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4 v 2 Offside


  • To encourage attackers to time their runs with offside in mind.

  • To make young defenders aware of the advantages and disadvantages of offside.


  • To outscore the other team.


  • If you can use half a soccer field, extend the 18-yard lines up towards the halfway line.

  • Split group into two teams of 6.

  • 4 attackers play against 2 defenders and a goalkeeper.

  • After a while, substitute players in (equal-time, equal position basis).

  • Two of the three defenders outside the main practice act as linesmen (assistant referees) to ensure the attackers are on-side when they attack.

  • Coach explains the offside rule and, if necessary, walks through the offside rule.

  • Server (coach) plays ball in and a 4 vs. 2 attack is mounted on the goal.

  • If the 2 defenders win the ball they can play it to the two "target men" (the attackers waiting their turn). Change and substitute after two attacks and then change from attack to defense after 8 serves.



  • All four attackers must time their runs so they are onside when the ball is kicked.

  • If the attackers go offside because the ball was not played in, they must get back on side as quickly as they can.

  • While the defenders can use the offside rule to make it more difficult for the attackers, they should not push up too far where they can be easily penetrated by a pass or dribble.


  • Stand alone activity for U12 Lesson Plans.

  • Should be further progressed in U13’s and beyond.

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