In Reply To Hui Mei's Post (by ZB & John)

I showed Zibin Hui Mei’s soccer questions on her most recent blog post and he started dictating me the answers to give. John walked in while I was taking the ‘dictation’, started chiming in, and in the end took over my lap-top and ended up typing the rest of the answers himself. He was so engrossed in the task that the rest of us had to wait for him to finish before we could have our dinner! Hui Mei, you’re very zai… you got a virus-ridden Captain and an over-worked 2nd Lieutenant (whose gf was at our place) to give you such detailed answers. I’m putting it on my blog so that more people can share the fruits of these two men’s labour. :P

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Q&A According to ‘The Good Captain’& ‘The Outstanding 2nd Lietenant’:

(The questions are on Hui Mei’s blog)

1. ‘Off-side’: pardon the long answer, but this is a usually a simple concept with a long explanation. ‘Offside’ happens when a player of the attacking team is caught beyond the last defender/player of the defending team at the moment the ball is being played forward. (i.e. when player A of the attacking team attempts to pass to player B, player B is standing between the other team’s goalkeeper and last player).

Take note that the key phrase here is “the moment the ball is played”. often times the defending team will push their defenders up to create an invisible “offside trap”. however, good offensive players can time their runs so much so that right after the ball is played, they are in a position with only the goalkeeper to beat. This is called beating the offside trap. The only way u can tell if its offside is by determining when the pass leaves the foot of the “passer”, whether the “receiver” is still at least in line with the last “defending team” player. There are a few exceptions when offside is not applicable.

a) There are no offsides from throw-ins.

b) If both passer and receiver are in their own half of the field when the pass is played, there is no offside. This is true even when the receiver is beyond every player of the other team with only the keeper left to beat.

2. The numbers 4-4-2, 3-4-3, 4-3-3, 4-4-1-1, 3-5-2 etc (always adding to 10) are in the order of defender-midfielder (or on occasion defending/attacking midfielder to make it a 4 number series) – striker.

3. The numbers are significant because none of the players can afford to run the entire pitch. These are their default positions, and where they should return to even if they ‘wander off’ here and there. Of course in a match they are not limited to their ‘positions’ but they should wander within their given zones. (Of course in advance tactics there are certain exceptions and players who are given the license to roam).

4/5. A captain does not necessarily have to be an older player of the team. In fact, there have been quite a few exceptions (i.e. young players leading other older players of their team at the tender age of 21 or 22). essentially, a player who is considered the most influential is usually nominated as captain. This does not necessarily have to mean that he has to be the most vocal or ‘commands’ the most either. certain players can inspire or influence by their mere presence in the game or other particular traits. The captaincy is not limited to any assigned position alone (i.e. goalkeeper, defender, striker etc.)

Having said that, players who are vocal can “definitely” be heard out on the pitch even amidst the din of the crowd. Trust me *wink*

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