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3 vs 3 ball hockey strategies

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Old
11-15-2008, 11:49 AM
  #1
Brownies
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3 vs 3 ball hockey strategies

Hi, I've played 5 on 5 ice hockey when I was younger and I've been in a 4 on 4 ball hockey league for a couple of years now.

I'm now in a new league where we play 3 on 3 (4 with the goalie) and...well... we suck. We haven't won a game yet in 10 games and got our ass handed to us several times.

Some of our players have never played organized ockey before so we can't rely on talent alone. When we don't have the puck, we try to cover one guy each, but some other teams have told us that ourstrategy was too passive even if we tried to put a lot of pressure in the puck (ball ?) carrier. When we play 4 on 4, we try tu put a guy between the defensemen to be more aggressive, but I find it hard to do in this new league. We often play with 2 guys in front and one defenseman when we are losing but it leads to a lot of 2 on 1...

Anyone have played 3 on 3 ball hockey before and wants to share their strategies ? We need help !

Edit : I don't know if "The Rink" is only for ice hockey, but most ball hockey players also play ice hockey so I tought this was the right place to ask...

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11-15-2008, 11:53 AM
  #2
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score? That's basically all there is with that much open space.

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11-15-2008, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brownies View Post
Hi, I've played 5 on 5 ice hockey when I was younger and I've been in a 4 on 4 ball hockey league for a couple of years now.

I'm now in a new league where we play 3 on 3 (4 with the goalie) and...well... we suck. We haven't won a game yet in 10 games and got our ass handed to us several times.

Some of our players have never played organized ockey before so we can't rely on talent alone. When we don't have the puck, we try to cover one guy each, but some other teams have told us that ourstrategy was too passive even if we tried to put a lot of pressure in the puck (ball ?) carrier. When we play 4 on 4, we try tu put a guy between the defensemen to be more aggressive, but I find it hard to do in this new league. We often play with 2 guys in front and one defenseman when we are losing but it leads to a lot of 2 on 1...

Anyone have played 3 on 3 ball hockey before and wants to share their strategies ? We need help !

Edit : I don't know if "The Rink" is only for ice hockey, but most ball hockey players also play ice hockey so I tought this was the right place to ask...
  • Move the puck around as much as possible
  • Have 1 forward and 1 defenseman, and 1 other player alternating between forward and defense
  • Spread out in the offensive zone, I'm assumming you're playing in a large gym?
  • Always have somebody covering the front of the net

Not much more I can think of.

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Old
11-15-2008, 01:25 PM
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dhasek3910
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If you guys have the legs or lungs, maybe try dumping it into open space and forechecking hard. There is tons of room out there so if you can get to the ball first thats good. Try to emphasize short, hard passes, and just shoot from the offensive zone when you get a clear shot and go for the rebounds, they will be there.

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Old
11-15-2008, 04:05 PM
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Try and incorporate a pick and roll 2 on 2 segment into your gameplan. If done perfectly could create breakaway upon breakaway.

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11-15-2008, 04:29 PM
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Hey make it more like basketball and soccer. I coach an atom team and we do 3 on 3 at the end of practise between the blue lines. Have a stay at home defenceman, a goal scorer and a rover/midfielder. the rover should put defence first as in always take the man with the ball as possible. basically, play the triangle in your own end. In the offensive end you can work picks as well as passing to the man at the point. for 3 on 3. always have one man infront of the net. whether it be there net or yours. A

And don't try to go up the middle. for example, the easiest play i have the kids doing right now is a miniture break out. Have the D man where hm, let's say the left face off circle and a midfielder at the far side of center ice. than the forward at the left side of the goal. to make an out spread triangle. So the forward and the Dman are in a straight line from eachother at the opposite sides of the rink. one quick pass to the d man to the midfielder to a shot on goal would create chances for the forward or simply a one timer pass from the midfielder to the forward.

It's hard to explain with out a board. Anyways good luck. hard work will usually prevail in shinny type hockey for the record though.

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Old
11-15-2008, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brownies View Post
Hi, I've played 5 on 5 ice hockey when I was younger and I've been in a 4 on 4 ball hockey league for a couple of years now.

I'm now in a new league where we play 3 on 3 (4 with the goalie) and...well... we suck. We haven't won a game yet in 10 games and got our ass handed to us several times.

Some of our players have never played organized ockey before so we can't rely on talent alone. When we don't have the puck, we try to cover one guy each, but some other teams have told us that ourstrategy was too passive even if we tried to put a lot of pressure in the puck (ball ?) carrier. When we play 4 on 4, we try tu put a guy between the defensemen to be more aggressive, but I find it hard to do in this new league. We often play with 2 guys in front and one defenseman when we are losing but it leads to a lot of 2 on 1...

Anyone have played 3 on 3 ball hockey before and wants to share their strategies ? We need help !

Edit : I don't know if "The Rink" is only for ice hockey, but most ball hockey players also play ice hockey so I tought this was the right place to ask...
Ok....here we go!

First, defend as a team, attack as a team! Try not to have one guy be the hero and try to go end to end.

Second, if you are playing full ice, pick up a man coming back into you zone. Just don't come back empty, eliminate the guy coming back so that the puck carrier can't pass to him.

Third, in the attacking zone, all three of you guys need to be moving. If one guy stands still, he will be easy to be covered by the other team. If all three of you guys are moving, you open up time and space, which opens up scoring opportunities.

Fouth, Pass the Puck to the player on where he is going, not where he's at. This is known as "Read and React". Don't pass the puck at him if he's on the move, pass the puck in an area where he's going to be. If you pass at him while he is on the move, by the time the puck get there....he's gone and you have wasted the pass. Pass in an area where he going.

Fifth, when you make that pass, have soft hands. Don't pass the puck so it blows him out or the pass is too weak. Look to see where he going and get the puck to that area so he can pick the puck up with ease.

Sixth, if you have to stop, stop behind the net and set up plays from behind the net. This is called...Set up Behind! This is the most dangerous place to be if you are attacking on a team. Why? Because the goalie is so focused on you, he doesn't keep track of the other two out front on the move...get it!

Seventh, If you can get two guys to attack the net, one on each side while you are behind, it gives you two options on who to pass too. Plus, if you pass it out one side, the receiver can pass it over to the other guy out front for the open net.

Your whole goal is to keep your feet moving and always cycle your players so you can pass the puck to a player deep in the pressure zone. Pressure zone? That's the zone behind the goal line. Cycle players in and out of the left corner, counter-clockwise. In the right corner, cycle players in and out of the corner...clockwise. Always push the puck back into the pressure zone to the cycling player.

If one of the other players on the other team stop to pick up the puck you are pushing into the pressure zone, he leave you free to receive the puck from the guy who is now in the pressure zone. have that guy pass to you and you get the shot on net.

Once you get the puck behind the net, set up in that inverted triangle. One guy behind the net and two guys out front, about 5 feet away from each post.

Hope this helps

Good Luck!
Head coach

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Old
11-15-2008, 05:29 PM
  #8
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If you team is lacking skill, you guys better be in extraordinary shape. Speed can mask a lot of defensive deficiencies and offensively-speaking, the more persevering team (in terms of endurance) will wear down the opponent. It is ball hockey so there are a lot of nimble movements with an intense amount of running and cutting. It is also 3 on 3 so there is a tremendous amount of open room. If your team is out of shape, I am not too bullish on your team's chances considering the opponent will surpass you guys in terms of skills.

On offense, there are only two passing options so have your two guys ALWAYS need to be moving. Cut into open space with viable passing lanes. Even if one of your players gets tired and stops cutting for a moment, you lose 50% of your passing options and 33% of the offense so make sure everyone can run and run continuously. Like dhasek emhasized above, perhaps a dump and chase strategy is a prudent strategy since it isolates a lot of factors (negates skills, in certain ways) and breaks it down to a running game. On defense, mark the opponents hard and play shut-down D like a glove. Collapse around the net and force your opponents to the perimeter (like a constant penalty-kill). So constantly put yourself between the offensive player and the net. Playing D is really hard and takes even more running & endurance simply because the offense dictates when he starts running. So watch the forward's waist (hips don't lie) for an indication of momentum to see where the forward is moving and always separate him and a direct lane to the net. At the end of the day, your team's only hope is to rely on a high-octane running game and try to outwork your opponents.


Last edited by sunb: 11-15-2008 at 05:41 PM.
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Old
11-15-2008, 06:36 PM
  #9
Brownies
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Thank you everyone ! I didn't expect so much help that fast ! Keep the good advices coming, it's really interresting.

Quote:
Spread out in the offensive zone, I'm assumming you're playing in a large gym?
We are playing in a large gym, so yeah, we need to spread out.

Quote:
If you guys have the legs or lungs, maybe try dumping it into open space and forechecking hard. There is tons of room out there so if you can get to the ball first thats good. Try to emphasize short, hard passes, and just shoot from the offensive zone when you get a clear shot and go for the rebounds
This is what we are doing right now on the offense, even tough our "legs" are pretty average. We usually lose something like 13-5 without having the ball too often so our defense is definitly the problem.

Quote:
Have a stay at home defenceman, a goal scorer and a rover/midfielder. the rover should put defence first as in always take the man with the ball as possible. basically, play the triangle in your own end. In the offensive end you can work picks as well as passing to the man at the point. for 3 on 3. always have one man infront of the net. whether it be there net or yours. A
I think I'll propose to the team to try that : We have a really good goaltender (despite the number of goal he's allowing because of us) so having a guy consistently in front of the net to clear the rebounds fast should help him. I really like the idea of having a rover roatating between D and the offence. I think that many teams use that strategy, now that I think of it. I could see our team having more success with this strategy, thanks !


Quote:
Try not to have one guy be the hero and try to go end to end.
Yeah, our best player do that. He gets his 2 or 3 goals a game, but I have the feeling it costs us 5 more. Some of our players are playing their first year of ball hockey. I think they're really improving fast, but it's not good for their confidence if he never pass to anyone.

Quote:
Playing D is really hard and takes even more running & endurance simply because the offense dictates when he starts running.
I noticed that. In my other league, we have a really good team so we spend most of our time on the offence. I could play 3 games in a row like that. I can't say the same when we're losing 15-5...

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Old
11-15-2008, 06:39 PM
  #10
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Headcoach covered it pretty well as did most others. However, if you are having trouble scoring goals due to lack of natural talent, I'd suggest having one guy crash the net at all times on the attack. I find thats the best way to get scoring from non-skilled forwards. Keep reminding them to crash however, because I've found that new players tend to forget their duties pretty easily.

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Old
11-15-2008, 08:21 PM
  #11
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I love 3 on 3 hockey... it's always a challenge. I'm not the fastest skater, but I'm usually one of the stronger guys for my age group/skill level, so it gives me a chance to practice playing the angles, and practice keeping my composure while skating at breakneck speed.

Offensively and defensively, you're going to want to move in a triangle. If you're in good shape and you can keep up, play man-on-man. If not, switch to zone... but with all of that free space be prepared to get burned. The lesson is... get in shape or be left in the dust. Be sure to read the play. If there's a scrum along the boards you want two guys hanging back and one forechecking. If your team has clear possession of the puck, get two guys forechecking. Force guys wide and try your best to keep them swinging around the perimeter.

I personally like to drive wide and swing around behind the net... if you do it right you should be able to find a hole up the middle of the ice for the D man to drive in and take a quick shot. If that shot gets blocked, all three of you better be ready to run and get back in position.

Positioning and speed is everything. In your triangle, you never want two guys parrallel or perpendicular to the boards. There is going to be a ton of free space, so use it!

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