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As detailed in the tactical theory Playing System Balance* guide, a team's playing system balance refers to the tactical balance* in the team's playing system* in each positional area*.

A good playing system balance can be achieved by assigning tactical roles* that result in appropriate tactical-structures* (including formations* and attacking structures*) and an appropriate responsibility distribution*. This is done by assigning player roles and duties accordingly (and, if desired, by manually editing player instructions to modify player roles and duties).

For details of the playing positions referred to in these guides see the tactical theory Playing Positions* guide.

1. Formations

As detailed in the tactical theory Formations* guide, a team's formation is the combination of its positional structures* in all positional areas*.

2. Attacking Structures

As detailed in the tactical theory Attacking Structures* guide, attacking structures are tactical structures formed by a team's attacking shape*, off the ball movement* and on the ball movement*.

Appropriate attacking structures can be achieved by considering your use of forward movement partnerships*, as well as your team's penetration score*, solidity score* and support score*.

3. Responsibility Distribution

As detailed in the tactical theory Responsibility Distribution* guide, a team's responsibility distribution refers to its assignment of positional responsibilities* through its assignment of tactical roles*.

Appropriate tactical roles to assign in each of the main positional areas* in order to achieve an appropriate responsibility distribution are suggested in separate guides, as introduced below.

Detailed for each of the main positional areas, where relevant, are:

  • Key tactical roles - the recommended role categories* to use in the positional area. These are the role categories that are included in a typical combination in the positional area, as detailed in the tactical theory Role Categories* guide.
  • Minimum number of players - the recommended minimum number of players to assign the key tactical role to, as per the typical combination.
  • System-specific* - the use of these player roles and duties is discussed separately below.
  • Atypical* - these player roles and duties are slightly less suitable but you may still wish to use them.
  • Vacating* - it is recommended to use alternatives to these player roles and duties due to their movement away from the positional area.
  • Other tactical roles - other role categories that can be used in the positional area if desired. Possible reasons for using these role categories are provided in the tactical theory Role Categories* guide.
  • Symmetry - the recommended use of symmetry when assigning particular key tactical roles in the positional area. The use of symmetry is discussed in the tactical theory Responsibility Distribution* guide.
  • Counterbalancing combinations - recommended counterbalancing tactical roles to use when assigning particular tactical roles that focus more on a particular positional responsibility* in the positional area. Counterbalancing combinations are discussed in the tactical theory Role Categories* guide.
  • System-specific tactical roles - tactical roles in the positional area that include the use of system-specific role types*, along with recommendations regarding the use of such tactical roles. System-specific tactical roles are discussed in the tactical theory Role Categories* guide.

3.1. Central Defence Responsibilities

  • Central defence = sweeper (SW) + centre backs (CB)

An appropriate responsibility distribution in central defence can be achieved by considering key tactical roles, symmetry and counterbalancing combinations.

3.2. Central Midfield Responsibilities

  • Central midfield = defensive midfielders (DM) + centre midfielders (CM)

An appropriate responsibility distribution in central midfield can be achieved by considering key tactical roles, symmetry and counterbalancing combinations.

3.3. Flank Responsibilities

  • The flanks = deep wide players + advanced wide players
  • Deep wide players = full backs (FB) + wing backs (WB)
  • Advanced wide players = wing midfielders (WM) + wing forwards (WF)

An appropriate responsibility distribution on the flanks can be achieved by considering key tactical roles, counterbalancing combinations and system-specific tactical roles.

3.4. Central Attack Responsibilities

  • Central attack = attacking midfielders (AM) + centre forwards (CF)

An appropriate responsibility distribution in central attack can be achieved by considering key tactical roles, counterbalancing combinations and system-specific tactical roles.

4. Role Combinations

Suitable combinations of player roles and duties for different system fluidity levels and playing styles can be derived by using the suggestions in the System Fluidity, Playing Styles and Playing System Balance guides.