June 25

Snake Shot Defense

I really suck at blocking snake shots. Can someone give me some advice that has worked for them? It seems that every time my opponent gets the ball, he scores. Seems to be nothing I can do but hope he misses. Thanks.


If you don’t mind taking advice from a rookie, here’s what works for me:

1. Keep your men moving, but not in a regular rhythm. Change-up constantly; pause, jiggle, shimmy.
2. Keep one man on one side of the ball, and one on the other. Don’t cross the middle. You don’t even need to completely cover the middle, just about 1/4 of the ball width on either side. Each man should have their zone from about 1/4 ball width from the middle to about a ball width from the end of the goal.
3. Learn the shooter’s strengths and weaknesses.
a. At first, don’t bother covering the very ends of the goal; maybe even leave slightly more than a ball width. If they demonstrate they can go around that, widen out the zone on that side.
b. If the shooter cuts back the shot (angles back in the opposite direction from the movement of the shot), tilt your men back a bit; if the shot is spraying or frequently bouncing off you back to the shooter, tilt your men forward to deflect the shot more.
c. Note if the shooter seems to hit one side more consistently than the other, then bias your defense to that side (keep that side’s man out in his zone more than in the middle, and the other man more often in the middle than out in his zone).
4. If all else fails, move your men around faster so they can’t read the holes, and can’t judge you on the same timing as before.

— Jeff


A good snake defense starts with knowing where the shooter is looking to shoot. The snake shooter looks at mainly three holes to start off. Long pull, long push and straight down the middle. Use a moving defense to take away two of those three holes and make adjustments from there. Try to figure out what he looks for in your “D”. Is the shooter always going long around your 2-bar man or is he going around the center man of the goalie rod? Once you think you’ve figured out his preferences, try to bait him with them. for example:

You notice the shooter is going long on his pull side when you lead with the center man of the goalie rod. so bait him with that knowledge, show him the “D” that leads with the center man of the goalie rod, show him half of a goal for a second. Then instead of moving back toward that side, take away his long pull side snake with the far man on your two-bar(that man is closer that your goalie to the long hole). Mix that in with the normal defense. that way the shooter doesn’t know exactly where your goalie men will be or even which men you plan to block him with.

I know that was a longwinded description. But I hope it helps some!

–Pat Ryan


Your question is a little general, and could require a manual to answer. Let me say first, blocking techniques in general apply to all types of shots. However, since all shots are somewhat different some specific rules may apply to various shots.

Lets go back to the basics. Lets assume you are a Rookie and you have no clue on how to block. You Randomly move your men from hole to hole changing your timing regularly. On this day you may brick every pro in the house, and the next day you may not block a single person in the room. WHY? Because you and your opponent have no idea what you are doing and luck was on your side one day and the other day luck flew out the window.

Blocking a shot really depends on how well the person actually shoots the shot. If I shoot a pull-shot and cannot go past big dot, guess what? I wouldn’t block my own self past big-dot.

The point I’m trying to make is that a good goalie will first try and establish the players abilities. For the rollover, you may ask yourself, Can he hit both corners, do they both look the same, can I race this shot, does he favor one side, etc…

Worst case scenario, he is a pro and can blast both sides just as well, does not favor any particular hole, and will use all the options when necessary. What do you do?

One option is to take the advice of the great one.

– From Terry Moore’s mouth “Play good offense and defense is just a bonus” taken from Video foos tapes.

You must understand that your percentages of blocking will be low, and every opportunity you have to get a block must be followed through with a great offensive play if you expect to win.

Okay, back to blocking:
You must not allow the forward to dictate the holes in which he shoots and scores. You must leave the holes you feel are the best percentages you have of blocking the beast. If he actually scores a hole in which you were suppose to be blocking, you step away from the table and slap yourself real hard for sleeping while the ball was in play. 🙂

If you can prove to the forward that he must shoot the holes in which you are leaving and cannot randomly blast anywhere and score. He will be much more aware of your defense and may start to become somewhat passive when he shoots. Once you have him looking at your defense you can begin to use strategies, like showing him the same holes at the same time for one or two balls and then suddenly switching the look on a crucial point.

Read Jeeps post on defense, I believe he makes some very good points.

Like I said this could go on forever, but I’m not so I’ll stop here.

– Denis Ory

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