Here is a good floor hockey game for a large class.
Submitted by Glen Bayless, Great Falls, Virginia. Grades 2-6.
Background: We have developed a very effective and safe way to work with large numbers of students in floor hockey. We have a gym that is 84 feet x 58 feet and we have two classes at a time. The first three class periods we go over passing (wrist), stick handling, shooting and goalie play in stations or shuttle relay formation. We stress keeping the stick low and sliding the puck, not slapping it. All students MUST wear eye protection.
Game Set-Up: We divide the gym in half, using old, fold-up tumbling mats so there can be two games going sideways across the gym. All students sit on the mats facing their respective game. Each team has four players. (Five are o.k., but more are too many.) We number the sticks 1 – 4 and write position names on them. Stick #1 is the goalie; #2 is the defenseman, #3 is the forward and #4 is the center. Each player is assigned duties. The goalie defends the net and may not leave the goal area. If she catches the puck, she puts it back in play by tossing it to the side (no face-off). The defenseman is responsible for helping the goalie and passing the puck into the offensive end. The forward is primarily a goal scorer. This player should not be way back in the defensive end. The center does it all, offense and defense. We use a face-off between centers at the start of each round and after goals.
The Players Rotate: Play continues for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Then these eight players put their equipment back in the starting position and go to the end of the line on the mats. We then call the next eight players out. Here is the neat thing. We randomly assign the players to teams each time.
You might play for “yellow” the first time and “red” the next. Also, your team will consist of different players each time. No one is ever chosen last. The only rule we have about positions is that a player cannot be goalie or center more than once in a class period.
Full Court Games: Having two games at a time works best for students in 2nd-4th grades. Fifth and 6th graders will tend to pass end to end and do better in a full court game. Our students love this game and our PTA sponsors an after-school floor hockey club that allows the players with a special interest to play full court. Here”s a suggested organizational method that works great for full court.
Full Court Play
For our full court games, we number the sticks 1 – 7. Stick #1 is the goalie; #3 and #5 are defensemen; #2 and #6 are forwards and #4 and #7 are centers. Defensemen and forwards must stay in their half of the court and centers may travel everywhere. For 28 students we divide into four teams. “A” plays “B” for about 3 minutes; then “C” plays “D.”
Each time your team rotates back into play, the students find the next higher numbered stick. This way you go from offense to defense each time and no one player is ever in a position to dominate play. As players get better, we relax the rule about staying in their half of the court a bit but still emphasize playing their position.