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Michigan Referee Program / Blog  / High Pressure Tactics

High Pressure Tactics

When a team has low pressure tactics, they allow the opposing team defenders and midfielders to possess the ball and pass it around. When a team has high pressure tactics, they try to retrieve the ball even near the attacking third. Depending on these tactics, referees need to adjust their positioning.

With low pressure tactics, referees can observe the ball being passed around from a distance. The likelihood of the ball possession being turned over is low. But if a team has high pressure tactics, there is always a chance that the possession changes, and there will be an immediate goal opportunity.

Watch the video clip below. This is an example of a high pressure tactic team that successfully retrieved the ball inside the opponent’s penalty area. Unfortunately, the referee did not adjust their positioning. So you will see the referee over 33 meters away when a challenge happened, leading them to give an incorrect free kick and cancel a good goal.

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