Have you seen the latest Program Basics Playbook? It’s the Gym & Field Playbook and it is WONDERFUL!!!!!!!
The Gym & Field Playbook helps you prepare safe and effective programs in the gym and on the field. It provides ideas of how to program for the Sports & Recreation area, prep and run activities, recognize members and assess your day-to-day program. There are resources specifically for the Club or Program Director and or the Youth Development Professional, with tons of practical ideas and templates. I especially love the ideas for how to run a Gym with multiple activity areas at once so that everyone can be involved!
One of the five Fundamentals of a successful Sports & Recreation program is to keep programming fresh. Mixing up the sports and games you offer can keep youth engaged and moving. Also, changing the setup and rules to games can give youth at every skill level the opportunity to get involved and be successful, and maybe even discover some new interests. Keep it fresh by rotating games and activities, trying new sports, and making new rules for familiar games. The Playbook shows you exactly how, and even gives a bunch of already adapted game ideas. Because we *sparkly heart emoji* our ClubX Blog readers, we are sharing some here.
Here are FIVE ways to remix popular sports and games to keep your youth engaged! If you love them, there are more FOUR MORE in the Playbook! 🙂
Exponentially increase the score during a baseball game by awarding points in a whole new way! First base equals 1 point, second base equals 2 points, third base equals 3 points, and fourth base equals 4 points. Now a home run equals 10 points! Youth will have fun adding up their scores. This encourages their math skills and lets everyone add points to their team’s score.
Practice shooting baskets all around the court with this alternative basketball game. This game requires at least two players and one ball. Identify and mark 9 to 18 “holes” around the court to shoot from. The first player shoots on the first hole. if they miss, they attempt again from where they grabbed the rebound. The score for the hole is the number of shots it took the player to make the basket. Switch players after each completed basket. The lowest score wins.
Goalball is a Paralympic sport, somewhat like soccer, invented for blind athletes. The goal is to roll a noise-making bell ball over the opposing team’s goal line while blindfolded. To make a bell ball, you can cut open a volleyball, place several bells inside, then close the ball with duct tape. Or place a small amount of rice/couscous/quinoa into an inflatable beachball. To introduce goalball, form groups of two. Give each pair a bell ball to pass back and forth from standing, kneeling, and lying positions with varying distances. Have youth practice the goalball move: throw the ball from the standing position, wait for the ball in the kneeling position, and block the ball in the lying position. Pairs can then join to play 2-on-2 games. Here’s a video so you can see the Paralympic version in action:
The goal of sitting volleyball is the same as standing volleyball: Hit the ball over the net and land it in the opposing team’s half of the court. Teams have up to three contacts with the ball before it must go over the net. The only difference is that players must sit on their bottoms. A standard net is about 3 feet high. For a lower net, consider sing a rope strung between two chairs, or even a line on the ground.
Place a home plate down on one end of a playing area. Place 4 to 10 additional bases in a zigag line, with about 10 yards between each. Place a second home plate at the end of the line of bases. (For example, in a standard gym, there will be one home plate on the end line under each basketball hoop.) The game is played like standard kickball – after kicking, the player runs to the first base and players continue moving down the bases as their teammates kick. A run is scored when a player moves down the bases and touches the final plate. When a player scores, they walk around the field to get in line to kick again.
Boys & Girls Club staff can download the entire Gym & Field Playbook on BGCA.net. While you are there, check out all the other Program Basics Playbooks, including Gamesroom, Assemblies, and Transitions.
What are your favorite ways to adapt well-known games? How do you increase engagement in the gym or on the field? Share your best tips with us by commenting below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or by emailing ClubXBlog@bgca.org.