity was discussed in the System Fluidity guide.

Role Specialisation

The role specialisation of a tactical role refers to the extent to which the tactical role enables a player to perform each positional responsibility.

A tactical role's role specialisation can be analysed by classifying positional responsibilities as follows:

By assessing the role specialisation of a tactical role, its focus level can be determined.

The focus level of a tactical role refers to the extent to which the tactical role enables a player to concentrate on performing particular positional responsibilities.

A tactical role's focus level can be assessed by considering the number of conflicting role types that are included in the tactical role and, to a lesser extent, the number of adverse role types.

A tactical role can be categorised as any of the following according to its focus level:

To achieve an appropriate responsibility distribution a team typically assigns tactical roles such that:


In some cases a team may want to achieve an element of symmetry in its responsibility distribution within a central positional area in order to ensure that a good playing system balance is achieved.

In particular, in central defence and central midfield, if one or more wide and off-centre players are used, a team typically distributes the following positional responsibilities symmetrically; that is, either to two wide and off-centre players on opposite sides or to a more central player:

Auxiliary Players

A team may use auxiliary players to perform particular positional responsibilities in auxiliary playing positions. The use of such players is analysed below per positional area, while the effects on responsibility distribution of the use of vacating players is also discussed.

Per Positional Area

Detailed below for each of the main positional areas are the most common auxiliary playing position role types that a team can assign to a player in order to enable him to perform positional responsibilities in an auxiliary playing position in the positional area, along with the positional responsibilities that can be performed as such in each case.

Where an auxiliary player acts as a wide and off-centre player in his auxiliary playing position, the symmetry of responsibility distribution can be considered as discussed above.

In Central Defence

Vertical Movement
Horizontal Movement

In Central Midfield

Vertical Movement
Horizontal Movement

On The Flanks

Horizontal Movement

In Central Attack

Vertical Movement
Horizontal Movement

Vacating Players

Where a player vacates a positional area to a large extent as a result of an attacking phase or on the ball auxiliary playing position role type (a vacating player), relevant positional responsibilities may be distributed to players who remain in the positional area (alternative players) so that they can be performed in the vacating player's absence.

Common Vacating Players

Detailed below are the most common examples of vacating players, along with the relevant positional responsibilities that may be performed by alternative players.

Special Cases

Special cases include the following: