What Is The Half-Space?

The term 'half-space' refers to areas on the pitch that players can find space.

Often, for tactical reasons, the pitch is split into five vertical corridors of space. The two outer corridors are the wide areas, and there's a central corridor. Between these sets is often where half-spaces can be found.

The half-space is a position that players look to adopt in order to receive the ball away from defenders - between the lines of units (defence, midfield and forward) and between central and wide players. It enables them to receive penetrative passes from team mates.

Therefore, the term is often used along with 'breaking the lines'.

The image below shows a player receiving a pass in the 'half-space'.

Why Use The Half-Spaces

Central areas of the pitch are often crowded, and if teams adopt a block defensive strategy, then there might also be limited space between the lines.

Finding the room to play into the half-spaces will be a less congested, but still relatively central and direct route to the opposition's area to attack.

From these half-spaces, a player can find a pass to a teammate in space central, perhaps behind the last line of defence, or an overlapping team mate in a wider area to provide the decisive pass.


There will inevitably be a lack of time that players will be allowed in the half-spaces the closer the attacking team gets to their opponents area.

It will therefore require players with very good technical ability to be able to receive and control the ball, and play under pressure quickly. Players in this positions will need to have great decision-making and awareness skills, which is something that can be developed through coaching.

Opportunities to score from these areas will also be limited and will require creativity to open up space for a shot or another penetrating pass.

Technical Requirements

To help players operate effectively in the half-spaces, the following technical areas should be developed:

- Receiving skills: touch, ball control, half-turn, receiving in tight areas, receiving to play forward

- Awareness/Scanning: space, defenders, teammates

- Creativity: passing, ball manipulation, tricking opponents

- End Product: shot, dribble, through-ball, etc.

Useful Coaching Practices

We have a couple of examples of coaching practices that can develop key technical areas of players to play in the half-spaces for players and teams who have the necessary technical qualities.

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