How to Run the Triangle in Soccer

Watching Christiano Ronaldo score a goal from mid-field is an exciting sporting event. Ronaldo does not score goals on his own. One of the formations his team -- and just about all others -- use to move the ball up the field is a triangle. If you are a coach or a player, keep in mind that a triangle has three points. A soccer triangle formation includes three players that run at the same pace in the same direction to maintain the shape of a triangle as the game progresses up or down the field. This formation allows for easier forward passing than if you and your teammate are positioned in a straight line.

  1. Position your three defenders in the shape of a triangle. Run your first, middle defender in front at the top of the triangle. Run a second defender to the right and behind on an angle. Place your third defender to the left of the field slightly in front of your second defender and behind your first defender.

  2. Position your three midfielders in the shape of a triangle. Run your center midfielder as the top point of the triangle. Position your right midfielder behind and on an angle to the right from the center. Place your left midfielder slightly in front of your right midfielder, yet on an angle to the left of and behind your center midfielder.

  3. Position your three forwards in the shape of a triangle. Position your center at the top of the triangle. Place your right forward on an angle to the right and behind your center. Position your left forward slightly in front of the right forward, yet behind and to the left of your center.

  4. Coach players to maintain their triangle shapes as they move the ball up the field toward the goal. Change the size of the triangle as needed to defend against the opposing team when players must close the distance between each other. Allow the triangle to widen for longer passes.


    Training sessions are a good time to practice passing while maintaining the triangle shape. Encourage players to pass the ball as they continue running up the field.


    Avoid playing in too small a triangle as this reduces the effectiveness of the formation and takes away the passing angles.

About the Author

A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.