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Z: Zones

The ice surface is divided into three major zones of play that require different skill sets from different positional players. At the 12U age classification, players are ready to begin developing position-specific skills that will help them succeed in all three zones, but this is still an age when all players should continue practicing all skills.

For example, defensemen must learn how to collect the puck at the offensive blue line and move laterally along the line, improving a shooting angle or creating a better passing lane while under-handling the puck so that they can quickly make a play at the correct moment. Forwards must learn pivoting skills, so that they can maintain some skating speed, see up ice, present a better breakout target for their defenseman and, upon pass reception, accelerate with the puck.

Different positions tend to repeatedly experience some similar situations during the game. Learning to master the skills required to excel in all of these situations – and in all three zones – will lead to greater success.