Below an elementary explanation how the so called "3-def rule" works in the HCL, developed and based on experiences over years in the big central european leagues.
Explanation of some basic terms:
The attacking area describes the region between the area behind the middle the pitch and the opposing goal line. There is no clear border line, hence this area is undetermined. It is highly controversial, where the attacking area begins, but it is more or less based on experience over years paired with common sense.
General position of the 3def or attacking zone:
A so called attacking situation applies, when
- the attacking team is possessing the ball in the attacking area. - the ball remains inside the attacking zone and the defending team could not clear it yet.
• 3-DEF RULE If an attacking situation applies, the ST of the defending team is not allowed to
- attack, block, touch or disturb the 3rd attacker (DM) in any way inside the attacking area. - cross the imaginary line and enter the attacking zone. - intercept any passes or block any potential passing ways inside the attacking zone.
- If the ball or the ball possessing attacking DM is leaving the attacking area - and moves too close to the middle of the pitch - then no attacking situation applies anymore and the opposing ST is allowed to interfere.
- If the attacking DM has lost the control over the ball, regardless in which area, the opposing ST is allowed to interfere, because no attacking situation applies anymore. Warning: it is only allowed to interfere, when the loss of ball control already applied and the ball has already left the attacking zone. Forcing the attacking DM to lose eventually the ball is not allowed.
- The opposing ST is allowed to steal an "open ball" inside the attacking zone, if the attacking team fully lost the ball possession and can not easily & instantly (!) recover it (no attacking situation anymore).
- In 3-def rule matches are usually only 3 attackers in the attacking area, but there might be some situations, where the GK of the attacking team additionally joins the attacking area. In this case the dynamic attacking zone might change occasionally, because the GK turns instantly into the 3rd attacker, when he becomes more offensive than the regular DM. Warning: It is still only allowed to defend with 3 players, although a team might attack with 4 players. The dynamic attacking zone is often due to position rotating not predictable anymore, so the opposing ST needs to pay attention.
The 3-def rule is a custom idea made by players and is not provided with any technical assistances game-wise. Thats why there might be some situations, which are close to the edge and not really explicit. Hence we beg all players to be fair and take care of their opponents. If a player is not certain, whether he is allowed to interfere or not, then we highly recommend to just stay away and abstain from gambling with the rule, in order to prevent possible 3-def rule violations.