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Man Marking Game


  • To establish both the individual and team discipline required for successful defending;

  • To establish good 1 vs. 1 defending habits;

  • To practice reading the game (Sweeper Role); to encourage attackers to "elude" tight marking.


  • To outsmart your individual marking opponent both in attack and defense. As a team, to outscore the opposition.


  • Field sized according to numbers and ages (approximately 50 x 40 yards) with halfway line.

  • Goals/poles are set up (4 yards wide).

  • Squad is split up evenly (e.g., 5 vs. 5).

  • Every player is assigned a "Partner Opponent" from opposing team.

  • One "pair" split to become the sweepers. “Sweepers" are changed every four or five minutes.

  • Each player can only mark and challenge his assigned opponent.

  • The sweeper can challenge anyone.

  • No one can challenge the sweeper.

  • "Sweepers" are restricted to their own half of the field, and are limited to "two touches" maximum on each ball contact.

  • Interceptions (not challenges/tackles) are permitted by anyone.

  • No one is allowed to handle the ball.



  • Encourage players to challenge their opponent without "diving in" and being left trailing.

  • Make each player aware of "opponent" at all times.

  • When the attack breaks down have former "attacker" react immediately by attempting to recover to defending position "goal-side" of opponent.

  • Encourage players to get forward to score.

  • Encourage player caught "wrong side" to get back if a teammate loses the ball, but don't criticize them if they are caught out when trying to make a positive forward run.

  • Encourage the "sweepers" to block an attack or to be available for a back pass from own team.


  • Not Applicable

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