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. The importance levels of the related positional responsibilities may also be considered in a weighted focus level, with more important positional responsibilities given a heavier weighting.

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 two wide and off-centre players are used on each side of one or more central players, a team typically distributes the following positional responsibilities symmetrically; that is, either to a central player or to both of the wide and off-centre players:

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 in vacated positional areas are 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

Vacated Positional Areas

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, certain positional responsibilities should be appropriately distributed between those players who remain in the positional area.

Detailed below are the most common examples of players who vacate a positional area to such an extent, along with the positional responsibilities that should ideally be performed by alternative players in the positional area.

If two vacating players are used in the same positional area then each vacating player can be considered to be a viable alternative player to the other as long as one player remains in the positional area while the other vacates it. One such example is the use a deep-dropping defensive midfielder and an offensive centre midfielder.