What Are Crosses in Soccer? Definition, Types, Tips, and More!

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Have you ever wondered what a cross is in soccer? If you’re not sure, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

A cross is a pass that is played from the wing into the penalty area, typically with the intention of finding a teammate who can score a goal!

Crosses are a common and important part of the game of soccer, and they can be used to create a lot of scoring opportunities.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what crosses are, the different types of crosses, and how to improve your crossing technique.

So whether you’re a striker looking to get on the end of some crosses, or a winger looking to improve your crossing game, read on!

What Are Crosses in Soccer?

Female soccer players during a match

Here’s the short and quick answer:

A cross is a pass that is played from the wing into the penalty area, typically with the intention of finding a teammate who can score a goal. Crosses can be made with either the foot or the head, and they can be hit with either power or accuracy.

Sounds simple enough—so, why do some claim mastering crosses is hard?

Are Crosses Hard in Soccer?

It needs to be said but yes, crosses in soccer can be hard to perfect

That’s because they require a good amount of power, accuracy, and timing. The crosser also needs to be aware of the position of their teammates and the defenders.

Don’t be discouraged though! With practice, anyone can learn to cross the ball effectively.

Our team also goes through a whole bunch of tips and tricks later on that should help you master your crossing technique in no time.

What Are the Common Types of Crosses in Soccer?

There are many different types of crosses, but some of the most common ones include:

Low-Driven Cross 

This is a cross that’s played along the ground, between the penalty box and the 6-yard box. It’s often used to find teammates who are running into the penalty area.

High-Driven Cross

A high-driven cross is played in the air, toward the back post, which is considered a deeper position rather than a forward one. Use this cross to find teammates who are attacking the back post.

Pull-Back Cross

Played back towards the center of the field, a pull-back cross is used to create space for teammates to attack. It’s usually delivered by wide players.

Chipped (Floated) Cross

A chipped cross is also played in the air, but with more loft than a high-driven cross. Only use it to find teammates who are in the air too.

In-Swinging Cross

An in-swinging cross curves towards the goal. Teams that play with inverted wingers or fullbacks prefer this cross type more.

Out-Swinging Cross

Meanwhile, an out-swinging cross curves away from the goal and is the most common type of cross you’ll see in a soccer game.

what are crosses in soccer - different types of crosses infographic

What Is the Best Cross Type?

Women's soccer players during match

Good question, and we’re here to say that like most soccer moves, there’s no one size fits all cross type.

For the most part, the best type of cross to use will depend on the situation. 

Let’s explain what we mean:

Say you have a teammate running into the penalty area, then a low-driven cross is a good option. If you’re trying to find a teammate who is attacking the back post, however, a high-driven cross is a better choice. 

In case you want to create space for teammates to attack, a pull-back cross would be more suitable. Trying to find a teammate who’s in the air instead? In that case, a chipped (floated) cross should be your go-to. 

And if you’re playing against a team that defends with inverted wingers or fullbacks, consider an inswinging cross.

That said girls, no matter what type of cross you choose, make sure you practice it regularly so that you can get it right when it matters most.

Watch and learn: How to perfect your crossing technique.

Here’s a great crossing tutorial video that teaches you how to learn 3 crosses that can make a big difference in a match – a normal curve cross, the lofted, chip cross and the low driven cross.

YouTube player

10 Tips to Master Crosses in Soccer

Delivering an accurate cross may be hard, but it’s not impossible. 

So, we hope these tips and tricks help you perfect your soccer technique. And remember, the most important thing is to have fun!

1. Practice Regularly 

This is the most important tip of all. The more you practice, the better your technique will become. 

Find a wall or a friend to practice with, and work on your passing, dribbling, shooting, and crossing.

2. Watch the Pros 

Pay attention to how the best players in the world move the ball, and try to copy what they do. 

Watch videos of your favorite team or a team you admire, and see how their players use their technique to create scoring opportunities and shoot accurate crosses.

3. Get Feedback From Coaches or Experienced Players 

Ask for help from someone who knows what they’re doing!

A coach or experienced player can help you identify the areas where your technique needs improvement, and give you tips on how to work on it.

4. Don’t be Afraid to Experiment 

There’s no one right way to do things in soccer or shoot that perfect, successful cross. 

Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for you. The more you experiment, the more you’ll learn about your own strengths and weaknesses.

5. Use the Right Technique 

The best way to cross the ball is with the inside of your foot.

This will give you more control over the ball and help you put more curve on your cross.

6. Practice Your Accuracy 

The goal of a cross is to get the ball to your teammate in the penalty area.

So practice hitting your crosses accurately, both in terms of placement and height.

7. Vary Your Crosses 

Don’t just cross the ball every time you get the opportunity. 

Mix it up with some low-driven crosses, high-driven crosses, and chipped crosses. This will keep the defenders guessing and make it harder for them to defend.

8. Be Aware of Your Teammates’ Positions 

Before you cross the ball, take a quick glance at your teammates’ positions.

This will help you make sure you put the ball in a spot where they can reach it.

9. Be Patient 

It takes time and practice to develop a good crossing technique. 

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep practicing, and eventually you’ll start putting in crosses that your teammates can score from.

10. Have Fun! 

Soccer is a game, so make sure you’re enjoying yourself. 

If you’re not having fun, you’re less likely to stick with it. Relax, have fun, and enjoy the process of learning and improving your technique.

Why Are Crosses Important in Soccer?

Here’s the deal: If you can master the art of crossing, you’ll instantly be a valuable asset to any team.

Here are some of the reasons why getting the hang of a successful cross is vital in a soccer game:

Low section of female soccer players during a match

1. They’re a Great Way to Create Scoring Opportunities

When you cross the ball into the penalty area, you’re giving your teammates a chance to head the ball in or shoot it. And if you can put the cross in the right spot, it can be very difficult for the goalkeeper to save.

2. Use Them to Set up Teammates for Tap-Ins 

If you can cross the ball low and hard, it can be easy for a teammate to tap it into the net. This is a great way to score goals, especially if you have a tall striker who is good at heading the ball.

3. Can Create Confusion Among the Defenders

When you cross the ball, it can force the defenders to make a decision. Do they stay with their player, or do they try to challenge for the ball? This can create opportunities for your teammates to make runs and score goals.

4. Change the Pace of the Game

If the game is getting bogged down in midfield, a good cross can open up the game and create chances for both teams.

5. Relieve Team Pressure 

If your team is under pressure in their own half, a good cross can help to move the ball up the field and give your team some breathing room.

The Final Score

We hope our quick, neat guide helped you learn all you needed to know about crosses in soccer. 

Remember that you can use crosses to score goals, set up teammates, and make defenders’ heads spin. To deliver accurate ones, use the inside of your foot, hit the ball with some juice, and aim for the far post.

Wanna know more about screening next? Check out our tips and tricks for screening here.

This article was written by

  • Mia Johnson, Fitness & Soccer Expert

    Hello! I'm Mia, a high school Physical Education teacher in Orlando, Florida by day and a soccer blog contributor by night. My journey with soccer began just like any other enthusiastic player - on a local field, chasing after a ball and dreaming big. Soccer became my way to teach, inspire, and connect with others. In the classroom (and on the field), I'm all about promoting fitness, teamwork, and the pure joy of sports. Writing for the blog lets me extend this passion to a wider audience....