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Intermediate Coaching

The intermediate range covers players who are roughly in the region from handicap 4 to 14. The notes below are taken from the Intermediate Coaching Sessions that Robin Brown kindly gave to an assortment of OUACC members during Trinity Term 2002.

Session 6

In this session we discussed more non-lift leaves that could be set from broken play (or at the end of a non-lift turn), followed by non-standard, non-straight peels (i.e. peeling at one hoop when going for a different one).

Further Non-Lift Leaves

After conceding a lift it is important to set a lift leave. However, at other times there are usually more useful leaves that can be set.

There are several useful things that you are looking for from the leave:

  1. A long shot for Oppo to hit.
  2. One or both of Oppo's balls by hoops that are just ahead of one or both of your balls.
  3. A good rush with one of your balls on partner.
  4. An easy way to pick up from the boundary the ball with which Oppo decides to shoot.

Exactly how these priciples are applied depends upon which hoops you are for. Some examples are useful at this point:

  • Leave A: If for 1-b - position one of Oppo's balls as a pioneer at 1-b, and to put the other one half-way between 2-b and the S boundary, S of the hoop, whilst laying up just off the middle of the E boundary.
  • Leave B: If for 6 - one of Oppo's balls as a pioneer on 6, one half-way between 2-b and the S boundary, SSW of the hoop, and lay up your balls half way from 3-b to C4, with a rush pointing at 6.
  • Leave C: A second example of a leave for 1-b - put one of Oppo's balls half-way from 2-b to C1, the other just out of the middle of the E boundary, and lay up half way from 1-b to C2 with a dolly rush to hoop.

In Leave A, Oppo is forced to play the ball by 1-b: Whether this ball is shot at you, at Oppo's other ball, or even into a corner, it is possible to get a rush - either off partner, or off the 2-b pioneer by going to the shot ball on the boundary, and swapping it for the 2-b pioneer. In this leave both balls are ahead of your break, provide an easy way to pick up the boundary ball, but leave a long shot.

Leave B doesn't leave quite such a strong position: Since Oppo's balls couldn't be left at both 6 and 1-b. Instead the second ball was put slightly further ahead, at 2-b. Again Oppo is forced to play the ball by your hoop, but in this case that means that you are left with pioneers by neither of your next two hoops.

If Oppo shoots through the 2-b ball, this leaves open two possibilities: rush your partner to 6, and afterwards use the boundary ball to get a rush on the 2-b ball; or rush your partner to 1-b, and then go to the boundary ball to get a rush on 6.

If Oppo shoots through you it is slightly more difficult: stop Oppo out a little from the boundary, getting the rush on 6 again (or just ignore Oppo if you don't feel able to get such a good rush again); then after 6 get a rush to either of Oppo's balls and rush that to 1-b.

Leave C is an alternative to Leave A that could be set at 1-b: Here the dolly rush by 1-b pretty much guarantees running 1-b, so Oppo is forced to move the 2-b ball. Again if that ball is shot at either its partner, or at you, it is easy enough to overcome: if it is shot at Oppo's other ball, then after running 1-b, hopefully with a rush over to a few yards short of the boundary ball, position your partner at 3-b, whilst going to the boundary ball to get a rush on the other to 2-b; if it is shot at you, turn round and hit it on the boundary, and stop it straight back to 2-b, getting onto your partner again to run 1-b.

A variant on Leave C, which would provide an easier pioneer on 3-b would be to position Oppo's other ball halfway E of 3-b to the boundary, rather than in the middle of the E boundary. However, in return this does reduce the length of Oppo's shot slightly.

Non-Standard Peels

Although the most obvious peels are the "standard" and "straight" ones, which are performed when you are passing through the same hoop yourself, in one or other direction, it is also quite possible to peel balls at some other times. This is done by careful positioning of the "escape ball", which will then provide a rush to your next hoop. As can probably be imagined, this carries with it a certain amount of risk, and so is most frequently employed when the peel is being conducted close to your next hoop, e.g. peeling penult on the way to 4-b, whereas it would introduce a very high element of risk for more distant hoops (the sextuple requires peeling 4-b on the way to 2-b...).

Two things to bear in mind when attempting non-standard peels are that as with all peels, they are optional extras, and of primary importance is to continue the break, and secondly that the positioning of the escape ball one is very important, and must be done a hoop in advance.

The Delayed Double

Non standard peels are best illustrated with an example, here of how to perform the penult peel on the way to 4-b:

  • Naturally the peelee shouldn't have been used as the pioneer at 3-b...
  • The escape ball must be positioned after 2-b, with the peelee being left somewhere near the playing side of the hoop.
  • After 3-b, hopefully with a rush to penult, go to the rushline on the peelee to penult, taking your 3-b reception ball as the pioneer on penult. Rush the peelee into peeling position.
  • Play the peeling stroke with a straight drive, focusing entirely on getting the rush on the escape ball to 4-b. At this point jawsing the peelee is just as acceptable as putting it through reasonably hard, and is preferable to its only just running the hoop.
  • After 4-b, position the reception ball to rover:
    • for an easily accessible peelee, rush the peelee N of penult, stop it down to rover and proceed as per usual for a rover peel;
    • for a jawsed peelee promote it through, aiming to rush it to somewhere near the front of rover, and then continue as before.
    • However, if the peelee is barely clear of penult it will not neccessarily be possible to get it close to rover before running penult. In this case it is important to get a good rush on it using the penult reception ball.

The Delayed Triple

Developing the flexibility to peel balls at non-standard times is a useful technique in any player's armoury, and both opens the door to triple peels when it isn't possible to peel 4-b at 3, and it gives a further chance to finish triples where standard peels haven't worked.

Convenient times to perform the peels of a triple are listed below:

  • 4-b: at 3, or on the way to 6.
  • penult: at 6, or the way to 4-b.
  • rover: on the way to 2-b and 3-b, or at rover.

The Premature Rover Peel

To increase the likelihood of succeeding with a rover peel, it is possible to try it at two earlier opportunities before attempting the straight rover peel: on the way to either 2-b or 3-b.

The further advantage of getting this peel done early, if the opportunity should arise, is that it removes the danger of hitting the peelee, which exists with any straight peel.


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