3 vs. 3 Spilt Zone Game

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3 vs. 3 Spilt Zone Game is a great small area hockey game to practice offensive and defensive principles that occur during the course of a game. The zone is split in half (as shown in the diagram and video) and the forwards are trying to score a goal, while the defense is defending and trying to exit the zone. The defense must complete one pass before exiting the zone. 


  • Split the zone in half (like it is shown in the diagram and whiteboard video)
  • 3 offensive players vs. 3 defensive players. One goalie.
  • The coach chips the puck to the goalie, who deflects the puck into the corner of the ice. This begins the 3 vs. 3.
  • Forwards work to score a goal (which is 2 points) and the defenders work to defend and exit the zone. Defenders must complete one pass before they exit the zone (which is 1 point).
  • The game ends when a goal is scored, the defense exits the zone after a pass, the goalie freezes the puck or the coach blows the whistle.

Coaching Points

  • Offense:
    • Protect the puck.
    • Create time and space.
    • Use the boards to protect the puck and make bank passes.
    • Be a passing outlet for your teammate.
  • Defense:
    • Sticks on the ice (to angle and block passing lanes).
    • Communicate with each other.

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