Warm Up Games
For all levels:
Listed in sequential order, simple to complex.
1. Simon Says
Begin with “Simon Says” and lead into on-the-spot exercises and activities.
2. Empty the Bag
Coach has a collection of balls that are thrown out in all directions. Children return the balls in the fashion commanded, eg: “Hop back”, “Big steps back”
or “Jump back”, etc, and various combinations of these.
3. Here, There, Everywhere
Coach uses three words that have special meaning, eg, “EVERYWHERE” – stands for particular activity to be carried out, such as running on hands and feet;
“THERE” – players run after the coach; “HERE” – players run towards a
4 Ostrich Tag
One child is chosen as “IT”. That child chases other players trying to tag as many as possible. Tagged players help catch the remaining players, who may stand in a “SAFE” position such as putting their arm under one leg and taking hold of their nose with the other hand.
“SAFE” position may change to bobbing down and holding ankles.
5. Steal the Ball
Players stand on base line with one player standing 15-20m away. A football is placed on the ground 3 metres behind him. On signal, the players move forward and attempt to reach the ball, pick it up and run to the boundary without being tagged. Players can only move when the lead player has his back to them. When he turns, all players freeze. Any player caught moving returns to the base of the
line and starts again.
Players can only move in the fashion commanded, eg, hopping, skipping.
6. Spider and Flies
Two spiders are chosen; remaining players are flies. The spiders sit in the middle while the flies move around by hopping or skipping, etc. The spiders
sit quietly and patiently until they are ready to leap up and chase the flies towards the boundary. Flies caught become spiders in the next round. The game ends with the last fly being the winner.
One person is “IT” and when he/she catches others, they become “scarecrows”. The scarecrow is released by a child crawling between his legs. The game is finished when all competitors are scarecrows. Must be played in small area.
8. Odd Man Out
Players move around by skipping, hopping or running. When whistle is blown, they grab a partner. As a variation, form groups of three, four, five partners, etc.
9. Tame Dog
One player is chosen as a tame dog and stands inside a marked area about 4m wide. All other players are wild dogs and stand outside. The wild dogs irritate the tame dog by stepping into or running across its area. The tame dog tries to tag the wild dogs that enter. Wild dogs that are tagged become tamed and help the first tame dog.
10. Cat and Mouse
Players form a circle and hold hands. Two are selected to be the cat and the mouse. Cat stands outside the circle and the mouse inside. Cat tries to catch the mouse. Other children protect the mouse, letting him pass under their arms, but not the cat. Try two cats chasing the mouse.
11. Magic Wand
One player holds the “wand”. Raise the wand and all players jog around. Lower the wand and all players skip around. When the wand is placed on the ground,
all players run to the boundary before being tagged.
12. Hungry Birds
Players jog around in a circle. A number of footballs are scattered in the centre. Players must keep away from the footballs. On a signal, they run in, pick up a ball and run to the boundary.
13. Magic Football
Coach in centre holding a football. Players move around carrying out the actions indicated by the coach, eg, walking, running to the right, running to the left, jumping on the spot, etc. When the coach hides the football behind his back,
all players run to the boundary, as the coach tries to tag them.
14. Close the Circle, Open the Circle
Start with all players standing in a circle. Coach calls “Open the Circle”.
All walk in and raise their arms above their heads. “Close the Circle” – walk backwards till arms are stretched sideways and all players are holding hands. “Lower the Circle” – crouch down with hands still joined. “Spin” – all drop hands and jog on the spot.
15. Jumping Jacks
Players stand in a group at one end facing the coach who performs a number
of jumping movements that the players imitate. On a signal, the children
are chased to the boundary. Give players a turn at being the leader.
16. Follow the Leader
Players stand on a line with a lead player walking up and down in front. Lead player calls what action players must use to move to opposite boundary (skip, run, hop, jump, crawl, etc). No matter what action is suggested by the leader, both he and the other players must carry it out. The players try to cross
the opposite line without being tagged by the leader.
17. Rucks and Rovers
The game is played in an open space with marked boundaries. The distance between boundaries depends on the numbers participating. All players line up
on one boundary (designated “Rucks”) and face the opposite boundary (designated “Rovers”). Players must move between both boundaries according
to commands from the coach, who stands in the middle. Movement can be either jogging, running, hopping, jumping or skipping. When a command is given, all players must immediately carry out the nominated activity.
Any player not performing the activity exactly as commanded is eliminated and moves to a pre-determined area. Eliminations continue until only one player remains.
“Rucks” – All run to a boundary designated “Rucks”.
“Rovers” – All run to the boundary designated “Rovers”.
“Umpy on ground” – Stand still and salute coach.
“Raise the run-through” – Players stand still and pull an imaginary rope
to raise the team banner.
“Match starts” – Continuous jogging on the spot while shaking hands with
“Mark” – Continuous high jumps on the spot off alternate feet.
“Huddle” – Players form groups of designated numbers.
“Huddle five” – Five players huddle together.
“Hit the deck” – Players lie on their stomachs.
“Half-time” – Players lie on their back.
“Coach speaks” – Stand still, hands on hips, lean forward.
“Ring the bell” – Players stand still and ring an imaginary bell.
“Freeze” – All players stand still. No movement is permitted.
18. Human Tunnel Ball
Players divide into two groups in a line formation one behind the other. On “go”, they move their feet apart and the first player at the front of the line crawls through the tunnel of legs. When reaching the end, he stands behind the last player and calls “tunnel”. The next player at the front of the line follows. The winning group is the first back to its original position.
19. Rats and Roosters
Divide players in two teams. Team A stands on one side of line, Team B on the other. Team A is called RATS, Team B ROOSTERS. Two lines are placed on the ground, one on either side of each team 10-12 metres from the players. When a particular team’s name is called, all run for the burrows or the line in front, chasing the others.
20. Square Chase
Mark a square leaving room for players to run around the outside. Players stand outside the square, equal distance from each other, all facing one way. On the word “Go”, all run. Each tries to catch the one in front and avoid being tagged by the one behind. As players are tagged, they drop out, until the game becomes a duel between the last two players.
21. Cops and Robbers
Small area split into three – robbers in the middle with cops at each end. Robbers join cops when tagged by a thrown ball. The ball may only contact a player below the waist.
22. Dodge and Mark
Players in pairs, one is the “ATTACKER” and the other the “DEFENDER”. On the signal, the attackers must free themselves from the defenders who follow and stay within arm’s distance. The activity is repeated, players change roles.
23. Odds and Evens
Two groups line up in parallel lines facing each other. One team is named the “ODDS” and the other the “EVENS”. One team is nominated to turn around and run towards a “SAFE” area. The other must give chase and attempt to tag the opposition. Those caught join the opposition. The last player caught is
24. Free and Caught
Two or more children are “IT”, remainder are scattered. Children chosen as “IT” chase and tag as many players as possible. Those tagged, stand still and wait to be released by being tagged by a free player.
25. Freight Train Tag
Children in threes form a train by placing their hands on the hips of the child
in front of them. Others chase and try to join the end of the train.
26. Two Versus One
Groups of three with two children nominated to chase the other child. The
game is repeated so that everyone has a turn at being chased.
27 One, Two, Three, Charge
Two teams line up along the boundaries facing each other. Three players stand in the middle. Players on boundaries are numbered. Numbers are repeated within each team. When a number is called, the corresponding players attempt
to change sides. If successful, all players change sides. The players in the middle “tag” as many opposition players as possible. Those caught remain in the centre.
28 Handball Tag
One or more players with footballs attempt to tag others by handballing. The last remaining player is the winner.
Variation: Dribbling the ball with their feet.
29. Touch Hands and Run
Two parallel lines of players facing each other. The players in one line raise an arm and hold it palm upwards. The opposition player touches the hand, turns and runs to his boundary. The other players give chase. The roles are then reversed.
30. Two Versus One Handball
Groups of three. Two players run and handpass the ball to each other, the third player attempts to intercept or block the ball. No tackling is permitted. A goal is scored after three handballs have been received without the ball touching
Variation: Substitute foot dribbling for handballing or increase the size of the group to five (3 handpassing and 2 intercepting).
31. Team Tag
Players wait in groups on boundary, each named after a football team, eg, Hawks. The coach stands in the middle and calls each group in turn. Players run, skip or hop to opposite boundary and the coach tries to tag them. Those tagged assist the coach.
32. Through the Wall
Double circle with one football placed on the ground in the centre. Inside circle people stand with feet wide astride facing the football. Outside circle people run around the standing players. On a signal, they continue running forward until they reach their partner. They crawl through their partner’s legs to the centre. First player to pick up the football wins.
33. Dodge and Steal
Make an area the size of a basketball court. A number of balls are placed behind each base line. Players are in two teams, one in each half of the court. They try to cross their opponent’s base line, take a ball and return to their own half without being tagged.
A number of markers are placed on the ground. Each marker represents an island. A player standing next to a marker cannot be tagged. Several players run between the islands trying to tag players as they run, skip, hop and jump, etc, from island to island. Set a maximum of 2-3 players on an island at any one time.
35. Circle Chase
All players in groups of three and jogging around a large circle or square. Each group of three has a number. The coach calls a number, the players belonging to that number run around the circle trying to tag as many players as possible until the coach yells “jog”. Tagged players must run when a number is called.