Ask the Coach: Roles of Perimeter Players

Question:

What are the roles of perimter players in the halfcourt and how can I break training into specific pieces to address those roles?

Answer:

In today’s modern form of water polo, participation of the perimeter player has greatly increased.

A perimeter player is responsible for ball movement, the entry pass into the center position, but more important, they must control the offense. Perimeter players are divided into 3 categories:

1- Position #3 or the point man – this player is responsible for calling the offense, controlling clock management and must be a smart shooter; it is paramount that this player understand defense and transition.
2- Position #2 and #4 – on most teams these are shooters and drivers (offense by moving and creating angles for passing and shooting); #2 is often a defensive player with great passing skills; in transition this player will guard the other team’s best shooter.
3- Position #1 and #5 or wings – these players are used mainly for balance, they must work with the drivers in transition and balancing their drives or shots; in many offenses these players are also utility and can be used as second centers.

As you prepare to field your team, a careful look at the perimeter is important—place a shooter that has leadership skills at position #3 – this will result in opponents giving up many counter attack goals against your team.

Submitted by:

Randy Galza