- March 20, 2017 at 9:16 PM #12351
By spring, recess games that were new and exciting in September have become stale. I’m especially anticipating this as this winter was mild, and we did not have as much snow and ice time. I’ll share with you a game, its materials, and description. Would you share yours? Any-age games are most likely adaptable. Also, I can forget games. Don’t be afraid to suggest one because it’s “common.”
Snag-a-block: Materials: six pylons, 8-10 blocks (bean bags etc.), chalk (or some other way to mark the centre line)
- Use four pylons to set up two bases at opposing ends of the playing area.
- Place another pylon about five feet in front of one pylon marking the base to serve as the caught base on each side. (Pylons should form an “L” shape on each side.)
- Scatter 4-5 blocks between the pylons marking each base.
- Mark the centre line. I use chalk, because we have pavement.
- Number the students onto two teams.
Aim: Get all the blocks to your own side.
- Each team is safe in the space between the centre line and their base but can get caught on the other side of the centre line.
- Each team is allowed two designated guards, one for the caught base and one for the blocks. Everyone else MUST be trying to get blocks.
- When you get caught, you go on the opposing teams caught base.
- To free a team member, you must run to the other teams caught base and touch your team mate to free him or you can touch the caught base to free everyone who is caught.
- If you freed or got freed, you may walk safely back to your own side.
- If you have a block, run for it. No free walks for you!
- Using your body to cover a block is illegal. (You’re not chickens on a nest!)
This game really encourages team work. One of the best strategies is using faster players as decoys to distract the guards while a less-suspecting player sneaks a block.
I look forward to your game ideas!
- March 21, 2017 at 10:36 PM #12371
Recently I saw students at Countryside playing a game somewhat similar to Dodgeball, but with tubes. I forget the name: Tubes? I’d love to see instructions for it.
- April 6, 2017 at 6:02 PM #12454
Yes, it is called “Tubes.”
Materials: Each student needs a tube about a foot tall. (At our school, we use PVC pipe about 4″ in diameter) Soft balls, about one to every 4 students is a good ratio.
- Divide the playing area in half with a clearly marked centre line. (each team gets half the space)
- The back few feet should be marked off with a line as well. This serves as the team’s caught space.
- Each team sets up their tubes in their half.
Aim: Using the balls, knock down all the opposing team’s tubes.
- Your tube must be at least a tube length from any wall, boundary line or team mate’s tube.
- After your tube is set up, you may not touch it until it gets knocked down or the game is over.
- Your feet should never cross into the opposing team’s space to get a ball, but you may reach over to get it.
- When your tube gets knocked down, retrieve it and cross through the opposing team to their caught base, leaving your balls behind you.
- After a team has someone on their caught base, all balls in that space belong to the caught person, unless they can reach in with their hands only and get it before the caught person does.
- If you are in the other team’s caught base and you knock down one of their tubes, you may go back on to your own side with your tube.
- Game is over when there are no tubes left standing for one team, regardless of someone who may be coming back on.
Countryside people, please let me know if I am missing something. 🙂
- April 8, 2017 at 3:05 PM #12518
One of the easiest ways to inject fresh energy into games is to simply modify a common game. Any number of hybrids can be made by introducing a new element to a game.
For example, the common “base game” (single base/three base/four base), typically begins with players evenly divided among bases. They dare others to chase them by running out and making themselves vulnerable. If caught, they join the base of the catcher. When everyone ends up on one base, the game is over.
Several ways to modify the game.
1. Give each team TWO bases at the beginning of the game. If beginning with three teams, it becomes Three/six base. The six bases are in a circle. Each team has two bases, directly across the field from each other. The game proceeds as usual, except that a runner is safe if he runs on to either base. And both bases must be protected. If players crowd onto the one, the other is likely to get circled easily. Circles can be done around either base; one here, two there.
2. Play game as usual, except allow runners to leave their bases in pairs, holding hands. They are immune from being tagged except by another “fresher” pair, also holding hands. If they lose grip when being chased, they are caught. If chasers lose grip, they must return to base and tag up.
Additionally, you can allow threesomes or foursomes to link up and go out and dare or try to circle. They can only be chased by equivalent number of “-somes” who leave base linked up. A threesome successfully circling a base once can claim one player; twice, two; thrice, three (after they go home and tag up.)
3. Three base with bacon. Play game as usual, but place 4 plastic disks (bacon) about 15′ in front of each base. Runners can try to steal other teams’ bacon and add it to their own collection. The game can be won either the normal way–or by collecting all the bacon. This version guarantees activity. If runners who dare others to chase them do not attract chasers off the opposite base, they always have the option of stealing bacon–and moving the game forward.
If you get into the pattern of “inventing” new games by modifying others, the variety is endless. Prisoners’ base has numerous adaptations. For example, keeping points for those you catch instead of spending time waiting to be freed. This version keeps the more daring active instead of spending so much time in prison.
Students can be invited to offer their own creative suggestions for game hybrids.
For an active lead-up game for softball, try playing MUSHBALL, also known as 16″ softball or Chicago softball. Its rules are listed below. No gloves, fast moving, active. 16″ Chicago softballs are readily available on Amazon.
1. Stay 5 yards away from the batter on the first base line or it is an automatic out.
2. You only get two pitches!
3. If you foul on the last pitch, you’re out.
4. The ball must pass the pitcher when batted or it is considered a strike.
5. Do not throw the bat!
6. Set up a batting order and do not deviate from it. Everyone must bat.
7. There are no bunts.
1. You may over run first base only.
2. When there are base runners behind you, you must run or it could be a force out.
3. A fly ball that is caught – runner must tag and run or stay on her base.
4. There is no sliding, no stealing bases and no lead offs.
5. Overthrows — if out of bounds – one base if in bounds – as many as you can
6. You are out if you run out of the base path.
7. Third base rule — all runners may advance only one base
1. Force out – touch the base with your foot when all bases behind a runner are occupied.
2. Tags — if the runner is not forced to run, you must tag them with the ball.
If the runner is forced to run, you may tag the base or the runner.
3. If runner leaves too soon on a caught fly, touch the base for the out.
4. You pitch and catch for your own team. The pitcher can not touch a batted ball. If the ball hits the
pitcher, the batter is out. The catcher makes no plays at home because she is on the batting team.
Refer to the third base rule.
5. Third base rule — Throw the ball in front of the runner going home from third base. The throw must be
below the runners waist and before the home plate. If it is thrown successfully in front of the runner,
she gets a free walk back to third. If the bases are loaded and it is a force run — she is out
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