Mass Hysteria (Age Level – All Ages)

Drill Purpose

Mass Hysteria is a rapid-fire, exciting drill for all players and simulates a high pressure game situation. It’s a fun game that can be used for building stamina, teamwork, and skill sets of all kinds. Players are forced to communicate and think very quickly while executing short passes and controlled sharp shots.


1. Using cones, set up 4 small goals a short distance from one another. Number each set of cones 1-4. Each player on the team is given a number from 1 to 4. A player of each number lines up behind one of the cones.

2. Throw the ball into the middle of the playing area and at the same time call out 2 numbers, such as 1 and 3. At this time all players numbered 1 and 3 run onto the field of play.

3. Using teamwork, the idea is to score into the goal of the opposing number that was called. If numbers 1 and 3 are called, then team 1 tries to score into the set of cones numbered 3 and vice versa. Any player that shoots the ball between a set of cones wins a point for his/her team.

4. Because the cones are close together, only shots that go through on the ground count. Guarding a set of goals as if being a goalie is optional but hands are not to be used.

5. In order to score, a ball may only enter the goals from one direction, although there are no boundaries to the playing field. Once a team scores the players then line up behind the goals where they started and await a set of new numbers to be called.

Points of Emphasis

Mass Hysteria is a simple game in theory but one that can become very confusing for players at the moment their numbers are called. They’ll be forced to assimilate a lot of information in a short time. During a Sudden Death match, instruct players to…

  • organize quickly and communicate.
  • encourage short, accurate passing.
  • thinking first saves energy – learn not to use running to make up for mistakes.


As players gain an understanding of the game, further variations include:

1. Using a larger playing area such as half of the field to strengthen player
conditioning. Using a smaller playing area requires sharper passes.
2. Calling out 3 numbers for added “hysteria”.
3. Calling out 1 number, allow players to organize themselves, then call out a
2nd number a minute later and give team 2 less time to organize.
4. Assigning players new numbers after a given period of time.

Motivation / Teaching Tips

Tip #1 – The variations within this game is endless. Players like
the quick action and often forget they’re working hard.

Tip #2 – Set up a reward system – For example, if a team scores the
most points then they are excused from after-practice running.

Tip #3 – In Mass Hysteria communication is critical. This is as much
a game of talking and thinking as it is physical skill.

2 Responses to Mass Hysteria (Age Level – All Ages)

  1. zoran February 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Exciting drill for all players .

  2. José Adauto Garcia March 17, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Ola amigo tudo bem? Gostei muito dos exercícios, trabalha velocidade de reação, tecnica, tatica, fisico e pode ser 1×1, 2×1, 2×2, 3×2, 3×3, 4×3, 4×4 e é um trabalho muito motivador. é Muito bom mesmo. Obrigado, um forte abraço.

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