Complex Floorball

Tactical discussion: Use of half-spaces in floorball


Again, more like an extended tweet than a well-structured longer piece. I had an interesting short conversation with a Dutch floorball coach Tim Hidskens about half-spaces* in floorball.

*half-space = the space between the central lane and outer lanes

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Picture 1: An idea about way to divide offensive zone in floorball

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Picture 2: The kind of tactical discussion we could use in floorball

Half-space as a concept is pretty well-known in football. As not many teams in floorball use a lot of time and thought in organising their offensive game, the finer positional details have been overlooked and/or are not in use in common coaching language. Half-space is a very useful concept when organising the team’s offensive game. Unlike in football where there is many times more space in the field and the half-space can be used as a ball possession tool**, in floorball the quality use of half-spaces have more indirect effect. 

** “When ball carriers are in the half-space, they have as many options as a ball carrier in the middle, but can cause more diagonal passing and movement patterns towards the outside or the middle, while their goal-orientated field of vision do not change.” – Spielverlagerung 

When playing against zonal defensive systems, positioning in half-spaces can create “grey areas” for the defensive team. If the defensive team plays a very rigid zonal defense, it will be clear for the offensive team to see where those grey areas are and exploit them. Against man-orientated defensive systems use of half-space usually won’t create a free man as the opponent is not playing zonally but it nevertheless draws opponents to possibly unfavourable positions and creates a lot of space to the weak side.


Positional play is still a very unsearched territory in floorball but when developed well and patiently, it can be one of the steps towards more entertaining attacking floorball. Floorball is a game where the rules are favourable towards the team with the ball. By putting more focus on organising the team while attacking – and with a special focus on co-operation – any team can make the defensive team’s job very difficult. 

Perttu Kytöhonka