One of the most commonly used systems in floorball is 2-1-2 or informally known as the dice five. It is by far the most popular defensive system out there and employed by the national team of Finland as well as by those who are new to the game. It is a successful tactic, especially in defense and one of the easiest to learn.
But when we say it’s easiest, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. What they say about the poker game Texas Hold’em also applies to the 2-1-2 system: “A minute to learn… a lifetime to master“.
Whether you are new completely new to the game, have just been promoted to captain of your team (with all the tactical responsibilities that come with it, sigh) or with years of coach experience under your belt, you will find something useful in this article.
After reading this article you will have a grip on the basics of the most popular defensive system in floorball, whether it’s to enhance your own floorball knowledge or whether it’s to be able to explain it better to others.
So in this article, we look at the 2-1-2 formation. We cover the basics of the system and the purpose behind it. If you want to go to the specific sections, you can click on them to jump there.
- The basics of the 2-1-2 system in floorball
- What percentage are you defending?
- Ball side / Help side
- Is 2-1-2 a viable attacking strategy?
So without further ado, let’s get started!
The basics of the 2-1-2 system in floorball
We start very basic and slowly build from there. The picture shows what is meant by 2-1-2:
Our team, the blue crosses, defends the lower goal (the two rectangles). The dice five is clearly visible: two defenders, one center and two forwards.
The basic purpose of the 2-1-2 floorball system (defensively)
Dice five is a system mainly used for defending, so in this article, we’ll focus mostly on the defensive aspect.
Let’s start with an easy question to get you warmed up. What is the purpose of defending?
To stop the opponent from scoring a goal. Let’s hope you got that one right.
And how do you win a floorball game?
Yes, also an easy question! You have to score at least one goal more than your opponent.
These may look like trivial questions but there is something important to consider here: every goal you concede will take you further away from winning the game. And if you’re familiar with floorball, you know the following already: goals don’t come easy in floorball. At all. We’re perhaps not on the same level as soccer where most games end in 1-0 but compared to other sports, scoring goals is tough.
With few goals to be distributed in the average floorball game, getting your defense right is even more important because it will make a huge difference.
But where do we start?
Let’s start with the most dangerous thing known to mankind: the slot.
Slot, not sloth!
The slot refers to the space in front of the goal, as shown in the green image below:
The slot is one of the most important parts of the field. If the opponent has the ball in this area, there is a higher chance that they will score because they are close to the goal.
You don’t want to see your opponent in this area while having the ball!
Image 2 shows at a glance how the 2-1-2 system helps to protect the slot. Is the opponent close (i.e., on our half)? Then the forwards fall down to help keep the opponent out of the slot.
Look at image 3. It’s fine for your opponent to have the ball in the green parts. Are they in the orange part, then you start applying pressure.
Red part? Red alert: put pressure on the ball directly!
Let’s call this our Rule #1.
Repeat after me: “our opponents will NOT have the ball in the slot without being pressured”.
Now gather all your teammates, place your hands on your hearts and say after me: “our opponents will NOT have the ball in the slot without being pressured”.
Now we all solemnly swore an oath to protect the slot, it’s time to bring some details.
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