There has been a lot of research that enabled soccer to improve: its technique, tactics and strategy through analysis and training. Nevertheless, players’ need to interact with each other turns any defending or attacking situation into complex solutions with a wide range of variables to be considered, in which the player is never isolated and must make the move that has the most positive impact on play. Fifty-four sided games played in three different formats (5v5, 7v7 and 9v9) and with two age groups (U9 and U14) were filmed at three soccer clubs in Spain in order to identify the most relevant attacking moves, from a technical and tactical perspective. This study used the observational method; it is descriptive and is applied through well-prepared systematic quantitative observation in a natural environment. A key part of the method involved viewing the match recordings and logging moves that had been categorised beforehand. Cohen’s Kappa analysis showed that the results for the most representative variables presented a substantial degree of concordance (0.61-0.80). The results show that there were significant variations depending on the game format, and the following study will present a description and analysis of the aspects that had considerable influence on attacking moves in different formats of sided games (5v5, 7v7 and 9v9). The study also presents various practical applications for the area of training and analysing both youth and professional soccer.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.