Tactical Objectives

A team's tactical objectives are the aims that it has during a match.

A team's core tactical objective is typically to score more goals than the opposition team. This can be broken down into two primary tactical objectives that a team typically has, to varying extents, at any point during a match.

The primary tactical objectives are to score a goal and to prevent the opposition team scoring a goal. All other tactical objectives that a team has should help it to achieve one or both of the primary tactical objectives.

Possession

The immediate relevance of most of a team's tactical objectives depend on whether it has possession.

Having possession means having control of the ball. A team has possession if its players as a whole have control of the ball, and the particular player on that team who has control of the ball, if any, at any given time is referred to as being on the ball, while other players on the team are referred to as being off the ball.

In particular, if a team has possession then it should attempt to keep possession and if it does not have possession then it should attempt to win possession. Possession changes from one team to the other throughout a match as each team succeeds and fails in its attempts to achieve these conflicting tactical objectives. This results in the phases of play, which are discussed further in the Phases of Play guide.

When a team has possession it is in the attacking phases and when a team does not have possession it is in the defensive phases. At any given time the team that has possession can be referred to as the attacking team and the team that does not have possession can be referred to as the defending team.

Attacking Objectives

A team's attacking objectives are the tactical objectives that it has in the attacking phases.

The main attacking objectives that a team typically has are:

Defensive Objectives

A team's defensive objectives are the tactical objectives that it has in the defensive phases.

The main defensive objectives that a team typically has are:

Tactical Risk

The primary tactical objectives are strongly related to the concept of tactical risk.

The level of tactical risk associated with a team's action, decision or situation refers to its potential to result in the team failing to achieve the primary tactical objective of preventing the opposition team scoring a goal. However, taking on a higher level of tactical risk can help a team to achieve the other primary tactical objective of scoring a goal.

Attacking risk is tactical risk in the attacking phases and defensive risk is tactical risk in the defensive phases.

In particular, higher levels of attacking risk are related to penetrating space and lower levels of attacking risk are related to keeping possession, retaining solidity and retaining compactness, while higher levels of defensive risk are related to restricting space and lower levels of defensive risk are related to protecting space and retaining compactness. This is discussed further in the Playing Methods guides.