Exclusion zone

Age group: U6s to U12s.

Number of players: Ten.

Equipment required: Eight “traffic” cones, some flat cones to mark out the playing area, one ball, training vests to differentiate the teams.

Set-up: Create a playing area suitable for the age of your players. For U6s, I would use a 20×15 yards area. For U12s, a 40×30 yards area would be more suitable.

Mark a five-yard-wide exclusion zone at both ends of the playing area.

Place four traffic cones, spaced a few yards apart, in each exclusion zone.

Divide your players into two teams wearing different coloured vests.

How to play:

The object is to knock over the opponent’s cones with the ball.

The ball must be kept below head height.

Players must stay outside the exclusion zones, except to take a goal kick.

Players can only take as many touches on the ball as there are cones still standing in their opponent’s exclusion zone, i.e:

  • 4 cones standing – 4 touches
  • 3 cones standing – 3 touches
  • 2 cones standing – 2 touches
  • 1 cone standing – 1 touch (very difficult and only suitable for older players!)

If too many touches are taken, give a free kick to the other team. All free kicks are indirect.

If the ball goes out of play, start with a kick in from the side line, or a goal kick from inside the exclusion zone.

Play for 15 minutes or until one team knocks over all four opponent’s cones.

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