Of course, full ice practices can make lots of sense and would be great. But, we all know the cost and lack of availability of ice limits the number of full ice practices a team may have. Here is an interesting idea. Ever watch a full ice practice? Give a coach a full hour and watch what he does. Warm up, stretch, conditioning typically take up half the hour, as it is not often you have a practice without these. The other half, breakouts, regrouping drills, transition drills, and odd-man rushes, are some of the things coaches will use full ice for. but why give a coach an hour for what he only uses a half hour for (full ice drills).
The solution the “30/30”. New Jersey Youth Hockey Leagues Ice Vault Bandits are one organization that utilize this technique to maximize their use of ice and some say turn 90 minutes of ice into 2 hours. Team A gets the first 30 minutes full ice, Team A and B use the middle half hour together, and team B gets the last 30 minutes to their selves. Each team gets an hour of ice, using it by themselves for drills they would do that is better on the full ice and share the ice for drills that it doesn’t matter. The 30/30 make lots of sense and will satisfy your coaches and players desire for full ice, and help your organization make better use of your ice.