Speedball consists of different positions. None has less gratitude or glory than the back man. But without the back players the front and mid guys are nothing. This is a basic “how to guide” on playing back. The biggest misconception is that the back player has to shoot a ton of paint in a single game. Good back players know when and where to shoot, but there are certain times when you will use a lot of paint to pin an opponent down.
1. Shooting A Lane
Job number one for the back players is to shoot a lane allowing his front and mid players a chance to move or eliminate your opponents. When the back man walks the field it is their job to find the lanes that they will later utilize to pin opponents down or just plain shoot them out. Keep an eye on where the flag is placed, this is usually a more open area of the field and allows a clean lane to shoot. Pick your lane; this should be where you think the opposing player is going to be running. Always keep an eye out for places you know the other teams players will have to run through. This is where you will concentrate some of your paint. DO NOT shoot directly at an opponent, lead them by shooting a little in front of them thus allowing the paint to get to the same point they are running. If you shoot directly at the player the paint will end up behind them.
2. Sweet Spot
This is a particular bunker on the field where you will hammer in your paint on a key bunker. This is usually one of those bunkers you know an opposing player will utilize to make a game winning move. Keeping the player pinned down may allow for elimination from a fellow teammate or by you eliminating the player.
This is quite simple. If a teammate is going to move or bump up the field or attempt to bunker a player you will want to lay down suppression fire to allow your teammate the chance to eliminate the other player.
The biggest part of being a well oiled team is to communicate the entire game. You usually have the best view of the field and have to be able to talk to your team, letting them know where the opposing team is located and where they are shooting. Keep yelling from the start to the finish of the game.
5. Bait Your Opponents
If someone is shooting at you let your team know. While doing this play a little sloppy if you know the opponent does not have a real chance at eliminating you. This is a direct bait move in the hopes your opponents will try to make a move to shoot you out, allowing your team to in turn send him to the dead box instead.
Not only do you want to communicate with your front and mid players but you want to work with them for the win. Talking to your team about where the opposing team is, what side of the bunker they are shooting out of and if they move. This gives your front and mid guys a better chance to shoot out the other guy. If you are a few players down you better be ready to move up if needed. Being a back player does not mean you will just be hanging out at the back bunkers the entire game. Every player should be able to play all of the bunkers on the field. Yes, I know you may not be as good as that fast little guy that plays the snake like no one else but you should at least have the skills to bump up and cover a position as needed.
By Paul Forcier