9 posts :: Page 1 of 1
By: Likes:
  (Read 8067 times)  

The father of transition games is Erkka Westerlund of Finland. He did a manual for Hockey Canada in the early 90's with a video but the transition game idea hasn't caught on in North America and I didn't see it used much in Europe either. Transition games are the natural progression after situation drills. You move to using only one puck, like a real game and players come into the play and leave according to the situation you are playing.

A very easy way to create numerical gamelike situations from 1-1 to 5-5.

I was looking at a short transition game video that was taken of my 85 born team. I had them for two springs. We had 40 x 90 min. ice times over 12 weeks. Played one exhibition game and 2 tournaments. they were 12 in this video and I had them for two years, so 120 hours of practice.

They are 12 in this video and we used the same games the year before. I am showing this to demonstrate that young players are capable of understanding transition games.

All players in the video but one played at least Jr. A and 4 are still playing pro.

Aaron Lee - played at Alaska then for Rio Grande Killer Bees where he is the all time leading scorer, a little American league and this year is playing in Germany.

Jeremy Colliton - played for Team Canada in World jU20 then for the NY Islanders, a little in Sweden and last year captain in the AHL.

Ryan Duncan - won Hobey Baker at North Dakota, played in Austria then last season in the American league and now back to Salzburg. (NA pro teams don't like his 5'6" size even though he gets points)

Mason Raymond - played at Minn. Duluth then AHL and now with Vancouver. He was tiny like Ryan but grew (played house league hockey as a bantam because he was considered too small for Rep hockey)

We used a lot of Transition Games as in the video. Transtion games teach a player to read the play within game situations. The coaches can coach resting players while they wait their turn. Any numerical situation can be created and you can play them full, cross ice, at one end, 2/3 ice etc..

I don't see coaches using this valuable tool at practice. It seems to be the MISSING INGREDIENT in player development.

Troy Ward, the Flames American League coach uses these games a lot but he calls them 'One Puck Drills.' which is probably better for the North American mindset because the word 'Game' hints that the players may actually enjoy the activity and we couldn't have that in our youth sports.

12 year olds doing a continous 1-1.

Transition Game Explanation:

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3122
Location: Calgary, Canada
By: Likes:


Tom has posted a number of transition games in the Daily Drill Section Eleven and also in the sections 1-10 .

Judging from all the views that the Daily Drill Sections get from coaches compared to the other topics , these transition games must be used or at least tried in practice.

Coaches ,
Are you as a coach using these transition games.?

Have you tried them and had success ?

Any of these transition games that really seem to work well with your team?

If you go back in the forum and read the discussion on Statistics- Used for Critical Area's it must make you think as a coach I should look at these DT transition games.

Any thoughts from other coaches ?


By: Likes:

Quote by: RookieCoach


Tom has posted a number of transition games in the Daily Drill Section Eleven and also in the sections 1-10 .

Judging from all the views that the Daily Drill Sections get from coaches compared to the other topics , these transition games must be used or at least tried in practice.

Coaches ,
Are you as a coach using these transition games.?

Have you tried them and had success ?

Any of these transition games that really seem to work well with your team?

If you go back in the forum and read the discussion on Statistics- Used for Critical Area's it must make you think as a coach I should look at these DT transition games.

Any thoughts from other coaches ?


I'm using them with my 01 birth year Pee Wee A team in Michigan.

I have used the 1 on 1 and tried the 2 on 2 one puck transition drills. Last night I tried the specialty teams 5-4 in the offensive zone drill.

There is definitely a learning curve for the 01s and those who are not mentally engaged are not getting the drills. I have talked to the players about how the learning the next level of hockey is as much mental as it is physical. I also find the transition drills somewhat hard to explain because of the free flow and continuous nature. I try to explain entry into and exit from the drills.

I'm an assistant on a higher end 99 birth year Bantam A team. They really picked up the 1 puck transition drills. We have played them 1-1 2-2 3-1 3-2. They enjoy and work hard playing them and quickly pick up on the substitution which is key to the continuous nature of the drill.

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 10
By: Likes:


Glad to get a response from coaches that are using them.

Are you using the 1-1 transition both sides of the ice at once ?

Maybe try full ice just one 1on1 with support until they get the flow of the game.

It is more difficult also if you as a coach is the only one that understands the concept.
Do you go over the concept off the ice with players and coaches?

I have been running practices for a Novice Rep team this year. I finish practice with the Jokers at the point and down low.
1- two colours
2- two teams at blueline coach in middle with a few pucks.
3- coach down low in quiet zone and one up top on blueline.

2-2 battle. Must pass down low before they can score. ( get them used to using the quiet zone.)
next practice I would use a pass to the JOKER at the point before they can score.
Then a combination of the two. They are only Novice age , but they picked this up no problem and they really look to make passes and get open after passing.

They will get it Tony , just takes time. Don't over coach these new games. A few points until they get it. Then add the finer points.

Any suggestions for Tony from other coaches ?


By: Likes:

A relatively easy transition game to learn is Perry Pern 3 v 3, where the defensive team passes to the next group of three players who enter on offense against the team that just lost possession of the puck. That worked fine with 7 and 8 year olds after about 15 minutes. I tried other transition games with young players, but it was necessary to have a large number of assistant coaches to tell the players when to come on and off.
rcmat, once they get the basic rotation of attack-defend-pass-rest you can duplicate it all the way down the ice. i.e.
1. Start above the top of the circle and play low zone games using even and odd number situations and always only one puck.
2. Move the the blue line and play a quick transition game or games where you must pass to the point to transition from defense to offense.
3. Move back to the red line and play the Perry Pearn.
4. From the far blueline pass to teammates who have followed the play into the zone. They either tag up at the far blue line and attack the original attackers or they regroup with coaches, or with the next supporting players who practice hinging and then follow the play up to ice to support the defense (a second regroup can be added)
5. Do the same thing as 4 but dump the puck in and the new players breakout with the new attackers.

Add dump ins, regroups and send 1 - 2 - or 3 new supporting players to practice various situations.

All five of these transition games attack vs one net.

Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 34
By: Likes:

I run a lot of SAGs with our team in the offensive zone or cross ice. No pass, 2 pass to score, jokers down low pass to point to go on offense, score only from passs to point, rovers etc etc.

The 1 puck transition games seem to be a little tougher for the 01s but they are getting them. I ran the 1 on 1 tag up to center ice in both ends and they do that easily. I may give Perry Pearn a try today. It should not be too difficult for them to understand.

I like Tom's ideas # 4 and #5 for the 99s but need a little more info on what triggers the pass for the regroup.

Thanks for the ideas.
Tony the pdf with a description of the regroup is at the bottom of the next posting.

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 10
By: Likes:

Tony here are a bunch of video examples of using one end of the ice for games and transition games.
If you search the title there is usually a descrition in the forum.

Games in one Zone usually using only one net.

Transition Game Explanation

DT400 - Regroup with Jokers Behind Net

DT4 Joker cover Joker at Point - Pass to Point

D400 2-2 One Joker Below Hash-Flames

DT400 Active Jokers at Point

DT400 Game of Quick Transition

DT400 2 on 2 with Passive Support

DT400 Continuous Game with Back Pressure

DT400 Perry Pearn Rotation 4-4

DT400 Krusel Low Battles - Point Support

DT400, 4 on 2 with Two Nets

DT400 1-1, 2-1, 2-2 Transition Game using 2/3 ice

D4 Games Shooting on one net All players are active
D4 Basic Formation

D4 Jokers Behind the Net

D4 Baggo - Czech U20

D4 Two Pass - Swiss U20

Baggo – Red Bulls

D4 Two Pass - only Forehand

D4 with Forehand Passing only

D4 Keepaway and Score

D4 Attack and Defend the Dot

D4 End of Practice Game-Washington

D4 Game With Escape Moves

D4 Games with Modified Rules

D4 Game Variations

D4 withe 3 Games at the same time

D4 half ice game with the rule that you can only carry the puck max 2 seconds and goals must come on one timers


D4 Game to Teach Onside to Young Players

D4 Game of Two Pass - Slovakia U20

D4 Game With Goals Started Below the Goal Line

DT4 One Touch Pass Russsian U20

D400 Games using one net and extra players waiting.

D400 Description

D400 2-2 passes from behind net – Sweden

D400, 2 on 2 Jokers at the Point

D400, 1 on 1 Small Power Play Game

D400 Goalies Face Opposite Directions

D400 1-1 Battles - HC Dukla

D400 Team Play Scrimmage

D400 3-2 on2 Nets x 2 U16 Boys

D400 2-2 One Joker Below Hash-Flames

Teaching using one zone games.

T2-4 D400 PK and PP Rotation-Detroit

T2-4 D400 Attack and Dzone-Detroit

TD400 3-3 Team Play Practice

TD400 2 on 2 from below goal line

TD4, 5-4 Power Play each end

TD400 Aggressive PK - Both Ends

TD400 Penalty Killing Practice

T2-4 D400 Specialty Teams Practice

'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3122
Location: Calgary, Canada
By: Likes:

I am also coaching a group of 01's. Same observations as Tony89. These games are new to the kids and they get very concerned that they don't fully understand what to do. I tell them not to worry, that these are new and we will learn them together. Like RookieCoach says, break the games down and don't try for perfection in the entire drill. At first you may have to stop the game early, rather than let everyone become frustrated.

Our team has learned the 3v0, 3v1, 3v2 Attack,Defend,Rest (full ice) transition and they really like it. They have spontaneously huddled up to craft their own attack. And they complain when we stop it when it is time to move on to something else.

I understand the challenges, because these games are foreign to players, coaches and parents.
Very true; so when I use the game for the first time the only focus is for the players and asstistant coaches to catch on to the flow of the game. Once they have how to play the game then I start adding rules, regroups, dump ins, even and uneven situations etc It is also good to name the game so they can play it with only a quick review and maybe a demo by the players who remember the flow.

The game is your Template to teach all kinds of skills, team play concepts etc.

Registered: 09/24/11
Posts: 19
By: Likes:

I ran the 2 on 2 with passive support with the 99s tonight and added a d to d pass and regroup in the neutral zone.

We also played the 5-3 full ice last two backcheckers in the neutral zone.
It went well and we worked on stretch passes to the neutral zone players.

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 10
9 posts :: Page 1 of 1