Cross-ice hockey or Small-area games, simply defined are technical and game-like competitive drills and games that use a playing surface that has been reduced in size and allows players to practice their hockey skills. Small-area hockey actually has been around for as long as the game has been played. When players played on a pond did they use an ice surface 200 x 85? No, they played in a small area that developed and sharpened their skills without the rules of off-sides, icing, penalties, face-offs, etc. Somehow coaches have moved away from this idea of practicing and playing in an environment with little control or structure, to one with greater control. Many of the greatest hockey players to ever play the game will attribute their success to growing up playing on the ponds and not in highly controlled practices!