This is an excerpt from More Fun and Games by Anthony Dowson.
Ages 5 to 13
Key Skills and Fitness Components Developed
- Decision making
- Reaction time
This game incorporates a fun activity based on the rules of the game Rock, Paper, Scissors. In this version, instead of making the required shape (rock, paper or scissor) with their hands, participants choose to be a wizard (pretend to zap their opponent and say a spell, such as ‘shazam!'), a giant (reach up with both arms and growl) or a goblin (make a shrieking noise while rubbing fingers and thumbs together with both hands). Similar to the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, each action can be beaten by one other action. A wizard action beats a goblin action, a goblin action beats a giant action and a giant action beats a wizard action.
Arrange the participants in pairs, and allow them to practise the actions so that they become familiar with them. Once they have practised, arrange the participants into two teams with equal numbers of participants in each (a simple way would be to ask the pairs to number themselves 1 and 2). Teams stand in a circle, away from their opponents, and secretly choose the action they will all perform. The participants in each team line up facing an opponent. There should be a gap of approximately 2 metres between opponents and a similar sized gap between the team-mates in line. Place two lines of cones on the ground, one on either side of the participants approximately 7 to 10 metres (7.7 to 11 yd) away.
When the participants are lined up, call out ‘reveal!', at which point participants carry out their actions. If the teams perform different actions, the participants in the team that performs the losing action quickly turn and run towards the nearest line of cones. The aim is to get to the cones before the opposing team tags them.
The participants in the team that performs the winning action chase their opponent and try to tag them before they get to the line of cones. If a participant being chased reaches the line before she is tagged, she beats her opponent. However, if the chasing participant tags her opponent before she gets to the line, she wins that round. Add up the number of participants who win to determine which team wins each round. The participants should then go back into their teams to decide the next action they will perform. If teams choose the same action, they return to their circle to decide on the next action they will perform, then line up again at the centre and wait for you to start the game. Continue for a set time (e.g., 5 minutes) or until one team wins a set number of rounds (e.g., 10).
- Ensure participants have completed a thorough warm-up before carrying out this activity because it involves ballistic movements.
- Warn participants to be careful of collisions.
- Participants should not tag too hard.
- Participants should turn and run in a straight line towards the cones and not cut across other participants' paths. It may be useful to use cones to mark out where the participants should stand before ‘reveal' is called so they are not standing too close to team-mates.
- Participants should practise the actions a number of times so that they become familiar with which action beats which other action.
- Change partners regularly.
- If you have a wide range in ability, it may be best to match opponents by speed or ability.
- Game variation: This activity can be played individually. Participants play against an opponent for a set number of turns (e.g., the best out of five or seven) to decide who wins, and then change partners.
- Game variation: With older participants (e.g., 11- to 13-year-olds), you may want to use the Rock, Paper, Scissors actions.
- Sport-specific: This game can be adapted for use in other sports that involve dribbling, such as soccer and hockey. Participants each have a ball beside them. After they have ‘revealed', the losing participant has to dribble the ball to the line before being tagged. The participant who is chasing does not dribble a ball.