Monday, October 17, 2011

Polo on Paper: The 1-2

While taking the ball up the court and slamming out a goal with no clear plan is awesome fun, it's amazing how just a little strategery can wreak havoc. Even the simplest plays can be extremely effective, as long as the entire team is on the same page. To that end, I've started collecting some of the simpler polo offensive plays. First, let's take a look at something so simple it barely qualifies as a play at all. I like to think of it as the 1-2:


In case you aren't adept at reading plays (polo is the only sport I have any semblance of knowledge about - I looked all this stuff up online), I'll break it down. A solid line with an arrow is movement forward, a dotted line is a pass, and the double arrow is a shot.

So, here we have pretty one of the most basic ideas. One player takes the ball up the court, crosses half, then passes to another player who has just reached a shooting position. Wham, bam, one-two punch, goal.

A good time to use this is right after being scored on. If you can get back up the court before the other team has time to cover player two, this can easily take the goalie by surprise. Of course, this is pretty easily countered by simple coverage, but what'd you want, I did say it was one of the most basic plays. It's easily reversible to take advantage of a goalie's weak side or a shooter's strong side, and can be really potent with a righty/lefty combo.

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