The pressure was on.
It had been happening all game: turnovers.
Two ferocious checkers (forwards) descended on “Sam,” the defender, as she tried to gain ring possession. The checkers were following the well-known ringette tactic known as “Two-On-Checking.” Better yet, the centre was floating in open ice waiting for a loose ring, hoping her team mates would force a turnover.
As ringette luck would have it “Sam” experienced a turnover. She lost the ring – again. Ringette statisticians call this a “giveaway.”
And, as any ringette coach worth her value in rings will tell you – ringette is a possession game. Don’t lose the ring. It is hard to get back.
Is there anything Sam could do so that her team keeps the ring?
Answer: the “D2D” pass.
Some team sports refer to it as “support” and use the “keep away” drill to teach the concept.
The D2D pass is common in ringette. The D2D pass was seen at the recent World Club Championship games in Finland. If the Finns are doing it, we should pay attention.
Good Canadians teams do it as well.
Advice to coaches: watch what the leaders are doing and apply it to your team situation.
Back to the basics of D2D.
See the pictures with this post to see the progression on the ice.
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Let’s walk through the sequence:
1. Think of a loose ring inside your team’s blue line, and your defender skates to take possession of the ring.
2. This is where the support comes in. The other Defender (D) moves into a safe posture in open ice. And, the forward begins to notice the pattern forming.
3. Quickly, D2 may yell out “support” or the player’s name, as in “Samantha.” This is followed by a quick pass from Samantha to D2.
4. D2 takes the ring and quickly moves to the blue line looking for the F1 moving along the blue line waiting for the pass.
5. D2 passes to F1 and F1 skates up ice looking quickly for the next pass over the next blue line into the other team’s zone.
What do we notice about the ring movement up the ice? The L pattern. I call this the L pattern breakout. It keeps the ring away from the other team’s pressure.
What is required to make it work?
D1 needs to get to the ring quickly and move the ring quickly to D2.
F1 sees the D2D pattern forming and offers more support by moving to the side of the ice where D2 is situated.
Further support to F1 is offered by the F2 or Centre who takes the next pass inside the other team’s zone.
Putting it into practice:
– talk to the players in a team meeting; draw a picture of the tactic;
– practice the sequence off the ice where the players can hear you;
– practice the quick pass from D1 to D2 on the ice;
– add the third player and the second pass, once the first pass is well performed;
– add the fourth player once the second pass is done well;
– tell players to do it in a normal game;
– recognize players for having success with the tactic.