<-- Forwards in the 3-3 Scenario Alignments In A 3-3 -->
In the 3-3 formation, backs line in up in what is called a "Seven" formation. The reason it's called a Seven formation is that it looks just like a seven when the right back has the puck:
The way to run this formation from the back's point of view:
The strong side back (the back on the side of the puck) will be on the bottom helping keep the puck moving forward. The Center Back (or Swing Back) will be between the strong side back and the center of their goal on the surface. The weak side back will be between the swing back and the center of their goal on the surface.
It is important in this formation that the strong side back does not allow the opposing team to beat them towards the wall side. All of the back's support is to the inside, and their closest help (the center back and center forward) is towards the center of the pool. If the strong side back loses the puck towards the wall, it is possible that the center back will not be able to close to the player, and then the play breaks down into a one on one with the weak side back and the opposing player. Not good.
[Insert picture of breakdown when an opposing player gets around strong side back]
If the strong side back loses the puck or comes up for air, the center back should immediately be on the bottom in support. The strong side back should then slide into the position that the center back was at, and when the center back comes up for air, the strong side back would then be on the bottom again in support.
If the puck is keeping in relatively the same spot, the weak side back should be floating on the surface the whole time, watching for the puck to swing to his side, or watching for the time when someone beats both the strong and center back. Good cycling is vital to keeping possession and moving the puck forward.
If the puck should swing from one side to the other, it’s the weak and center back’s responsibility to make sure the puck does not advance. In an ideal world, the weak back immediately goes to the bottom and swims into the play once the puck crosses to his side of the pool, the center goes in behind the weak back for support, and the strong back goes to the surface in the back of the formation. Now, the “weak” back has become the strong back, and the “strong” back has become the weak side back.
All of backs should be in a straight line between the puck, and the center of their own goal.
If the strong side back looked back towards the center of his goal, he should see the swing back and weak side back in a perfect line towards the goal. Or, when the weak side back looks towards the strong side back, the swing back should be in a direct line between the two players.
Why do you do this? If an opposing player gets past the a back on the way to the goal, the other two backs are directly behind the back who was beaten, in line with the goal to defend next.