Soccer Passing Drill

3 Zone Switching The Play

In this small-sided game, players are rewarded additional points when they successfully switch the play before scoring a goal!

Passing Drill – 3 Zone Switching The Play

Set Up The Drill

Set up a 40×50 yard field using small cones. Place a goal at each end as you would for a regular scrimmage. If you don’t have goals use tall cones or poles or whatever you have available. Next, use more small cones to divide the field up vertically into thirds as shown in the diagram. Split the players up into two even-numbered teams. Have a supply of balls ready to help facilitate quick restarts.


Play a regular 6v6 (or 7v7/8v8) scrimmage with teams lined up in a formation of your choice. Explain to the players that they are allowed to move freely within any of the three vertical zones (just as they would in a regular game). However, when a goal is scored a team is awarded 1, 2, or 3 points depending on how many zones the ball has been in during the possession that led to the goal.

1 point is awarded if the ball stayed in one zone only during the attack.
2 points are awarded if the ball entered two zones during the attack.
3 points are awarded if the ball entered all three zones during the attack.


A goal only counts if the ball enters all three zones during the attack.

Coaching Points

  • Utilize the whole space within the field to help your team maintain possession of the ball.
  • Create diagonal passing lines and angles for your teammates. 
  • Look before you receive the ball (scan the field).
  • Positive decision-making in terms of when to play forward and when to switch the play.
  • Be patient when in possession of the ball.

Top Tip:

By encouraging teams to stick to their designated formation in possession of the ball you’ll make it easier for the players to get success and move the ball in multiple directions.