Punting may be defined as "a long and high trajectory kick from toss with hands by goalie."
A goalie may punt a ball that is under her/his possession.
The purpose of this procedure is to provide a means of obtaining a baseline measure of fundamental soccer punting skills (distance and accuracy). The field set-up is based on existing field lines regardless of field size. In addition, practice trials provide a fun and rewarding learning experience.
Test Objective: Punt ball from start gate within the goal area (cones 1 & 2)
as far as possible into a predetermined field area (Left Field [LF]; Center Field [CF];
Right Field [RF]).
Space: Any soccer field with marked lines that is used as a the playing field for a given age group.
Dimensions: Punt line cones (1 & 2) should be placed on the goal area's front line facing the goal posts. The left field [LF], center field [CF], and right field [RF] zones are marked using cones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Following the diagram, arrange cones relative to field landmarks, such as, halfway (center) line and the center circle.
Equipment: Measuring tape eight 6 inch or larger clearly numbered (1-8) cones; clipboard, pen/pencil, and test forms (preferably with pre-recorded player information).
Procedures: When assessing punting skills it should be the only activity on the field. Players assigned to return punted balls should roll ball to closest touch line and balls should then be rolled back along the touch line and end line to the punting (goal area) space.
Scoring: Points are earned by a distance/accuracy combined score. One point for accuracy and one, two, three, or four points for distance (see diagram). A punt's distance is established by the ball's first contact with the field of play after the punt.
Safety: Watch for broken glass, water sprinklers, uneven surface, moist areas, and any other safety hazards especially in the punting area. Only one player should punt at a time. Players assigned to return punted balls should stay alert at all time and keep their heads up during each punt. Balls should NOT be punted back to the starting point.
Note that uniformity and accuracy in skills assessment is necessary for meaningful test-retest record keeping. The derivation of an accurate result so that the coach and players may know who is the "best" should never be the focus of skills evaluation. The critical issue here is the ability to provide the player with reliable feedback about her/his past and most recent performances.
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