Top 5 Minor Games
Minor games require little, if any, equipment and can be played almost anywhere. Players need a variety of skills and little prior knowledge. These games have been designed to engage and challenge students of all different abilities and ages. Minor games are the perfect way to finish off a day at school. If you have a spare 20 minutes the students will love the opportunity to play a fun minor game inside or outside.
Equipment: Three soft indoor balls
Setting: Basketball court or indoor playing gym/hall
Description: This game can be played for hours. It is everybody on to everybody. Like dodge ball but no teams and there are no lines or places players can’t go on the court. The aim of the game is to throw one of the soft balls and hit other players on the full below the shoulders. If another player hits a player on the full, they are out. They go and sit on the side and wait for the person who got them out to go out. Once the person who got them out is out they are allowed back into the game. The way a player wins is by getting the entire class out by themselves (this is extremely rare).
Safety: If a player has a ball in their hands they are only allowed to take one step before throwing; they cannot move with the ball otherwise they will be asked to sit out for one minute. Also if a player holds one of the balls for longer than five seconds they will be asked to sit out for one minute. If a player throws the ball and another player catches the ball the catcher is out and must wait for the person who caught them to go out before they are allowed back into the game.
Variations: If the game has been going for a long time and you still don’t have a winner, you can make it when you go out, you are not allowed back in. That way you will have a clear winner. You can also say to players they can play as little teams and work together to try and win; the catch with this is that they will eventually have to try and get their teammates out to win the game.
Equipment: Six foam balls (soft indoor balls)
Setting: Basketball court or indoors playing area
Description: Split the class into two even teams. Teams are designated halves of the playing area and six balls are placed along the line separating the two playing areas. On the command of “Go” each team aims to hit as many opposition players below the shoulders on the full as possible. When a student is hit, they must sit down. One person on each side is a secret Jedi Knight and they have the power to touch their teammates who are sitting down. Once the Jedi has touched them, they can rejoin the game. Teams have to figure out who the Jedi is on each team, as when a ball hits the Jedi, nobody else can be saved. The first team to have the other team all sitting down wins and they get an extra point if they can correctly identify the other team’s Jedi.
Safety: If a player is hit above the shoulder they are not out. If a player catches a throw from the other team, then the thrower is out and a teammate from the catcher’s team gets to join them if they are out of the game. Perhaps hit below the waist for girls.
Variations: You can introduce two Jedi Knights to each team to make the game last longer. Or you can add a super ball (different colour to the other five) that if caught by the other team, everyone sitting down is allowed back in the game.
Equipment: 30 cones and four soft footballs
Setting: Set boundaries based on class size but begin with basketball court, then as variations reduce court size so that students’ cones are closer to each other and there is more action.
Description: All students but five get cones (place them upside down in the playing area) that they can place anywhere in the playing area (begin with basketball court – although it depends on the class size). Throw four soft footballs into play (again, based on class size) and students are to use the balls to knock over other students’ cones (soccer rules – no hands). If a student’s cone gets knocked over, they are to pick it up and take it to one of the five players sitting on the side (players sitting off can watch for whose cone gets hit – generally hard to watch). Make sure that players on the side stay in line, so that players going out don’t cut in line before players that are in line before them.
Safety: Make sure that the balls are soft, and students aren’t kicking them above waist height; remember the aim is to knock over the other students’ cones (which are small on the ground). No physical contact; students can steal the ball from one another, but no tackling. Using feet only, so that there are no hands involved. Make sure playing area is clear of all non-playing obstructions like students’ jumpers or school bags.
Variations: Introduce more balls so that students have to be aware of more activity around them and more students are involved in the game at once. Reduce size of playing area so that students’ cones are closer together and students need to be more aware of movement around their cone.
Equipment: One soft ball (Nerf ball)
Setting: It depends on what size class you have. A netball third or half a basketball court should be ample.
Description: All the students stand in a large circle. Two students move to the centre of the circle (one is the president while the other is the bodyguard). The group in the circle is given a soft ball which they have to throw around the circle and at the president. The bodyguard has to do all he can to stop the president getting hit by the ball (this may involve, jumping, squatting or diving). When the ball makes contact with the president the person who threw the ball becomes the bodyguard. The bodyguard becomes the president and the president goes back into the circle. As soon as the president is hit the new president becomes live and is able to be struck from this moment. This increases excitement. The new bodyguard has to be speedy at getting into the circle.
Safety: Use a soft ball to reduce risk of injury. President can only be hit below shoulders. Make sure the circle is large enough so the ball isn’t thrown from too close.
Variations: Have more than one president. Change the group sizing. Allow students in circle to move in a designated area. Introduce more than one ball.
Equipment: Two little flags, two sets of colour bands and 60 cones to mark the playing area.
Setting: Outdoors on an oval or large playing area.
Description: Players are split into two teams. The oval is split into two halves, with a line of cones separating both teams. In each half there is a jail (2m x 2m) and an end zone (4m x 4m), which has the flag in it. Each team is safe on their side and cannot be tagged. You can only be tagged when you run into the other team’s half to try and steal the flag. If the other team tags a student in their side the student is put in jail, and can only be freed by a team member who runs over and tags them in the jail. These players then get a free walk back to their safe side and are back in the game.
To win the game a team member needs to run into the other team’s half and down to the end zone where the flag is. They need to grab the flag and try and run it back over their side without being tagged. If they are tagged with the flag, they go to jail and the flag is placed back in the end zone. This is a great game for teamwork and working out strategies together.
Safety: Have boundaries to avoid hazards; students are only allowed to tag each other below the shoulders; make sure students are aware that tripping is not allowed.
Variations: Allow students to throw the flag or pass it to team members when they are trying to get it to their side. Add extra flags in the end zone. If a student is put in jail they are there until a team steals the flag; they cannot be freed by a team member.