System of Play Position Numbers and Player Profiles PDF - sports training

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System of Play Position Numbers and Player Profiles PDF

System of Play Position Numbers and Player Profiles PDF


The use of soccer position numbers is to help identify positions all over the field and has been in practice for years. It has also recently come back into vogue. 

This is possibly due to the proliferation of position names (See: “Soccer Positions”), it appears to be hoped that a general numbering scheme will reduce confusion, both among players and coaches, and help with a common understanding that transfers between teams, coaching instruction, and different formations.

The first position number scheme in soccer appeared in England in the 1920s.  Beginning with number 1, numbers were assigned from the back-to-the-front, and from right-to-left, starting with the goalkeeper and proceeding along the lines of the fullbacks, halfbacks, and forwards in a straight 2-3-5 formation.

There was no real substitution, very little interchange between positions, and teams played the same formation. 

Accordingly, the following numbers were applied to the jerseys of the players, corresponding to the positions they played:

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