Sponsored By:   Nassau County Parks, Recreation and Museums
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Cross Ice Hockey


What is Cross-Ice Hockey?

The concept of cross-ice hockey is a better utilization of a full sheet of ice while simultaneously providing better practice/game experience to smaller/younger players

In 1976, George Kingston did a study of hockey games played on a full ice surface

He found that:

  • In a sixty minute hockey game between 6-8 year old children, the average player had possession of the puck for 20.7 seconds
  • Top professionals were also timed, no player had the puck more than 85 seconds
  • Youth players had an average of less than 0.5 shots per game and professionals only 1.5 shots
  • In a sixty minute children's game, the actual playing time was 20 minutes, 38 seconds
  • Individual players are on the ice every third of fourth shift resulting in even less ice time

The study concluded that:

  • For young players in the "full-ice game model" of development, the youngest players would require 180 games for 60 minutes of actual puck possession time for stick handling, shooting, and passing and receiving
  • Professional players would require 60 games to ensure 60 minutes of puck control skill development
  • Many youth players "never" touch the puck in the game


To this end, cross-ice hockey was conceptualized wherein rather than conduct games and practices on a 200 ft sheet of ice, young players skate cross-ice on 85 ft. width of rink. This allows for a program to place more players on the ice during an ice slot and is more effective for players in terms of enhanced learning and playing time. 

Why Cross Ice?
  • Better Development
  • More touches/ More involved
  • More players per ice session
  • Coaches able to be more involved in teaching


  • The players will have much more fun and success
  • It has been proven that more touches and repetitions leads to better development and confidence
  • Better use of ice time = more ice time
  • Keeps parents and coaches in a better frame of mind, not focused on scores or the calls or no calls rather than development of their young hockey player
  • Keeps kids competing at a high level, we are currently developing lazy generations of hockey players who are not engaged in the game