Pass Through The Circle Game

Pass Through The Circle Game diagram

Pass Through The Circle Game is a fun small area game that practices passing, puck protection, decision making and awareness. The offensive players work together to pass through the circle to score points, while the defense tries to gain possession of the puck to score points.


  • Set up a 4 v 2 game around a circle. It can be at the center ice circle or any of the in zone circles.
  • On the whistle, the forwards work to keep possession and are able to score points by passing through the circle (the puck can go through any part of the circle, but it must be a completed pass to count as a point).
  • Defense tries to break up the play and get the puck out of play. Defense is awarded 2 points if they skate the puck out of play and 1 point for knocking the puck out of play.
  • Forwards and defenseman can skate anywhere they want in the playing area (including the middle of the circle).
  • Game should go for 30-45 seconds or so before a new set of players jumps in. Keep track of how many points are scored!

Coaching Points

  • Offensive players
    • Keep head up to be aware of where teammates are, defenders are, and where the open ice is.
    • Players without the puck should jump to open ice to be an outlet.
    • Players without the puck should be thinking of where they will pass the puck ahead of time if they get the puck.
    • Players with the puck should practice deception with head, body and eyes to make the defenders think the puck is going somewhere else.
  • Defensive players
    • Keep sticks on the ice to block passing lanes.
    • Protect the circle and only chase the puck carrier when there is a good opportunity. 


  • Can be set up at center ice circle or in zone circles (example of in zone is shown below).
  • If it is too easy for the forwards to score points, add an additional defender to make it more challenging (make it a 4 v 3 or a 3 v 2 game).
  • If it is too hard for the forwards to score points, have the defenders flip their sticks over.
  • Can make the outside boundaries smaller or larger (the smaller the boundary the harder it is for the offensive team).

Example of In Zone Circle

Pass Through The Circle Game

Here is an example of playing the Pass Through The Circle Game with an in-zone circle. 

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