What They Did
⇒ Better at maintaining possession, more comfortable with ball circulation, and attacking dynamics in the 4v4 games compared to the 3v3 games.
⇒ Better at attacking in the target games compared to the U17s group, however, attacks were performed for shorter times.
⇒ Worked better as a team in the 4v4 games compared to the 3v3 games, however, they had more individual effectiveness in 3v3 games, characterised by more individual ball touches and ball circulation.
⇒ Were more direct in their playing style in the 3v3 games, compared to the U15s, due to more individual ball touches and a higher rhythm of ball intervention. This could highlight that the older players could deal with more complex rules and set-ups.
It was also reported that when looking at the rules and configurations as a whole:
⇒ Possession games allowed more players to be involved, and more passing exchanges.
⇒ The more rules that were applied caused the players to have less variability in their attacking actions, which could limit the team’s exploratory behaviour to solve tactical problems.