Defend your castles!


This foundation-phase practice allows for lots of decision making.

It is a multi-directional practice designed to help recognise how body shape when defending can influence the opposition.

It can be manipulated to cover a range of topics.



Set up a playing area relative to the number of participants and their age.

Use three pop-up goals – one on each of three of the sides, with one side vacant – and one ball. Divide your players into three teams.



Each team has a castle (goal) to protect and two they can score in. The teams start with five lives for their castle’s defence, and lose a life if a goal is scored in their nominated goal. There are no goal keepers.

Once their castle is defeated they must protect another castle with another team.

1. Set up a playing area relative to the age and ability of your players. Place three goals around the outside and divide players into three teams.

2. Teams each defend one goal and attack the other two goals.

3. Teams each start with five lives and lose a life each time another team scores in their goal.

4. Once a team’s castle is defeated, they can help another team to defend their castle.


Body should be on the half-turn (taught as “castle guard’s stance”), goal-side of your opponent when out of possession.

You will look to force them away from the castle you are protecting.



Add in a ‘number of passes to complete’ element, to encourage players to be adjusting to the change of ball position more repeatedly.

Add in a fourth team – The Guards – who aim to protect all goals and keep the ball if they can win it.



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