The Mooses blind hockey team uses a bunch of special training environments. For these practices, we designate one goal as the black goal, and the other is the white goal.
In Level-one tactical pattern play, we use one goal, and we move the play in a single direction toward that goal. We all play as though we are on the same team, and we designate ourselves as the Black team. We start in the back of the Black zone as though we are in a defensive posture and have just acquired the puck. We move the puck up the floor, passing and stickhandling into the attack (White) zone. We shoot upon the White goal. We work at creating various patterns of play while moving throughout the floor, and can highlight and focus on any given aspect of technical or tactical play in any given training session.
In Level-two tactical play, we have one or more players act as (White team) defenders, whose job is to take possession of the puck, and clear it back to the Black zone (without icing it over the Black goal line). Various restrictions can be put into the nature of play, making the players need to create solutions to the problems presented.
In Level-three tactical play, you have two teams (White and Black) each trying to defend, acquire the puck, make offensive pays, and score into their opponents' goal. This is game-condition, or greater-than-game-condition play. Various restrictions can be put into the nature of play, making the players need to create solutions to the problems presented.
We also have various set-pattern drills that we can use for technical and tactical development.
Four Corners (a level-one tactical pattern)
The pattern play drill we are learning presently is "Four Corners." Four Corners enables the player to practice:
A. passing ability, at the "60-foot pass" level,
B. communicating ability,
C. moving throughout the floor,
This pattern drill also enables the team to practice full-ice passing distances while on the small floor, which is a big thing, as we can practice on the Little Floor at Nations-Tobin Sport Center daily for free - special "thanks!" to the El Paso Parks & Recreation Department!
On the small floor, (or the offensive zone, blue line to end wall of a full-size rink), each of the four corner areas is designated by number. As you are standing in front of the target goal (in our case, the Black Goal), the right wing, back corner is the 1-corner, the starting point of the play. From the 1-corner, all the way up the floor along the right wing wall is the 2-corner. Continuing counter clockwise along the White end wall is the 3-corner, then back down the floor to the remaining Black zone corner is the 4-corner.
The position, passing, and movement sequence:
The 1-player calls, "Go!" to begin the play. The 3-player skates along the White back wall, behind the White goal, and upon clearing past the goal, turns out onto the floor, toward the 1-player and the sound of the puck. Upon turning, the 3-player calls out "Black here, Black here, Black here." The 1-player passes the puck to the 3-player. This completes the task for the 1-player, who then returns to the Black end wall, skates along the Black end wall behind the Black goal, and continues to the 4-corner to await his turn in the next play.
The 3-player catches the pass, or retrieves an errant pass, from the 1-player. The 3-player then calls out "Black, got it!" The 4-player takes a couple of steps toward the 3-player and calls, "Black here, Black here, Black here." The 3-player passes the puck to the 4-player. The 3-player then continues up the floor and positions himself in front of the Black goal. He waits there is to available for the shot on goal, yet to come.
The 4-player catches the pass from the three player (or retrieves it as necessary). When the 3-player had called "Black, got it," the 2-player begins his run along the White end wall, behind and past the White goal, then turning up the floor toward the 4-player's area. The 4-player calls "Black, got it." The 2-player calls "Black here, Black here, Black here." The 4-player passes the puck to the 2-player. The 4-player then skates across the floor to the right wing wall, and skates up the wall to the 2-corner, to await the next turn.
The 2-player catches the pass from the 4-player (or retrieves), then calls "Black, got it!" The 3-player calls "Black. Goal Here. Here. Here." The 2-player shoots for the goal. The 2-player then returns back to the White end wall, or the near side wall, and goes to the 3-corner to await the next turn.
The 3-player deflects, catches, retrieves the puck from the shot of the 2-player, and makes an attempt to shoot on-goal. If a goalkeeper is present, he tries to make the save. After one such play attempt, the puck is sent over to the 1-corner. The 3-player then skates to the 1-corner to acquire the puck, and the sequence starts again, creating the next play with all players in new positions.
Additional players can "wait in line," in the corners, waiting for the next play, while the first player in each corner can make the current play. We usually have the fifth player in line in the 1-corner, the sixth player in the 3-corner, the seventh/eighth in the 4/2 corners.
1-2-3-4-5 (a level-two tactical pattern)
Two defenders are designated "1," and "2." Three offensive players are designated "3," "4," and "5." The Offensive players start with the puck in their defensive (Black) zone and the defenders start play in their own (White) zone. The offensive players attempt to bring the puck up the floor, and get a shot on goal. The defenders attempt to dispossess them and "clear" the puck back into the Black zone. Either a successful offensive shot on goal, or a successful defensive clearance causes the Coach to declare the play over. The Coach then calls "Change!" Each player then changes their designation to the next higher number: Player number 1 becomes "2," player number 2 becomes "3," and so on, with player number "5" becoming the new player number 1. The offensive players retreat back onside, acquire the puck, and the play starts again. Each new play, the Coach calls "Change!" unless the Coach wants some group to repeat some attempt for learning purposes.
We note that each player is greatly encouraged to loudly call out their new number when the change is effected. If you don't, you will soon forget which number you are on, and you will be confused beyond belief. It is a Mooses' team rule that you will be made fun of if you forget your number (which is all in good fun = everybody forgets a time or two). Calling out your new number does help you remember which number your are on.