05. Underwater Hockey Formations

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There are numerous underwater hockey formations. I will not explain how each formation works, but I will attempt to explain what is meant by the 3-1-2 formation as opposed to the 1-3-2 formation.

Formations are designated by how many people are playing each position. The X-Y-Z formation indicates you are going to play with X forwards, Y Mids, and Z backs. Sometimes a team will come out in an A-B formation – which indicates that they are playing with A Forwards and B Backs, but no Mids.

No formation is right for every situation, nor is there any formation which is wrong for any situation. The key is for each player playing his or her position well. The key to picking a formation is knowing your team’s strengths and your opponent’s weaknesses.

The most common formation for beginners to learn is the 3-3; three forwards and three backs. Some of the more advanced US teams play a 1-3-2; one forward, three mids, and two backs. Since this document is for beginners, it will focus solely on the 3-3 formation.

In a 3-3 formation, I will refer to the three forwards as the Left Forward, Center Forward, and Right Forward. The three backs will be Left Back, Center or Swing Back, and Right Back.

In other countries, the same formations can have slightly different names. In Canada, for example, the three forwards would be Left Wing, Center, and Right Wing, and the three backs would be Left Pivot, Swing, and Right Pivot.

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