Teaching movement play and games

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Teaching movement play and games – from the cultural, social and sporting perspective

Michał Bronikowski, Małgorzata Bronikowska, Adam Kantanista

Poznań 2012



1. Movement play and games – Michał Bronikowski 1.1. Introduction 1.2. Differences between a play, a game and an exercise 1.3. Inspiration for movement plays and games in modern societal and cultural trends 1.4. Examples of movement plays and games 1.5. Beyond the boundaries of the gym into a cross-subject teaching 2. Ethnology of traditional plays and games - Małgorzata Bronikowska 2.1. Development of research studies in plays and games 2.2. From historical to the modern perspective on play and game study 2.3. Becoming a self-made ethnologist in re-discovering traditional plays and games 2.4. Ethnology in practice – re-discovering traditional and modern plays and games 3. Problems based learning or teaching games for understanding? - Adam Kantanista 3.1. Movement games –for building good relations and climate in PE lessons 3.2. Teaching games for understanding (TGfU) – alternative approach 3.2.1. Examples of territory/invasion games 3.2.2. Examples of net/wall games References


1. Movement play and games - Michał Bronikowski 1.1. Introduction Although play seems to be a characteristic form of activity in early phases of life for all animals it is an essentially human distinction when it takes a form of an educational or cultural act. Enjoyment and educational values found in a play make a difference to survival purposes of animals’ playful, though instinctive, activities. Play is one of the most universal forms of getting to know others and this applies to all individuals and groups, from a single person to entire societies. It is a phenomenon equally valuable in the Northern and the Western parts of the world, and throughout cultures as historically old as Chine and as geographically remote as the Eskimo. It is the synthesis of a child’s creativity expressed in imaginary situations, these are parallel realities, where life is simplified and rules modified accordingly to one’s moods, needs or company. The origins of various plays may be rooted either in mythological rituals, riddles and rhymes or historical legends of local heroes. But it may also have come from personal needs developed into educationally valid tasks and ‘wrapped up’ in attractive fables. Moreover, the term ‘play’ covers almost everything which results in enjoyment and freedom of choices in selecting who a child wants to be in the story unfolding, and in accordance with what playing tools they have available to include in the play. The ability to make decisions is also vital in play as this liberty to make choices on their own, makes the play one of the most powerful educational tools in every society and culture. Despite racial or religious differences play can unite children from various ethnic and economic backgrounds without even having to understand their language – a normally basic mean of human communication. This is probably due to the characteristic of a play coming from spontaneous inspiration, with a fable often created along the way and gathering children on a common ‘project’ of creating something exceptional so long as there is a mutual agreement between all the parties involved. Children adapt culture through playful activities quicker and more sensibly than in any other form of activity, which develops them cognitively and allows adaptation to any circumstances and environments (Piaget 1962). It is the range of plays they are provided with that elevates their understanding of the world and enables them to become more self-confident and self-aware and morally adjusted to particular societies and cultures. In adulthood this role is overtaken by different sports and games played in each country, which influences the quality of each individual in terms of interpersonal 3

relationships, the ability to abide by the rules and the development of skills in team working or problem solving. “This transition from play to purposeful activity occurs due to growth and development and is shaped by the social and physical environment within which a youngster lives. Motor skills develop as the individual grows older; infants learn to roll over, sit up and take their first steps. Children begin to throw, catch, hop and skip. Eventually assisted by exposure to a variety of opportunities and with appropriate encouragement, children develop the skills and interest to participate in games, sports and recreational pursuits. Likes and preferences combine with motor skills and behavioral competencies, and the combination, if successful, results in a physically active young person” (Ward et al. 2007, p. 6). If the above is taken to be true, , in trying to define play, we would say that play is a voluntary activity, characterised by minimal rules (often re-invented along the play), spontaneity and fantasy and is viewed by participants as non-work. According to Huizinga (1985) play is a cultural phenomenon characterised by freedom of choices, standing outside ‘ordinary’ life as being ‘not serious’ (although due to the high level of emotional engagement it may become very serious to the participants), but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and totally. It is an activity connected with no material interest and gains. Huizinga believed that the function of play can be derived from the two basic aspects under which we meet it: as a contest for something or a representation of something. These two functions can unite in such a way that the game ‘represents’ a contest or else becomes a contest for the best representation of something. However, Bronikowski and Muszkieta (2000) see play to serve more than two functions. The the five they mention are practical, cognitive, social, educational and hedonic (ludic) functions: a) Practical function – enables a child to master basic forms of movement and skills necessary for developing more advanced forms of sport-specific technical skills along with some utilitarian ones. b) Cognitive function - enables a child to gather information on various aspects of living integrated in symbolic forms in a play with a fable. c) Social function – introduces a child to the expectations they may encounter in their adulthood in social life (e.g. different social functions like being a leader or being a part of a team). d) Educational function – by specially designed educational tasks, play develops appropriate character features needed for most cultural and moral functioning in a society (i.e. controlling emotions, trust building, loyalty, developing courage). 4

e) Hedonic function – play is a form of joyful activity undertaken for the pleasure of playing and bringing relaxation after other tiresome activities of daily living, ludic origins of a play are mostly represented by this function. Some define play as ‘spontaneous activity of children’. This refers rather to informal, childish playing which is an important source of movement inspiration for young developing minds and bodies of children. This form of play is though equally important for an adult observer if one wants to see if a particular child likes to play alone or in the company of others, creates its own ideas or follows others, and shares or hides them from others. Connecting this childish, spontaneous, involvement with positive emotions is crucial for the future development of habits and conscious behaviours that promote a healthy lifestyle. In English scientific literature structured play/game is associated with participation in competitive team sports or involve individual competitive sports such as track and field events, swimming, gymnastics and tennis (Ward et al. 2007). This approach to play lacks a whole range of important matters which are dealt with in a play, in a sense as it is understood in some Slavic countries for example.

It is characteristic that in a play every one may be a winner and the rivalry is not a team against any other team but it is rather a challenge to an individual to cope with the rules to the best of their skills and abilities. Play is more about cooperating than competing but it is always a good idea to award the best ones in every form of activity and so it should be in plays. Play is primary to more complex forms of physical education teaching as it uses the most basic forms of physical movement (i.e. running, jumping, catching, twisting, tossing, getting a hold of a ball, throwing) involving moderate forms of tactical thinking (see the Teaching Games for Understanding – TGFU model in the next chapter). A game differs from play in that it is a more formalised form of activity characterised by explicit rules, and the outcome which is ‘measured’ by its score. In its form outside the school context, a game may be a form of organised recreational activity or a highly competitive team vs. team rivalry, determined by strict rules and technical regulations. In both of these cases, games have formal rules, which can be alternated for the schooling purposes (modified, simplified). In games there is strong tendency to field-position specialisation (e.g goalkeeper or forward) and frequently, school physical education lessons of games lack other educational momentum making this form of activity especially vulnerable for occurrence of misbehaviour


problems, particularly in invasion-games, where the chances of encountering an opponent are unavoidable.

1.2. Differences between a play, a game and an exercise If participation in a play happens for extrinsic rewards it is difficult to call them a play. Teacher needs to be able to understand differences between basic educational means he/she is going to use in their process of educating someone. In case of physical education, a teacher’s physical means often dominate to the detriment of more educational ones and there is nothing more damaging to the holistic stimulation of the social and cultural development of a young person than a lack of professional knowledge and skills of their teacher. Teachers of physical education often confuse basic terms like play, race and game. The first one is a voluntary activity, characterised by minimal rules (often re-invented throughout the play), spontaneity and fantasy and is viewed by participants as non-work, while the latter two are usually forms of a simplified group competition involving basic movement skills. It is more difficult to distinguish games as all sports can be considered games, but not vice-versa. This may be exemplified in the figure devised by Meier (1981).

Figure 1. Relationship among sport, game and play from by K.V.Meier (1981, On the Inadequacies of Sociological Definitions of Sport. International Review of Sport Sociology, 16, p.96.) In their book Knowing Human Movement Estes and Mechikoff (1999) explain terms in kinesiology, the literary study of movement, in the following way: “sport is defined as a competitive activity governed by formal rules and played by individuals and teams seeking to win. Play is a more basic category than 6

either sport or athletics and is more fundamental and more varied, includes sport as well as many types of human activities. One type of play that physical educators use to teach movement skills is that of games. Games are activities that create winners and losers, and range from simple diversions to competitions with significant outcomes governed by rules. Good physical educators choose games that are appropriate to the educational games. This act of choosing explains why many physical educators are moving away from traditional games like football and basketball.”

In the educational context, playing should proceed racing and should be primary to more complex forms of physical education teaching. as it uses the most basic forms of physical movement (i.e. running, jumping, catching, twisting, tossing, gaining possession of a ball, throwing). If properly prepared and applied, a play can be a valuable source of social influence. Hughes (2012, p. 83) gives a list of different play types that exemplify different ways of experiencing the world by children: They are: in communication play – through the mediums of talking, singing, and meta-communicating,  in creative play – by exploring materials and different permutations of colours,  in deep play – by interfacing with death and mortality,  in dramatic play – by experiencing events by playing them out,  in exploratory play – by surveying and investigating new spaces,  in fantasy play – by exploring ideas that are unconnected with reality,  in imaginative play – by exploring ideas that are connected with reality,  in locomotor play – by engaging in three-dimensional movements,  in mastery play – by attempting to exert control over the physical environment,  in object play – by exploring the tactile and cognitive properties of objects,  in recapitulative play – through our previous evolutionary stages,  in role play – experiencing adult functions through engaging in them,  in rough and tumble play – by calibrating one’s own and others’ tactile and muscular capabilities, 7

 in social play – by investigating and applying social protocol and rules,  in socio-dramatic play – experiencing catharsis by dramatising difficult experiences,  in symbolic play – by using materials and symbols to represent abstract ideas and concepts. Play is more about cooperating than competing but it is always a good idea to prise the best ones in every form of activity. Whilst race has no fable nor plot and the whole idea of the task is based around a merely physical competition enhanced with some basic motor and sport skills development (i.e. running with bouncing a ball). Both of the forms (play and race) are needed in the education process to develop co-operating and competing skills. It is only the way and the phase of education they are applied at which remains crucial for the social and moral development as well as a use of more advanced games. Game is a more formalised form of play and is characterised by explicit rules, and the outcome is ‘measured’ by its score. In its form outside an educational context game may be a form of organised recreational activity or a highly competitive form or team against team rivalry, determined by strict rules and technical regulations. Preparation for more advanced game playing requires moderate forms of tactical thinking and this is best achievable by employing pre-considered teaching strategies like for example the Teaching Games for Understanding model (TGFU). In both cases games have formal rules, which could however be modified or simplified for purposes. According to Bunker and Thorpe (1982) the TGFU model is founded on the principle that the process of learning is as equally important as the intended outcomes. In this model the aim is that the learner would prefer to understand the tactical strategies of a game than simply perform tasks and mastering it by constant repetition, but often without appropriate level of intellectual processing. Use of this model enables the learners to employ the most suitable solutions in a range of situations and contexts, which is vital in all team games. There is strong tendency to field-position specialisation (in. goalkeeper or forward) and games teaching frequently other educational facets, making this form of activity especially vulnerable to problematic occurrences of misbehaviour, particularly in invasion-games where the chances of encountering an opponent are unavoidable. In order to clearly indicate the model a game exemplifying TGFU model is presented in the final chapters. But school physical education is not just plays or games – it is also necessary to use various forms of exercises, which usually are considered as yet another form of leisure activities developing physical activity and health potential. 8

In the schooling process exercise is planned and structured, repetitive bodily movements that the teacher engages pupils in for the purpose of improving or maintaining physical fitness and health. This requires accuracy and therefore concentration on a given task (usually going for too long and thus de-motivating especially for younger children) and as such needs to be strictly supervised by the teacher. This also involves immediate feedback from the teacher (correcting mistakes, telling pupils what was wrong and giving advice how to improve) which in many cases, if done in an inappropriate way (i.e. inadequate support, poor instruction, embarrassment) lead to drop-outs situation. When giving pupils exercise activities the teacher needs to consider personal factors such as age, personality and interests of the students, as well as educational factors such as the goal or learning phase. Differences between play, game and exercise have been presented in tab.1. Only if those factors are appropriately addressed will individual pupils be more likely to make exercising or/and playing a regular part of their daily routine, which is one of the fundamental aims of physical education. Table 1. Comparison of different forms of activities Form of activity Variable




Forms of movement



on Specialized



of (sometimes trained) complex


movements (running, skills depending on on




skipping, the player’s position context


catching, and function in a

tossing, throwing)



depending aims



Individual, everyone Teams, groups, equal Individual responsible oneself, depending

for in numbers and skills number on


(sometimes threes), depends

pairs, number on


available area and

available area and

equipment used

equipment used



Individual adjustment

Score is a measure of Correctness and strict to

the effectiveness


rules and individual



given example

success in efforts Rules

Set by the playing Rules set before the Expectation on what together

but game but with some and how should the

developing along the teams games possible exercises be carried play acceptation

(with modification of

out need to be given

all according

taking part in a play)


to (instruction followed needs by a demonstration)








1.3. Inspiration for movement plays and games in modern societal and cultural trends For many years, in schools using instructional, direct, teaching methods, children did not need to think for themselves. It was the teacher who usually told them what and how do things with a more indirect teaching approach for common nowadays, teacher lets them create their own ideas and self-autonomy. Lavin and Lavin (2008, p.12) say that “pupils are encouraged by the teacher to think of creative solutions to games (plays) situations. The teacher does not seek to provide answers for the pupils but allows them to develop their own creative ideas. If this could only be applied to early physical education it would make a valuable contribution to the life time development of every child. One ought to remember that in the school context, children are playing not for the sake of playing, but also for educational purposes. One of the fundamental characteristics of a play is the vagueness of its possible endings that develops as the play progresses. Even plays based on a fable rooted in legends, fairy tales or historical stories may have indefinite endings, which can then be created by those playing it themselves. Lack of proportions between plays (those with a fable and containing learning social skills) and races (mainly developing motor skills) may lead to the 10

situation where pupils will “switch off” their imagination and creativity and will rely on the instructional messages from the teacher. In the long term this will result in an ‘outer-directed society’, whose members will have to be told what to do or not to do, what is right and what they should consider as wrong doing. Creativity and the use of imagination in plays may lead to development of self-directed individuals and therefore one of the most crucial features that should be included in early education is developing a process of creative thinking. Creativity depends on numerous factors (e.g., social atmosphere in a group, range of teaching styles or sources of motivation) but it is certainly always about taking some risk by both teachers and pupils. It is also about developing autonomous thinking and decision making as well as about self-confidence coming from Bandura’s self-efficacy - If I could do it this time I will be able to do other things as well next time (Bandura, 1997). According to Reber (1985, p.28) creativity is “a mental process that leads to solutions, ideas, conceptualizations, artistic forms, theories or products that are unique and novel”. As such, creativity has to be woven into the teaching process through specially designed educational activities and tasks. But one ought to remember that except for the motivational and positive atmosphere any creative process needs to be shaped and adjusted along route. And to be able to create something new in that teaching-learning process teacher needs to keep in mind what Lichtman (1999, p.5) lists as guidelines which may help adolescents achieve the planned educational, social and cultural objectives. She mentions the following points: 1) Value divergent thinking By encouraging exploration of different approaches to accomplish a specific objective, an open environment is provided in which experimentation is valued. Setting an example by devising new activities, or at least selecting and implementing games students have not played before, is essential. By doing this their desire will be reinforced. It will also pique their curiosity to experience different activities. 2) Be sensitive to common elements If a goal or objective of a task is defined from the very beginning there is a risk of stifling rather than enhancing the creative process. By substituting the objective of propelling a ball into an area defined as target or goal, you open up limitless possibilities. Once the goal is identified, a series of some questions can be posed that will serve to determine the major elements of the activity. 11

3) Manipulate ideas and objects Identifying the activity’s strengths and shortcomings is the next step. The group’s analysis should be balanced, if you pay attention to only the negative aspects and ignore positive features, there is a risk of curing a problem while detracting from a desirable feature. More than one solution for a problem should be devised and tested and you should choose the most effective one. After the major pitfalls have been eliminated, address some of the less critical factors. Finally, fine-tune the game by playing it. 4) Develop tolerance and avoid sanctions Novel activities often require unique rules, player setups, court design, and so on. It may be inappropriate to use preexisting patterns from traditional sports or even other innovative games. Yet at the same time, you do not need to reinvent the wheel each time a new activity is created. If you reward students for adopting a what-if? attitude and reinforce it with a let’stry-it approach, you will send a clear message that using elements that seem to have worked in similar situations is fine, but allowing imaginations to devise unique, but workable, solutions is also valued. To encourage an open dialogue, you must make it clear that eliminating a particular aspect of an activity does not mean that the person who suggested it is stupid, for the same idea might be perfect in a different activity setting. It is extremely important to realize that there is no absolute formula to apply to the process of creation or to the modification of original ideas. 5) Provide incubation time Small group discussion is an ideal way to plant the seeds that grow into novel ideas, but without time for personal introspection and consideration, end products may be as rich or as well though out as possible. For example, when a lesson or practice calls for station work, consider including a “think tank” station where the elements of a novel activity can be devised or fine-tuned. 6) Use-effective elements as building blocks Some elements can be salvaged and used as the nucleus for devising an alternative that does function successfully. Something which seems not to fit, and which the teacher may judge to be a dismal failure, need not be viewed in such negative terms. There is inherent value in engaging adolescents in the constructive process of thinking and devising unique alternatives 12

to standard curriculum offerings that will impact on their physical education and recreational experiences. By doing so, it is possible to change the psychological emphasis in the gym setting from passive to active cognitive processing. Success in creating a new play, game or activity is not defined merely in terms of the utilitarian function of the product, but in the effort and motivation expended to push back the barriers that all too often constrain our thinking. It is this pushing back and opening up that helps us define ourselves by making us aware of what we are capable of accomplishing and allows us as individuals the freedom to explore and expand our thinking.

A crucial consideration should be whether present physical education is able to face challenges beyond the controlled environment of the gym or sports field. PE has to keep the pace with more attractive, fashionable social behaviours (certainly with less demanding ones like watching TV, playing computer games, exploring the Internet)? One of the potential ways is to use young people’s attraction to the media. It is apparent that watching sport on TV cannot be justified instead of doing it, but physical education can draw inspiration for crosscurricular links to health-related activities directly from the media and thus motivate young people to take care of their health. Another challenge is that it is possible that a lack of professional skills of those who were supposed to be leaders of active life styles led to a “retreat”. For example, teaching just motor skills has long become out of mode and has been proved to have little impact on human health. Kleiner (2007, p.77) claims that “teachers often try to achieve health promotion with content from sport disciplines (e.g. games, athletics, hiking, biking, badminton or swimming) that are also part of the curricula”. Furthermore, school physical education has become record-oriented and competitive sport-based teaching contents aimed at winning ( the “at all costs” syndrome), delivered to pupils through command and practice teaching styles to maintain discipline but not creativity. 13

Pupils are strictly supervised while they are told what and how to do things in a few “traditional” sports and teachers believe this will increase the pupils’ health awareness. According to Ennis (1996) a way to overcome the current crisis in physical education is coherence and clarity of training of prospective PE teachers, e.g. a clearly defined model of PE teacher constituting the basis in formulation of educational goals and tasks. Fullan (1982) proposes that the establishment of a new educational model allowing the meeting of challenges ahead of the teacher and the pupil should involve educational changes in three areas: 1) curriculum basis – teaching syllabi and materials; 2) teaching/learning process and 3) attitudes and beliefs of the educational community (academic centers). The least complex of these stages seems to be planning and development of teaching materials and the most difficult is changing the attitudes and pedagogical habits of teachers themselves. Indeed Johns et al. (2001) experienced these difficulties during their research project aimed at changing the mentality of school youth and developing regular habitual undertaking of physical activity. Their thoroughly planned programme and implementation of an increased, monitored, level of physical activity failed to produce the desired effects. The discrepancy between the theoretical assumptions of the project and capabilities and reluctance of teachers to implement the goals of the modified and challenging programme turned out to be too wide. No positive changes in the teachers’ and students’ attitudes and beliefs were achieved. The most likely reason for this was an inadequate level of involvement of teachers in the early stages of the project. Thus. the teachers had no opportunity to assess the real possibilities of implementation of the planned changes. Presumably good theoretical framework was too difficult to be put into practice. Another of the flaws of the project was negligence of the interests of students, who were perceived as objects rather than subjects of the educational actions. It is long overdue that school physical education (and PE teachers) started to use exploratory models of teaching, employing more active teaching and learning techniques through experienced-based (and “life skills”-based) learning methods or theme-based learning approaches. The curricula should expand to cover such themes as “movement and physical literacy”, “physical activity, health and fitness, “competition and cooperation”, “challenge” in a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning in physical education (Penney, Chandler 2000).


In order to meet the interests of pupils, physical education of the future should involve itself in the main stream of providing skills enabling sustainability of involvement. The health(a)ware model represents the new way of dealing with the physical and health education-specific contexts of life outside of sport disciplines that are important for a healthy existence. These include: social, moral, cultural, physical or psychological well-being. Perhaps it does not give all the answers to the problems facing physical education, but the model does open up and opportunity for communication with young people through providing situations based on creating chances and opportunities for self-expression of one’s own ideas, and through allowing some time for reflection upon the ideas of the others. It also suggests how one can try to use the resources of the ever-changing surrounding social environment for educational purposes. In order to increase the attractiveness of modern education we need to consider changing the way of thinking of PE teaching profession. It will require making changes to the teaching routine. More guided discovery teaching and divergent learning design, or according to Salvara et al. (2006) in a recent division of teaching styles, discovery and production styles should be used more often than the ones we (teachers and pupils) have become so accustomed to (For example: command, reproduction, assimilation). This could be achieved through the proposed approach of four modules in the health(a)ware model highlighting skills broader in range other than those sporting ones. Today teachers usually worry about covering the national curriculum and when this is combined with strong administrative expectations stressed by the school authorities (e.g., head teachers, PE department heads).This makes the process of teaching/learning even less attractive for all sides involved. This may lead to a development of an autocratic teaching approach which would involve direct instructions given to pupils and no margin for deviation. The opposite, democratic, approach would allow pupils to get involved and participate in the decision making process, but this demands more preparation and creative thinking. Nevertheless use of either of the two teaching approaches could be beneficial to the pupils (i.e. at least for maintaining the discipline in a class) as long as the pupils understand that the person in charge is the teacher but the benefits are mutual. National curricula usually emphasize some educational and socializing aspects to make sure that the minimal objectives are followed throughout all schools and that the needs of an average pupil are being met. But one has to remember that they (the national curricula in 15

different countries) do not limit the contents or teaching strategies to those included in the official curricula documents. So in fact there may be many paths leading to meeting the same objectives. With more skilful and pedagogically autonomous and experienced teachers they will differ within the teaching units and even from lesson to lesson, as a different lesson plan is needed for each class and it will be at the teacher’s discretion, adapted to individuals whether they be a beginner or an advanced in a particular skill or sports. If pupils find a technique too easy then the teacher could increase the complexity or have them increase the speed in which that task is being carried out which will hopefully help with continuity and progression of the skill (whether it would be a sport skill, moral or social skill or motor development) and this has to be interwoven into the lesson. But if the pupils lack motivation the solution may come from converting their daily interests, likes and routines into physical activity-based tasks.

1.4. Examples of movement plays and games Underneath there are presented examples of various plays and games to give students (and teachers) a grasp of what authors of the book meant in practice. Plays and games were described in the most simplified way (some with pictures exemplifying the idea of the activity) with the most useful, though basic, information concerning age of participants or playing equipment and area. There were also no objectives specified for particular activities, as it was our belief that students (and teachers) are perfectly capable of putting the objectives accordingly to their specific teaching needs and aims in the context they are going to use the activities. The same activities (either plays or games) can be used in various settings and may serve indefinite purposes. Modification of the activities, to enable them to serve those purposes is up the students (or teachers).

Activity 1: Name: Solar system Rounders Participants: 16-20 pupils, any age Equipment and facilities: 5 posts, 1 rounders bat, 1 rounders ball


Playing area: playing grass field Rules: The game is played as a preparation for the game of Rounders (and basic rules are the same) and help in understanding the concept of the solar system with a less-daunting explanation and an easily remembered model. The fielders are stars in the solar system. The bowler is the Sun and is placed at the centre of the pitch (the teacher may ask pupils who discovered this lay-out of the solar system and when it was). The posts guide the line of rotation in which the planets circle the sun and the ball is the comet. Each batter is a different planet. When it is the batters turn to bat they must reveal which planet they are and a fact about the planet (e.g., Mercury – this is the closest planet to the sun, Venus is the planet of women and then they hit the “comet” (ball) and run around the posts to orbit the Sun. The stars must try to get the shooting star back to the sun before the planet achieves a full rotation around the sun. The next batter is then a new planet. Cross-curricular links: Science is the main topic in this activity, but physical movement is also there. It encourages pupils to learn more about the planets and the solar system so they progress further on in the game of Rounders, as well as keep their motivation high. Imagination is definitely necessary and the two teams of stars and planets help to create a teamwork atmosphere.

Activity 2: Name: Cell destroyer Participants: any number (between 20 and 30), age 12-14 years Equipment and facilities: 12 bibs (5 in red, 5 in blue and 2 in yellow colours) Playing area: playing grass field Rules: The teacher names two taggers and gives them 2 yellow bibs. The rest of the group is split into two teams 5 red bibs and 5 blue bibs. One of the rules of the games is that those in the yellow bibs can touch everyone. Once a player has been touched they must stay still where they are. They can be freed but only when a person in a red bib and one person in a blue bib joints hands around the person that has been touched. Once they have done so that person is


now free to carry on. The game is finished when all the players have been touched or the time that the teacher allows for the activity has finished. Cross-curricular: The teacher can indicate the similarities to the immune system, where yellow bibs are some sort of bacteria, and that those in the red bibs are B cells, and those in the blue bibs are T cells. Linking the activity to biology, when antigens in the body occupy a cell and the B and T cells combine to rind the cell of the antigen essentially freeing the cell of the antigen letting them continue the game.

Activity 3: Name: H2O Participants: 20 pupils, young age Equipment and facilities: some balls Playing area: sport hall, playing grass field Rules: The class is split into two equal teams and they are both given any shape ball. The idea of the activity is that the students line up one behind the other. The objective of the play is to pass the ball from the front to a marker set by the teacher. The way in which they have to pass the ball is that the first person has to pass it over their head shouting “hydrogen” and the next person has to pass it under their legs shouting “oxygen”. The next person along then shouts “oxygen” while passing the ball through their legs, completing the water molecule chain. Once the person has passed the ball and if the end of the line does not reach that marker then they must run to the back of the line in order to complete the chain, the chain must end on the second oxygen for them to finish. Cross-curricular: This play might be linked to the science in teaching about the water molecule. Different molecules could be used every week.

Activity 4:


Name: 80 sports around the world Participants: 15 to 20 pupils, aged 15-18 years Equipment and facilities: all sort of equipment prepared prior to the lesson, and special info cards prepared beforehand with some linking points between the personal cards’ information. Each card will contain a description of a story of an individual person who lived in different countries (cities) throughout his life and might have met with others on different occasions. People on the cards will differ in age, experience (both educational as well as job records), will have been in those places in various moments in the past or are planning to go there in the future. It is the teacher’s task to prepare such cards, but this could be also done during other classes as part of the task of getting to know various cultural and social backgrounds. Playing area: sport hall, playing grass field Rules: This activity may be divided into several phases. Phase 1 is about getting to know each other. Students are given each one card and they are supposed to walk about the sport hall and find common points in their stories (like - where have they met, when was it, what were they doing and what sport was the most popular in that place). Once they have found a person they both have to look for another one connected to them and then another one and so on until they form a strong team ready to play against others who have also formed a team. This game can also take other directions: If the class is larger, they may be divided into 5 groups. These five groups will each go to one of the cities (countries) marked on the floor. The objective of this game is to warm up as each student has to move to a different city (country) and spend 2-3 minutes playing the most popular sport the city (country) is famous for. They all have to visit every city and use or share all the equipment necessary for the sports to be played there. Cross-curricular links: the obvious link is between physical education and geography but other links to social sciences may also be emphasized. The example of a Personal card info. Name: John Smith Born: 14.04.1941 in Leeds, UK Education: 1947-1954 Primary School, New York, USA 1955-1963 Secondary School, Reykjavik, Island 19

1964-1979 University of Sorbone, Paris, France (Computer Sciences) Job:

1971-1980 Compaq, London, England 1980-1999 Hewlett-Packard, Hong-Hong

Interests and hobbies: gardening, horses, swimming (best results 100 meters 1.12’), enjoys sports that can be practiced in all conditions and everywhere. Family: 4 children (all studying abroad) Other facts: Travels a lot on business and to see his children, physically active life style

Activity 5: Name: Cup stacking Participants: 20-25 pupils, aged 7-18 years Equipment and facilities: 40 disc shaped cones, two sets of coloured bibs for each team, Playing area: sport hall, playing grass field Rules: Teacher divides the class into two teams. The 40 disc cones are placed throughout the sports hall, half facing upward and half facing down. The objective of this game is for each team to keep their cones facing either up or down as instructed prior to beginning the game. Once the whistle is blown the cones are counted to see which team has successfully turned over the most cones. There are three attempts at this game, in the final attempt the team must collect the cones and return them into their designed areas. There are only a small number of rules associated with this warm up, and it is vital that they are clearly stated at the beginning of the game in order to prevent arguments between students about other participants cheating. Each student must be constantly moving and no student stand still beside a number of cones and constantly turn the same cones. There is no contact allowed between students (no tackling, no student should block or stand in the way of another student. Modification of the game (for the cool down part of the lesson): The class is divided into the teams of 4 or 5. Each team will have three cups in different colours and three cones that they 20

can use. All the beginning of the activity all the three cups are placed on one of the cones. The objective of the activity is to empty the cone from the cups by placing it on the other cups one by one and then doing the reverse: placing them back on the central cone in the same order of colours. The idea is to complete the task in the lowest possible number of moves (taking of a cup and placing it on another cone is counted as a one move). The team with the lowest number of moves wins. Cross-curricular: This activity is linked to a child’s social development as it allows them to work in a team environment and learn the ability to work alongside others. It also aids them in advancing their communication skills (in developing common tactic strategy).

Activity 6: Name: Wheel of fortune Participants: 20 pupils, aged 7-10 years Equipment and facilities: one baton per team, 4 cones, paper, tape, stop watch and a pen maker Playing area: sport hall, playing grass field Rules: This activity combines relay races with teach in English as a foreign language. By finishing first in the race, a team is allowed to guess a letter of a secret phrase (or it might be a sports motto). Using two teams of 5, they have to race around 4 cones placed in the sport hall 10 meters apart, when each participant finishes, they pass the baton to the next player in line, they then complete the route around the 4 cones in the sports hall. This is repeated until the 21

final student crosses the line. The team which finishes the relay 1st has 5 seconds to select a consonant .should that letter appear the appropriate blank space(s) are filled in. The team then has a further 5 seconds to provide an answer. Vowels can be chosen when the 1st team beat the second team by 2 seconds. The 1st team to guess the secret phrase wins. In the later stages of the learning process, the complexity may be increased by adding extra tasks like bouncing the ball while running around the cones or dribbling along the slalom course. Cross-curricular links: This play can be connected easily to grammar rules of the any language but also may be use for team spirit building.

Activity 7: Name: Monster walk Participants: 20-30 pupils, aged 10-15 years Equipment and facilities: 1 stack of cones Playing area: sport hall, playing grass field Rules: Two lines of cones are placed around 10-15 meters apart as markers, the pupils are split into the teams of 6-8 participants. The pupils start on one line of cones and must work together in order to reach the opposite side, however all participants must be touching one another and only four feet are allowed to touch the floor at any one time. These rules can be alternated however - for example changing the number of feet touching the floor or different body parts could be banned from touching the floor Cross-curricular: This activity aims to achieve creativity and critical thinking as participants use problem solving in order to reach their goal. It ties in with personal well being subject in the national curriculum as it aims to increase participation in physical education and develop listening and leadership skills.

Activity 8: Name: 3 player tag (developing into enhanced 3 player tag)


Participants: teams divided into groups of 3 Equipment and facilities: one basketball for each team of 3 Playing area: sport hall, basketball outdoor court Rules: The teachers divides the class into groups of 3 – one participant begins in the middle of the two standing behind each other in a line. The person in the middle plays a role of a blocker. Another designated player tries to tag the other one (the one being defended by the blocker) around the participant in the middle but once he manages to tag him they rotate. This activity can be changed by adding one ball to each group, whilst one person bounces the ball it is the job of the other on the other side of the middle player to get the ball from them. Also extra dimensions can be added to the game - for example adding two balls or blindfolding the attacker making the middle player tell them how to get the ball. Cross-curricular links: This activity may be linked with a number of national curriculum aims such as encouraging competence and creativity as well as supporting or covering other team mates.

Activity 9: Name: Hooped basketball Participants: up to 20 pupils, aged 14-20 years Equipment and facilities: 18 hoops, 3 basketballs, two sets of colour bibs Playing area: sport hall, outdoor basketball court Rules: The class in divided into two teams. The hoops are placed at either side of a rectangular playing area and teams of 5 compete with one basketball. Points are scored by getting the ball into any of the three hoops in the opposite end. Modification: This game can be modified to have 3 hoops on one sideline (belonging to one team) and three hoops on the other side (belonging to the other team). Each of the hoops will have a different value of points ranging from 1 to 3 and it will be up to a team to come up with both defending and attacking strategy. The idea is to develop a sense of team tactics and team communication in finding where the gaps are and when the ball should be passed. The 23

game also develops hand-eye coordination and participants use the skills already gained in the 3 player tag to evade opponents. Variants of the game can be no bouncing of the ball (when preparing for other games – e.g., a game of Korfball) or nor being able to communicate verbally or having to pass the ball at the least a certain number of times before scoring a hoop (few times for when practicing counterattack and more when practicing positioned attacking). Cross-curricular: This activity ties in with one of the national key stage 3 and 4 UK curriculum of performance as it enables individuals to know what needs to be achieved and appreciate how to make adjustments from working individually and in teams. It also allows building up upon the previous experience of 3 player tag (increasing complexity of a task).

Activity 10: Name: Carrying an unstable object in groups Participants: groups of 3, age 12-16 years Equipment and facilities: 30 skipping ropes, 10 rubber hoops and various obstacles to guide the hoops over and under. Playing area: sport hall, corridor, playing grass field Rules: Pupils are put into groups of three, each individual is given a skipping rope and each group of 3 is given a rubber hoop (if this activity is too difficult for a group of 3 a group of 5 may be formed instead). The aim of the activity is for the group to work together and get the 24

hoop over/under certain objects such as benches or chairs without any part of their body touching the hoop. The activity may be altered by increasing complexity of the task as there may be a volleyball placed on the hoops or by setting a certain time limit to which the pupils must achieve the goal or blindfolding one of the team members will make effective communication crucial. Cross-curricular links: This activity aims to achieve the curriculum objective of giving the personal learning and thinking skills needed to become a successful in academic studies and in later life.

Activity 11: Name: My life in 5 minutes (self-reflection exercise) Participants: any number Equipment and facilities: none needed Playing area: any area Rules: Pupils are told to get in a large circle marked on the ground and walk in a clockwise direction. The idea of this exercise is to walk around the circle like a walk of life, where the circle imitates the whole distance of everyone’s life so far. Pupils are advice to stop whenever they like to reflect on an important stage or even in their life and think about it quietly for a 25

while. The activity finishes when all the pupils have returned to the same spot at which they started. And they have 5 minutes to use to this, stopping wherever in their life they felt was something important for as long as they feel they want to spent thinking about it. After the exercise the teacher may ask them why they have their stop in a certain place, where there more pleasant moments they stopped to reflect on etc. Cross-curricular links: This activity relates to the aim of competence in pupils set by the national curriculum by allowing pupils to respond with body and mind to the sessions and developing control of whole body skills, reflecting on good and bad moments in their life. This may also be used as way of calming the pupils at the end of the session and readying them to go back to other lessons.

Activity 12: Name: Ladder Running Participants: 20-30 participants, aged 7-16 years Equipment and facilities: none Playing area: playing grass field, sport court Rules: The class is split into two teams of equal numbers. The teams spread along the baseline, perpendicular to it in their team lines. The kids one-by-one sit down with their legs stretched out and spread wide. Team mates do the same thing but in opposition and out of synchronisation so that one foot presses against the furthest along person’s foot and the other making them the furthest along player now. The player at the back of the queue runs down the ladder of spread team-mate’s legs and takes their place as furthest along. This should progress them down the court. The race is between the two teams to reach to the other end of the court. Cross-curriculum links: This activity encourages team spirit and shared responsibility and the same time balance (motor skills) and trust (social skills).

Activity 13: Name: East, West, South or North? 26

Participants: 20 pupils, aged 10-16 years Equipment and facilities: 80 cones, poster prepared prior to the lesson (possibly during a lesson of geography) and blue tac Playing area: sport hall, playing grass field Rules: Class is split into two mixed teams of ten, one team is called “hosts” And the other team is called “guests”. Approximately eight cones (a mixture of green, blue, red and yellow) are placed in the centre of the court on four cone stands, and each wall of the sport hall represents north, south, west and east. The centre of the court is called Poland (or it may be called Europe and the same thing is to be done with continents) and each wall is the name of a country which is in that direction from Poland. For example north is Sweden (or Norway or Finland), south is Greece (or Italy), east is Russia (or Ukraine) and west is Germany (or France) – the names of the countries may be changed every time the play is organized. Each country has a colour (if possible matching the colour on the national flag of the country) and the children have to match the colour of the cones with the colour of the country. So Sweden will be yellow and the yellow cones must be taken to whichever direction they (the children) think Sweden is from Poland. A key is attached to each wall to prevent children from forgetting which country is which colour (this key may be a flag of the country). To incorporate the teams, the “host” team must place their cones in the area marked for hosts and the “guest” team must place their cones in the area for the arriving guest. This lets there be a winning at the end of each 2 minutes by counting how many cones have been places in “hosts” and “guests” areas. After the first 2 minutes the teacher blows the whistle, counts the cones in each area to reveal the winning team for that game, then changes the game by changing to other countries. Modification: cities not countries. Cross-curricular links: This activity may be linked to geography to learn the direction of certain countries from Poland (or from Europe) and social skills such as communication and working together as a team will be developed as well.

Activity 14: Name: Towel volleyball Participants: 14-26 participants, aged 13-18 years 27

Equipment and facilities: for each team four-five towels, four balls, Playing area: volleyball court, sport hall, Rules: Class is divided in two halves. Each team gets into pairs holding one towel. At the whistle, one pair of the players on the towels throw the ball from behind the service line over the net into the opponents’ half of the court. Pairs on the other side try to intercept the ball not letting it fall on the floor (a ball needs to be caught on the fly). During play, the only time hands may be used to place a ball on a towel is when the on-deck group initially places its ball on a towel. If a ball falls onto the ground, towel players can use only their feet to reposition the ball so it may be thrown again. It may be agreed that each team can exchanged three passes on their side before sending the ball to the opponents’ side. The pairs may rotate and the game is played up to 25 points. Including elements of volleyball will help increase the some tactical awareness of the pupils before they begin learning more advanced techniques of volleyball. The teacher has to make sure that pupils have had the opportunity to practice throwing and catching balls with towels prior to the game of towel volleyball. Modification of the game: Additionally a clean, empty rubbish basket may be introduced. This may be held by a one (or two players) from one team standing on the half of the court of the other team and may be used as a target where the ball must be placed to receive a point. Cross-curricular links: This can be linked to increase thinking processing skills in dealing with rotating, exchanging passes or sending a ball to the empty part of the opponents’ half. This activity requires also a lot of communication both within the pair as well as in the entire team.

Activity 15: Name: Scare Crow Tag Participants: 14-20, aged 10 to 18 years Equipment and facilities: 5 rugby balls, 16 cones Playing area: sports hall, rugby pitch, Astroturf pitch


Rules: The teacher sets up a cone area of 20 meters by 20 meters on a pitch and then selects 5 random players to be the defenders. The defender must carry the rugby ball in 2 hands at all time and touch the players who are not defending with the ball then they are caught. This means that tagged players must stand still with both arms outstretched. To free a tagged player, the other players must run underneath the outstretched arms, then the tagged player is back in. Continue the game for approximately 2-3 minutes then change the defenders. Further developments to the warm up can be shown by allowing the players to move around in certain ways: speed walking, skipping and sideways. This gets the players warmed up and already getting used to keeping their hands up, eyes up looking for space, for the defender it introduces the ball and keeping it in two hands. These are fundamental rules of rugby. Cross-curricular links: Pupils will have to develop some communication skills but in a tag games when they are allowed to tackle someone they also learn the respect for other persons. With this some information about the potential injuries may be introduced.

Activity 16: Name: Partner work Participants: 14-20 pupils, aged 10 to 18 years Equipment and facilities: 1 ball (can be any ball depending on the syllabus of the term i.e. tennis, netball, basketball) a blindfold and three hoops, three cones. Playing area: sports hall, playing grass field Rules: One person is blindfolded and they cannot take off their blindfold during the task. The main aim is to bounce (could be also to dribble) the ball and then throw it into the hoop. The partner without the blindfold has to direct the blindfolded pupil, without any physical contact, around the cones and then the blindfolded pupil has to throw the ball into one of the hoops. The three hoops increase in distance apart and the further away the hope the more points in which can be gained. So the closest hoop is worth 1 point, the next is worth 2 and the furthest is 3 points. This involves play, game and exercise as it is physically as well as mentally challenging yet it is still fun and competitive which makes it play and game like. Teacher may start with asking each student to walk a bit this blindfold partner around some obstacles and


once they have learnt each other modes of communication activity may be proceeded to more complex tasks. Cross-curricular links: This activity requires strong communication skills (in partnership and trust building) as well as strong physical skills as the pupils blindfolded needs to be able to deliver the skill in an innate manor to allow full concentration on the directions being given to them.

Activity 17: Name: 5 hoop/cone colours Participants: 14-20 pupils, aged 10-16 years Equipment and facilities: 5 different coloured cones or hoops as many of each as possible Playing area: sports hall, playing grass field, park Rules: The teacher divides the class into 5 groups. Each team is assigned a coloured cone, which are spread randomly across the sports hall. The aim is to collect all of your team’s cones within 4 minutes. However participants are allowed to try to prevent other teams from picking up their cones yet no physical contact can be made to the person on their coloured cones. This task involves playful aspects yet also game-like thinking, as it involves physical benefits as well as enjoyment and competition. Cross-curricular links: Physical aspects are developed but also academic aspects are required as it involves strategizing. Also social skills will be delivered as pupils have to communicate effectively in order to progress within the task.

Activity 18: Name: Hit and Snake Dodge Ball Participants: 12-20 pupils, aged 8-14 years Equipment and facilities: one volleyball


Playing area: sports hall, playing grass field Rules: The teachers nominates three or five children at random to form a snake. The first person is the head, the last person is the tail, with players placing hands on another’s waist to stay attached. The rest of the group is to form a circle around the snake approximately 10 meters in width. The objective is to try to hit the tail of the snake with the ball. The snake has to move around quickly to prevent this from happening. The group should pass the ball around to out-smart the snake and aim at the tail. If the tail is hit, the person that hit the snake is now the head of the snake. The tail is to take the place of the thrower back into the circle. To make this more of a challenge you can add more people onto the snake or bring in more balls/smaller balls instead of dodging volleyballs, which are big, can use tennis balls. Cross-curricular links: Communication is vital on both teams and everyone has to be vocal and this can give possibly shy people the chance to be express themselves, which can help in other areas of the curriculum such as English or Drama where at time you have to be vocal in front of other people (large gatherings).

Activity 19: Name: Dodge Ball – Hit and Sit Participants: 12-20 pupils, aged 7-10 years Equipment and facilities: three sponge balls Playing area: sports hall, playing grass field Rules: In this play everybody is involved and 3 sponge footballs are placed in the middle of the gym and everyone has to sit on benches or sideline until someone says so. Everyone goes after the balls and the players that pick-up one of the balls throws it at someone. If a player is hit below the shoulders then that person has to sit down. If the throwing player throws the ball at someone and that person catches the ball the throwing player is out and sits down. The player are only allowed to take 3 steps before throwing the balls. When a throwing player throws the ball at another player, he/she can dodge it, jump or roll out of the way. If a player is hit above the shoulders it does not count. This is more about agility, speed and accuracy


which means that all players have to be alert and either judge how to dodge the ball and to throw the ball at their opponents. Cross-curricular links: This activity related to physics, the children have to judge the speed of their opponents and the ball they are throwing or dodging, also they have to judge distance and height when throwing the ball. Using their science related knowledge in such things as dodge ball can demonstrate basic physics and maths. They need to throw the ball a certain distance and specific height and speed to reach the target and this is similar to many physics equations.

Activity 20: Name: Leadership square Participants: 14-18 participants, any age Equipment and facilities: a skipping rope, blindfolds Playing area: gym, school corridor, classroom, playing grass field Rules: This play aims to improve leadership skills in a group setting. A group forms a circle by holding on to the rope. Then the teacher covers the eyes of each participant with a blindfold. Next, the teacher will turn each pupil around several times to make them lose the sense of direction. Afterwards, each pupil tries to hold on to the rope again and the whole group is expected to form a square by pulling the rope accordingly. They can all communicate, consider the best ideas and introduce new solutions. The teacher watches who leads the group and how, who has the best ideas, who subordinates easily and who does nothing at all. With older age groups a time limit can add pressure to the task and the teacher can observe the behaviour of individual pupils and how their cope with stress and pressure.


Activity 21: Name: Leadership maze Participants: 12-14 participants, any age Equipment and facilities: a piece of chalk, Playing area: gym, corridor, classroom, playing grass field Rules: A 6x6 chess-like area called maze (approximately 4 by 4 meters) is drawn on the floor, with 36 smaller squares. The next step is to give a group a task - Crossing the maze. But there is only one way leading safely through the maze, and this way is known only to the teacher. The group is are supposed to find route. There are some further rules..: The group must start from the left (whichever square you decide to start with but all participants have to be tied together. The first person in the row, is the leader who can make a step forward, but if he or she makes the step outside the magic route (the one known only to the teacher), the teacher blows a whistle and the leader has to return to the back of the row and the next person becomes a new leader and the group starts from the beginning. The group can continue only if the leader follows the magic path without mistakes. Before he or she decides to make a next step the group can suggest various solutions, but it is entirely up to the leading person to make a final decision where to make the step. And the group goes until the last person crosses the maze. The teacher only observes who has got ideas, whether the group follows the leader or


whether the leader follows the suggestions of the group, who tends to take responsibility and who avoids it and how each leader deals with the stress of being in a leading position etc.

Activity 22: Name: Capture the flag (ribbon) of the opponents Participants: two equal teams (8-10 pupils) Equipment and facilities: one flag or ribbon Playing area: sport gym, playing grass field Rules: The class is divided into two teams and within each team each pupil is given a number (they count up and remember their number). They sit at the side lines and the teacher stands in the middle with the flag (ribbon) in his/her hand and he shouts out numbers. When a pupil from each team hears his/her number called out by the teacher they need to run as fast as possible to get the flag before their opponent (with the same number but from the other team) can reach it. Then, they have to come back to their teams without being touched by the opponent pupil who can chase him/her until the line of team, beyond which the player is safe. If a participant manages to get back safely to their team with the flag, they score 2 points for the team, but if the opponent manages to touch them, both teams score just 1 point. The game is won by the team who scores 10 points first (or whichever team has the most points after 3 minutes). 34

Activity 23: Name: Even or odd (Night and Day) Participants: not restricted Equipment and facilities: not needed Playing area: sport gym, playing grass field Rules: The teacher lines up pupils in two lines 2-3 meters from each standing backwards. To avoid problems with head-on collisions, the teacher should spread all pupils in a way that each pupil stands at least 1 meter away from his/her colleague in a line. There should be a line in the middle between these two lines of pupils. One group is called ‘even’ and another is ‘odd’. Then the teacher introduces rules of the activity. When he calls out a sentence which is obviously true like ‘Football is the national sport of Brazil’ the ‘even’ group chases the ‘odds’, but when the sentence is clearly untrue ‘Poland is the best football team in the world in the last four years’ then the ‘odds’ run after the ‘evens’ and can chase the opponents up to the final line at the end of the gym (but teacher needs to remember to mark the line 3-5 meters away from the walls of the sport gym or other sport apparatus to avoid collisions). The teacher can also introduce some elements from other subjects (cross-curricular teaching), when he/she say ‘Warsaw is the capital of Poland” or ‘Dublin is the capital of United Kingdom’. The teacher may also decide to use some grammar rules (for example with spelling) or some health-related issues like “Smoking is bad for your lungs” or ‘Exercising is beneficial at any age’.

Activity 24: Name: Calculating volleyball Participants: two teams of 6 players Equipment and facilities: volleyball net, volleyballs, Playing area: volleyball court


Rules: The teacher divides a volleyball court into six areas accordingly to the position of the players from a team. Each box is marked with a number – the boxes at the end of the court are given numbers 1,2,3 and the ones by the net, are given number 4,5,6. The same numbers are given respectively to the boxes on the opponents half of the court. Then, teacher divides a class into two teams of 6 players each and places one player in each box. The game is played accordingly to the regular volleyball rules, with the only exception of the scoring. Scoring system depends on the number in the boxes, where the players are placed. For example if a player from a box with the number 3 passes the ball to the player from the box with the number 5 and then to the player from the box with the number 2 the team gets 10 points. Before the game teams should agree the number of points ending the game (in example 100 points). Also some other rules can be negotiated, for example a team scores only if the ball lands on the opponent’s side, or if there are less than 3 passes the number of points is only half of what the team has scored.

1.5. Beyond the boundaries of the gym into a cross-subject teaching Here are the examples of cross-curricular thinking in planning physical activities based on new ways of thinking (directed towards social skills), which have been inspired by observation of the changing environment and social interests of young people. Activity 1: How far can I/You go? (a case of pursuit of excellence principle teaching – a 50m challenge). Instead of a teacher telling the pupils the distance to run (e.x., 50 meters) and clocking the time (presumably 8 sec.), the teacher asks the pupils to set the distance they think they are able to run within the 8 sec. time limit. For some it might be the same distance of 50 meters but others will try to challenge themselves and set it further. Others will slowly develop their self-confidence and will increase the distance with caution. This concept of exercise can be adapted for use in any activity and the challenge may involve two or more participants. The first partner sets the distance for another one (with a change of roles after each task). In this way the pupils are able to discover their potential and thus, develop self-esteem and confidence, but also in a paired setting they are faced with public assessment of their potential (what do others think of me?).


Modification: The same way of thinking can be used in organizing a medicine ball throwing contests (when each pupil is asked to set up the distance he/she is going to achieve in 3 throws) or in a long distance running (when each pupil is asked to set up personally the time limit needed for him/her cover a distance of 1500 meters). Cross-curricular links: This activity links physical efforts with self-evaluation of motor skills in challenging situation. When it is organized in pair or group context it may lead to development of self-esteem and self-confidence against the group situation. Activity 2: Crossing the river (a case of co-operation principle teaching). If the teacher wants this activity to be competitive then the pupils are split into groups of 4, 5 or 6 (depending on the size of the class) and each group is given 2 mats; a line of cones is placed around 15 meters apart from each other to act as markers. The pupils must work together to cross from one line of cones (river bank) to the other one (the opposite bank) without touching the ground, by placing one mat on the floor and standing on it whilst they maneuver the second mat to repeat until they reach the cones placed in front of them. Alternate rules could be applied such as only being able to touch the mat with one foot etc. This activity could also be an example of developing the whole-class’ (or team) collective working skills. In such a case, the whole group is placed on one bench and another bench is placed 3 meters away. The objective of the activity is to cross from one bench to another using only two pieces of solid, wooden planks each of 2 meters in length (the idea is that the distance apart is over 2 meters). The whole group has to work out how to cross all members of the team to the other side. Modification: This activity could also be an example of developing whole-class (or team) collective working skills. In such a case the whole group is placed on one bench and another bench is kept 3 meters apart. It is the objective of the activity to cross from one bench to another using only two pieces of solid, wooden planks each of 2 meter long. The whole group has to work out how to cross all members of the team to the other side Cross-curricular links: This warm up activity ties in with one of the main aims of the curriculum which is to create confident individuals as the nature of the activity forces all participants to communicate with each other and some may even over take the leadership roles in that play.


As mentioned previously in this chapter, school subjects should explore new territories, use new methods and interweave real-life situations and topics into their curricula. Looking at the interests of young people in Western cultures nowadays, we can say that they concern mainly on the Internet and television programmes. Why don’t we look for inspiration for the educational ideas in there. If skillfully converted into educational tasks and introduced into school setting and we get them motivated on the move, which would be as valuable, yet attractive tool in fighting their sedentary habits as other well-known activities. A computer company observing the social changes in daily living routine of youth spotted the chance in getting their clients with a new idea based on ever-attractive sporting practices. They reacted quickly launching the Wii-Fit and other Wii health-related computer games. Why should physical education stay behind? Below are some proposals related to the potential fields of interests of today’s youth which were designed to show how popular UK television programmes (Golden Balls, Divided, Colour of the money and Auctions) can be converted into motivating tasks in the process of physical education and health teaching thus making it potentially more attractive and closer to their daily interests (Bronikowski 2010). The following are examples of games invented on the basis of TV programmes and quizzes widely watched by young people today. Activity 3: Golden Balls (a case of trust and partnership teaching). The idea of activity is based around the idea of the British TV quiz Golden Balls, where contestants compete for prize money if they can agree to “share” or try to “steal”. The teacher gives each pupil a card with two signs on it. It will be “+” on one side and “– “on the other. 38

The idea of the activity is to promote co-operation. When a task is given (e.g., a number of exercises to be done), each pupil can decide whether to share it with their partner (when both of them show each other “+” side of the card), they do the number of repetition asked; but they may also make their partner do the task on his/her own and doubled (when one of them shows the other one “– “ side of the card). However, when two of them show each other “–”, the task triples for each of them. Activity 4: Auctions – Who will give more/less? (a case of dealing with challenges teaching). The idea of this activity is built around popular auctions. The teacher challenges pupils by running an open auction on who is going to do more squats in 60 sec. (or more than 30), or who is going to run 1000 meters in less than 4 minutes. The pupils with the best offer receive an extra reward, a mark, if they can meet their offer. Additionally, the teacher can introduce a role for those who break the time set in the auction to receive a similar award. Through this exercise, pupils have a chance to volunteer and later stand for what they have committed to, learning self-responsibility for their own commitment to endeavour. Activity 5: Divided (a case of team working and learning to be responsible for others, supporting). This activity ,developed around the concept of the TV quiz Divided, relies on reaching a common agreement on the answer to questions posed by three people involved. The sooner agreement is reached, the more money the three participants can win. However, if they are unable to agree, they lose the money. The teacher divides the class into groups of three. Each group is set a task. It may be a number of exercises to be performed by the group (a number of repetitions of a technical skill in volleyball, basketball or football, a time limit for a lap of running a relay, etc.), but it is up to the members of the group to decide how many repetitions (or time limits) will have to be completed by each individual member to successfully achieve the number (or distance) that was designated to the group. So, by judging their individual abilities and skills against the others in the group, everyone has to contribute a share to the end effect. This can obviously be used for other forms of tasks such as health-related information gathering/presenting. If the team fails to reach an agreement, every team member has to perform double the amount assigned.


2. Ethnology of traditional plays and games Małgorzata Bronikowska

2.1. Development of research studies in plays and games The organization and application of human movement has stoked our interest for centuries. Primarily it served clear survival aims or, as Charles Darwin, noted, the fittest survive. So there was not much time for leisure activity when one had to struggle for survival. But gradually, with time, even in primal tribal societies when a certain sense of order and division of duties developed, life became more challenging, demanding new skills be developed early in the process of raising young members of society. Since the more mature and physically fit male members would usually go hunting, the obligation to prepare the next generation relied on those who were left behind – women and the elderly. There was, however, a ritual of initiation which allowed young members to enter the world of the seniors of the society. It was a particular form of a test which posed a series of (usually physical) challenges to prove the courage and strength needed in future role as a food supplier (hunter), defender (warrior) and gene passer (reproducer) (Huizinga, 1985). All of these activities called for enormous strength and endurance with a relatively good level of average speed and good hand-to-eye coordination (i.e. needed to perfect throwing skills) and on top of these physical skills, the ability to work in a team (as hunting was usually based on a team strategy) was also a must. So from a very early age all offspring were exposed and encouraged to participate in some simple playful activates based on imitation of real life actions necessary around the household and during hunting or fishing (depending on the geographical location of a particular tribe). Some have been wrapped up with fable creating, therefore the first forms of childish educational environment were through improvisation of legends and fairy tales or personification of myths and cults. Reminiscent of these activities can be still seen around the world, hidden behind stories and plays cultivated, reconstructed or re-designed in some forgotten folk traditions and rituals. Ancient Greek adventures of Odysseus and the Argonauts, Northern European Elves and Dwarves or Eastern European Baba Yaga all turned into fabulous legends and stories, some of which have been scary whereas some stood for happiness and joy. All of these examples became origins of some forms of activities based on a fable, just as much as the legend of King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table, who as some time served as a prime example of English honour, bravery and pride and became an 40

example to follow through the Medieval Knight competitions. In later times, this turned into a playful activity often undertaken by children, particularly young boys, to prove their courage and superiority over their peers. So from quite serious rivalry (one may say even a deadly one at times), within few centuries it had turned into a playful childish activity. Play, this social and cultural phenomenon has come to the attention of serious world of science in the last few centuries. From a historical perspective in its anthropological sense it has been considered via different angles and perspectives that formed five major theoretical frameworks, (Cheska: 1977, p.18-19: 1) Antiquarianism – which is a method of descriptive recording, indentifying and describing play activities in specific cultures (accounts by captives, missionaries, entrepreneurs, administrators, teachers, travelers provided personalized information about the play participation of particular peoples – usually rhymes, games and festival plays). 2) Evolutionism – developed in the late 1800’s (revised in the mid 1900’s) stated that culture has developed through stages in a predetermined, uniform way, evolved from the simple to complex and similarities among different societies were explained by the “psychic unity” of man which accounted for parallel development and independent invention. Some, like Tylor in her classic book Anthropology (1881) classified games as: imitative games and toys, practical sports, diffused games, games of survival and indoor games. But others, like Huizinga in his Homo Ludens (1955), observed that the simple question of what play really is leads us deep into the problem of nature and origin of religious concepts. 3) Diffusionism – as a general theoretical perspective considered that: independent invention was rare (e.g. British school), culture traits diffused from a geographical center outward (German-Austrian Kulturkreis school) and that culture traits diffused over wide geographical areas (American school). In this approach also linguistics and morphology were used to provide ample evidence of the diffusion of dexterity and chance games or patterns of various activities. The concept of change by diffusion, acculturation and innovation is still viable, perplexing issue among anthropologists today. 4) Functionalism (functional analysis) – the crucial ideas of this concept were: 1) each culture is to be treated as a functionally interrelated system, 2) social behaviour exists 41

to maintain society’s social structure, 3) a society is the total network of social relationships, 4) cultural traits are useful parts of the society in which they occur, 5) a cultural trait’s function is to satisfy some basic and/or derived need of the individuals in a society. Within functionalism were the universal concepts of functional consistency, institutions and differentiation of social roles. A major function of a play, as perceived by some scholars was enculturation the adaptation of an individual to a culture. Piaget (1962) considered play as the primacy of assimilation (adjustment of objects into a child’s schemata) over accommodation (adaptation of the child to objects). Within intellectual development the child moved through stages of cognition: pre-conceptual, representational and concrete operational, as preparation for the mature, formal operational period. Play types were: sensory-motor practice games, symbolic games and games with rules. In games with the rules (which mark the decline of children’s games and the transition to adult play) there is a subtle equilibrium between assimilation to the ego – the principle of all play and social life. 5) Structuralism – the crucial concepts of structuralism are: 1) structure is an ordered arrangement of parts or components, 2) social structure is manifested in the functioning of elements of a system, 3) these elements of particular features are parts of an organized whole. The social person’s actions were fully defined by the rules which pertained to his social situation. Levi-Strauss (1974) perceived man’s culture as a surface representation of the underlying structure of the human mind. He believed that each human group had its own contingent history and its own physical and social environment which interacted with structured modes of though. In comparing the structure of social games and rituals games, he perceived that in the former, the pregame symmetry of participants is rendered asymmetrical by taking part in the structure or rules of the event in relation to the participants’ will, chance or skill. In ritual games, the pre-event asymmetry of participants is structurally changed by participation in the event, rendering each symmetrical or equal in condition. Today, the theoretical paradigm of play is being redefined. Current orientations have provided rationales for analysing play through: 1) The psychobiological orientation which assumes that play is partly an expression of the basic biological nature of man (Reaney, 1916). From the original studies on the dichotomy of instinctive vs. social play, today’s approach (Parman, 1977), based on 42

the neurophysiologic correlates, suggests that play is evolutionarily homologous to dreaming as survival adaptation. 2) Cultural ecology as an overarching paradigm examines the ecological adaptation of man and environment 3) Structural analysis, as an extension and modern version of structuralism, examines semantic structural analysis and ethnoscience in which native ideas and concepts are being analyzed. In one of his works Norbeck (1974, after Cheska 1977, p.26) suggested the following areas for the research on play: “1) play as a mirror of pervasive values and attitudes (motivation, achievement), 2) play and social control (inter- and intra-societal conflict, social sanctions of wit and humor, safety valve, index of tensions), 3) play and social psychological problems of Western society, 4) play and linguistics (communication), 5) cognition and symbolism, 6) religion and play. But he also linked play to politics, law, game theory, aggression, creativity and cultural innovation and the didactic and socializing value of play among different age categories. And this correlates with our understanding of the sense of doing the research on traditional games and play activities with the purpose of revitalizing them back into the social and cultural use.” But human movement is something more than just a play. It is also about games and lately also about sport – a form of competition which was supposed to replace the deadly war to fulfill human desire to compare, to compete and to outwit the opponents.

2.2. From historical to the modern perspective on play and game study As a past-time activity, play has been the centre of empirical attention among scholars, but only a few have pioneered its purpose, understanding and preservation. One exception would be the English ethnographer, anthropologist and historian, Joseph Strutt (1749-1802) – who was a pioneer in ethnography in its European origins. He was probably the first person to be seriously interested in describing English sports and recreational past-time activities using ethnographical and historical frameworks. Hence, his work laid the foundations for future historic and ethnographic research in this area. Strutt dedicated his life’s work to exploring and analysing the cultural and sociological phenomena associated with human’s play 43

activities. The research was mainly focused on preserving and cultivating the cultural heritage of his nation that had been part of his ancestry. From his works we learn that Strutt developed a strong interest in the history and habits of the life of ‘ordinary’ people in England. This was epitomised by his first book entitled, The Regal and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of England, which was published in 1773. This led to a further set of volumes which were published between 1774-1776, exploring the subject in greater depth. Moreover, in these three volumes of books he described the Manners, Customs, Arms, Habits, & c., of the People of England (Christy, 1912). In his next book entitled, Sports and Pastimes of the People of England he focused more on the traditions of physical activities, especially in England. He wrote of his observations of peoples’ emotions during playing and taking part in other leisure activities saying: “In order to form a just estimation of the character of any particular people, it is absolutely necessary to investigate the Sports and Pastimes most generally prevalent among them. War, policy, and other contingent circumstances, may effectually place men, at different times, in different points of view, but, when we follow them into their retirements, where no disguise is necessary, we are most likely to see them in their true state, and may best judge of their natural dispositions” (Strutt, 1810, p. 1). At this point he turned the readers’ attention to the history of English peoples’ attitudes to sport and leisure time and began contemporary studies of national English sports in a wider context. In his work, he pointed out and described the cultural characteristics of the sports of the nobility and the common origins of some popular English games some of which are still known of and participated in to this day thanks to him. Over hundred and seventy years later, Eugeniusz Piasecki (1872-1947), a Polish researcher in the field of ethnography and one of the greatest Polish pioneers of the modern conception of physical education started to record Polish traditions hidden in physical culture (namely in plays, games and sports). His main argument was that “mankind could express himself fully throughout play, and only during play he was truly himself ” (Piasecki 1911, p. 5). According to his beliefs, scientific knowledge and socio-cultural needs, Piasecki saw in physical education a chance for the moral and physical revitalization of the Polish nation, which had then been rule by three powerful countries (Austria, Germany and Russia) for more than one hundred years (1795-1918). Due to the political circumstances to keep the national spirit in spite of all, Piasecki was primarily interested in collecting old folk plays and related games. His interest was not restricted only to Poland, but also to other parts of Europe and even beyond (when it was required for comparison).


Focusing on traditional plays and games, Piasecki began searching for types of activities that emanated from Polish cultural heritage in ludic1 origins of human plays and traditional folk games; the role of which he strongly emphasised in all possible gatherings and public hearings. Piasecki observed that poverty and the different style of life in Polish villages kept folk sports alive longer than in towns. Industrialization, which started to soak up peasant populations around this time, in conjunction with other phenomena of modern civilization, experienced in the Western civilization several decades earlier at the turn of the 19th century, began its destructive work on folk culture, folk plays and games. Unfortunately, the expansion of Western-originated sports in Slavonic countries marked the downfall of traditional games and plays. That situation raised stronger interest in so-called ‘imported’ sports, which seemed to take precedence over traditional ones. This shift in activity trends was a concern not just for Poland. It was also observed in some other Eastern and Central European countries (for example, Bulgaria, Russia, the Czech Republic and Romania), where foreign sport teachers and foreign sports were in demand and fashionable (Lipoński, 1999). But Piasecki believed that traditional types of games played a fundamental role in children’s cultural and moral development. After years of detailed analyses and study on play he came to the conclusion that it evolved in four ways: 1. self-originating, 2. based on traditional rites, legends and fairytales, 3. mimicry ‘imitating human habitual activities’, and 4. based on movement expression inspired by human natural environment (Piasecki, 1959, p. 109-110). With a willingness to extend his previous works, Piasecki prepared his three consecutive national surveys on traditional playing and recreational games. He did so by asking the respondents to identify with the following announcement:


Ludic derives from Latin ludus, "play," and is an adjective meaning "playful." The term is used in philosophy

to describe play as an act of self-definition; in literary studies, the term may apply to works written in the spirit of festival. You may find the definition in: Michael J.C. Echeruo, "Redefining the Ludic: Mimesis, Expression, and the Festival Mode," in: The Play of the Self , SUNY Press, 1994, p. 137


I feel particularly intelligent being closely related with people like: clergy, teachers, doctors of medicine and others. […] The main task of our survey is to investigate Polish tradition of play. […] The material cannot be ethnographically too narrow. Polish, Russian, Byelorussian, Lithuanian, and also German and Jewish cultural elements, especially from Polish People’s Republic, but also from previous regions and emigrational areas, they all are very important to explore this part of Polish culture (Piasecki, 1928, p. 113). We are a nation of beautiful and rich tradition in all areas of culture. We have, however, little inclination to research such tradition, and certainly little interest in nursing those elements which can be accommodated to contemporary life. One of the most striking examples of blameworthy indifference pertaining to the treasures of native civilisation is our attitude toward Old Polish play and folk-games. Among many Western nations many serious scientific works were published on this matter and ancient games, pastimes and songs were made part of national education. Not in our country (Lipoński, 1999 after Piasecki, 1928, p.115). After receiving hundreds of regional Polish folk activities back he discovered evidence of the existence of types of plays and games that were unique to Polish heritage, despite foreign influence and control lasting 123 years. Using the methodology behind a large collection project he started analysing the gathered material. In this way Piasecki introduced several hundred original folk activities, which he described them in many articles and in series of books. He established that some folk plays were rooted in the tradition of several nations and originated simultaneously in different parts of Europe. He also emphasised that some games even originated beyond Europe. All of this allowed him to publish his first book on traditional plays and games for juveniles, Zabawy i gry ruchowe dla dzieci i młodzieży – ze źródeł dziejowych i ludoznawczych, przeważnie rodzimych i tradycji ustnej ( Physical games and play of children and youth In the historical, ludic and region al traditions, in the form of oral reconstructions) in 1916. In particular, it was directed at teachers to provide them with opportunities and practical examples for transmission of cultural, national heritage into the educational system. It is worth mentioning that the book was unique in this sense as it was published in the days when Poland was still struggling for its independence and all kind of nationalist activities were forbidden. Today, many of these games have different names, but the fable is the same, which means that players may play this same play or game calling it differently. He dedicated almost a quarter of a century to gathering data, which helped him to prepare an exceptional number of monographs. Traditional folk plays and games, cultivating local and regional customs and strengthening the sense of national ownership were to be a fundamental part of the programme he wanted to introduce in Polish school curricula after Poland re-gained its independence in 1918. The most important work, which was finally published in 1959 (12 46

years after his death) contained findings and conclusions of an analysis of almost 2800 questionnaires providing information on the kind of different types of play and games, among which some differentiated only in name but not in structure (or in plot) and conversely others seemed to have roots in numerous cultures and Slavic nations, though differed in structure or plots. Working on the same themes at a similar period was Johan Huizinga (1872-1945), a cultural historian and anthropologist who devoted his life to study theory of play as a significant element of human culture. The most distinctive part of his research was the originality of his thinking, which was far beyond merely educational and psychological aspects. For Huizinga, play was an exclusive form of relationship standing at the centre of social imagination and accomplishment. Huizinga is still today well-known for his claims about the relationships between uniquely human existence and play. Perhaps he is most famously remembered for his bold statement that "civilization arises and unfolds in and as play" (Huizinga, 1955, Forward, unnumbered page). While acknowledging that animals also play, he argued that human play often occurred under an umbrella of something called culture. He went on to describe the many forms of culture in which the play impulse could be found. Due to his scientific interests, cultural anthropology became the crucial issue in his analysis of play and its role in developing civilization by cultural creation. He was searching mainly for a relationship between play on the one hand and cultural, social and scientific life on the other, starting with religion and philosophy through law and art or even war strategy. According to his conception, play was a primitive phenomenon based on voluntary, artificial and limited activities which might be the first step to civilized culture. And in this sense he argued that culture originated from play as opposed to play being derived from culture. In his Homo Ludens – a Study of the Play-Element in Culture (1937) which played a revolutionary role on the play point of view, he maintained that “play is the greatness given to culture, existing before the culture itself, interwoven in human living from the very beginning up to individual experiencing it by each of us, even the research” ( Huizinga, 1985, p. 15) Huizinga identified play, with its improvement and migrations, as natural source of research study. Similarly to Piasecki, Huizinga made the claim that play should not take only the biological or psychological aspect in human’s life but he believed that it should be seen as a cultural act which served as a foundation for great civilizations (Huizinga, 1985). 47

After years when play was usually treated as a trivial activity, traditional, and at the same time local, movement-based activities have become recently a very serious scientific and practical issue to be explored.They simply express the richness of human life and perspective. Fortunately scholars from all over the world became interested in revitalization and popularization of traditional games existing in some places. Many national and international undertakings (congresses, workshops, Traditional Games Olympics) are now being organized worldwide. Among the most important ones have been: UNESCO’s resolution on cultivation of traditional games and plays (1990, p. 254), an International Conference held in 2006 in Santander (Spain), summarizing the work of European Culture 2000 project (Lavega, 2006) “Flemish Folk Games File” project (de Vroede, Renson, 2006) or Gerlev ‘Legepark’ in Denmark, an Institute for traditional folk plays organized in the form of a wide-area playground with specially reconstructed, wooden pieces of play equipment. Academics are still studying and searching for new concepts and methods to explore the matter in depth. Some have created their own frameworks helping them to study play from different perspectives. Some of which are explained below: Jørn Møller (1943-2009), a philologist and culture theorist initiated his approach combining theoretical and practical factors of game studies with his main aim of research – the cultural context of traditional European games, their cultural diversity and identity. As a board-member of The Danish Association for Sports History – Body and Culture (DIHF: Dansk Idrætshistorisk Forening) and a Member of The Danish Sports Research Council (Idrættens Forskningsråd) and an academic and expert in traditional games, he was involved in a number of major projects within the field. The first was entitled “Europlay” and was devoted to a comparative study of European regions where traditional games were collected, still practiced, studied or revitalized. From this project he noted five factors that help to answer the question: “What made traditional sports and games lose or preserve their meaning?” (Møller, 1995, p.50). He concluded that Huizinga was wrong in thinking that modern economic and political forces significantly affect position of play. Firstly, he believed industrialization, was not a reason per se for the disappearance of the ancient games. Rather, other factors such as sport and its organization with the ‘sportification process”, which wiped out the previous original games, could help to maintain the traditions. He claimed also that there were some factors which might influence the position of traditional games. From his point of view it was religion for (Catholicism) or against (Protestantism) in games of that time. Cultural diversity and identity, he argued, kept stronger bonds among the population 48

which struggled for their own culture and independence (islands and periphery areas), in which they care for traditions as a survival objects of identification in the sub-national creation of an identity. Finally, the bearers of cultural initiative are not only people from rural communities any more, they are also intellectuals, professionals and civil servants “who attempt to keep local culture alive and with it the ancient games” (Møller, 1995, p.50-60). In his studies he argued that those five aspects (noted above) were very essential for research on the topic. The next, and possibly the most important, research of Møller was conducted under the title: “The Workshop of Sports History” and concerned research into creating a ‘living museum’ for society, based on traditional (mainly) Danish games collected and revitalized during the study. He claimed that “sports museums are often quite boring halls of fame or dead exhibitions of old requisites” (Møller, 2003, p. 117). In his opinion, “the important thing to bring to a sports museum is the fugitive movement of the body. That is what is normally neglected, and that is where animation and workshop methodology brings you as close as possible” (2003). In this sense there were two priorities to the research: 1) collecting, registering and describing games from Danish area in scientific and educational perceptions in a database 2) Collecting experiences from existing institutions in Europe occupied with the research, collection and promotion of traditional games and then creating a survey of the extent and character of the localities in Europe where games were practiced in order to expand the understanding of the conditions for survival and growth of the games (Møller, 1996). This combined to create a pedagogical superstructure reflecting history and animation methodology. It is worth adding that this particular task ended successfully with the creation of a huge playground with traditional games and sports in Denmark (Lege Park). Findings were also published in several scientific and educational journals concerning the meaning, function and relevance of the games. He also put forward an interesting suggestion of his own definition of play. He described play as a process (P) that in this case is more important than its result (R), and he proposed the formula showed below: P/R > 1 = Play An entirely different state of affairs occurs when the process (P) itself is not as significant as a particular result (R), which plays a major role over play. This was then what he defined as work and the formula was: 49

P/R < 1 = Work (Møller, 2010, p.153) Thus, Møller made not only a big step forward theoretically, but also in the sense of a practical framework concerning play as a part of cultural heritage of European counties. Building a special place such as Lege Park he made his society (Danish people) become interested in and knowledgeable of their country through various forms of play. And as Pierre Parlebas maintains: „[Traditional] Games are the creation of a culture and the fruit of history.[...] [Their] are generally seen as community heritage; but we should not forget forms of enjoyment, of sharing the pleasure of acting together: we must not forget games! […] they reflect the deep social roots of different ways of behaving, of communicating with others and entering into contact with the environment. Linked to secular beliefs, performed according to traditional rites and ceremonies, inspired by practices from everyday life, physical games from part of cultural heritage. […] And this heritage is highly diverse and exuberant. This ethnic motor play represents culture in actions, a culture that is brought to life in each movement of body. As such, games incarnate a place of memory, often ignored, but full of evocative symbology […] Study of games can, therefore, offer interesting access to knowledge about societies” (2005, p.15). This passage indicates Møller’s main reflection in recognizing games as a symbol of culture heritage. A similar way of thinking of the national legacy of folk physical activities is represented by the Polish culture and sport historian Wojciech Lipoński. He has created his own theoretical framework for studies exploring the patterns of traditions hidden in rural and primary games. The framework, which he calls the plexeological approach, has been used in almost all of his work on the subject so far. Its essence is to consider both historic and cultural factors in their historic entanglements and proportions and involves an analysis of the social role they play. These elements constitute a ‘plexus’, similar to an entanglement of muscle fibers and resemble to some extent a knot which should be disentangled by scholarly procedure and analysis. This method also contains some elements of a holistic approach, cultural statistics and, as is the case in most of the humanities, also makes use of intuitive evaluation in cases which cannot be evaluated on an empirical basis (Lipoński, 2004). Selection of the most suitable theoretical framework reflects a certain philosophical point of view it is up to a researcher and the purpose of their studies as to what approach is taken. 50

2.3. Becoming a self-made ethnologist in re-discovering traditional plays and games Blanchard lists the number of objectives which, although assigned by him to the anthropology of sport, are strongly associated with ethnology of sport. Among the objectives mentioned are the following: 1. “The definition and description of sport and leisure behaviour from cross-cultural perspective; 2. The study of sport in primitive, tribal, non-Western, third-world, and underdeveloped societies, as well as in historical and contemporary Western society; 3. Analyzing sport as a factor in acculturation, enculturation, and cultural maintenance and adaptation to change; 4. Viewing sport as a perspective on other facets of cultural behaviour; 5. The analysis of sport behaviour in human prehistory; 6. The analysis of sport language; 7. Treating the role of sport in a multicultural educational environment; 8. The development and administration of sport/recreation programs for special populations; 9. The application of anthropological methods in the solution of practical problems in sport settings, such as physical education, recreation, and intramural programs; 10. The application of anthropological methods in the development and administration of programs in physical education, recreation and intramurals; 11. The development of constructive leisure-time activities that utilize the sport model; 12. The creation of attitudes conducive to cross-cultural understanding.” (Blanchard: 1995, p. 22-23) Research into ethnology of sport requires a combination of skills and knowledge from ethnography, linguistics, history and cultural studies. According to Piasecki (1928, cited after Lipoński 2004, p. 68), when collecting data about the tradition of a sport (or movement play/game) from a particular culture, a researcher, must collect the following information: 1) When (year) and where (place) the researcher has carried out their observations. 2) Description of the participants of an activity: age, gender, nationality, social class. 3) Is the activity all year round or seasonal? Which season? Is it connected to any of the traditional rituals, celebrations (religious, marital, ludic, agricultural, etc.)? 51

4) Character of the activity – description of the social associations. 5) Area of the activity (indoor/outdoor, plain field, countryside roads/paths, woods) with all the necessary markings of the field (beginning, ending, other sidelines) and their names (nest, hole, etc.) and the distances between them. 6) Necessary equipment: number of sticks, rings, stones, die, balls with names and description of how they were made (material, size, proportions, process of making). 7) Number of players (with description of division into teams if there are any needed), hierarchy of players and their functions with names (mother, wolves, striker etc.). 8) Description of the activity – the flow, rules, characteristic movements, verbal texts in its original (regional dialects) with detailed description of when and what needs to be said and by whom. Later a researcher collects all the activities and groups them in specially set subcategories. It is equally important to place the activity within the most appropriate group. According to the typology worked out by the panel of international ethnology experts Typologie de classement de jeux traditionnels en Europe (Classification of typology of traditional movement plays in Europe) (Renson, Manson, Vroede, 1988, after Lipoński 2004, p. 69), the division of activities should to be the following: 1) ball games; 2) games with the use of hard balls and pins; 3) throwing games; 4) shooting games; 5) fighting games; 6) animal games; 7) locomotion games; and 8) acrobatics.

2.4. Ethnology in practice – re-discovering traditional and modern plays and games In well-developed countries there is a trend to increase influence on multicultural society with its pluralism of values and cultural norms. We face, then, one of the fundamental problems in providing basic understanding and respect for all the parties involved in the dynamic process of forming a modern society. It is here that physical education, well-equipped with its multicultural range of sports and games could come in if there were only the teachers well prepared for this challenge. The main aim of this chapter is to propose alternative ways of providing a multicultural context in modern physical education teaching. To this end, below are a number of examples of national traditional sports in various cultures: Activity 1: Name: Beş Taş: Five Stones (Turkey)


Participants: 2 or more players Equipment and facilities: using 5 small triangular cloth bags (bean bags) filled with rice, sand or saga seeds Playing area: The game may be played indoor or outdoor. Rules: In the palm their hand each participant holds five small round ‘stones’ which they toss in the air and tries to catch on the back of the hand. When four stones have fallen on the ground, one is retained in the hand and then tossed up. While it is in the air, with the same hand, the participant must grab the four stones that are on the ground and catch the one tossed before it reaches the ground. Then one stone is again tossed in the air and the four stones on the ground are grabbed one by one, each grab being preceded by the tossing and catching of a stone that is retained in the hand. This is repeated, grabbing two by two, then three and one, and then all together. Cultural aspect: There is a large variety of games with stones and pebbles in Anatolia. Some are a kind of warfare, with two teams throwing stones at each other, either with slings or hands. On occasion this results in very dangerous consequences, but some beliefs encourage this dangerous game. For instance, in Kayseri (Central Anatolia) they believe that, if Dağ Döğüşü (stone war) is not played, that year the crops will not be abundant.

Activity 2: Name: Agbârin, also known as a Arin (Nigeria) Participants: 2 individual players or 2 equal teams Equipment and facilities: for game of 2 – 43 large, brown, elliptical pits (or seeds, stones), if it is to be a team game – at least 50 pits (seeds or stones), there can be also used seeds’ bags. Playing area: the game may be played indoor or outdoor. The playing surface it is a rectangle of approximately 12 feet (3.65m) long and 4feet (1.22m) wide, divided by a middle line into two halves called homes. Rules: If game is played by 2 individuals they each need two stones to throw into their opponents half. The goal is to use their stone to hit one of the 21 stones spaced evenly in a square of 3 stones in 7 rows that is on their opponent’s side.


Additionally, on the middle line there is one more stone called ‘the devil on the path’, which must not be hit by any thrown stone. Each participant has two turns to throw the pit/stone or seed from behind the end line of his half to displace the pits arranged on their opponent’s side. Each displaced pit is then collected by the player who hits it and then can be used in subsequent throws to displace more pits. If someone hits ‘the devil on the path’ he loses the points he scored so far. The round is finished when one of the players gathers all opponent’s stones. Then they can swop the sides and play another round. Cultural aspect: Agbârin is often played by small boys aged 5-10 but also by adolescents or even adults. It is a Nigerian game usually played during cooler months (from August until March). According to the elders of Ekiti, there is a legend around the game saying that if one persists in playing agbârin after the domesticated birds have gone to sleep you will gradually go blind.

Activity 3: Name: Stealing sticks (North American Choctaw Indian) Participants: 10-30 Equipment and facilities: 10 to 12 18-inch sticks (a teacher may use few pins or ever few balls for modification and increasing complexity of the task) Playing area: sport hall, outdoor recreational area Rules: The group is divided into two teams. A 30- by 60-foot (9x18 meters) area is marked with few circles (look at the picture p. 88). Place several sticks at each of the end line circles. Each circle is four feet in diameter. The circles on either end of the midline are the mush pots, one for each team. Make the mush pot circles large enough for entire team’s players to sit inside. A circle 10 to 12 feet across would work well. On the signal to begin, teams try to steal sticks from each other without getting tagged. The players place captured sticks in their team’s end circle. They may be tagged only on the opponent’s half of the field. Tagged runners must go to their team’s mush pot and remain there until everyone has been captured. The teacher has to monitor body contact very closely to prevent the game from becoming too 54

physical. The winner is the team with the most sticks in their circle when a team has all been captured or at the end of the allotted time. To avoid eliminating players for a long periods, each stick captured by a team and successfully placed in their end circle frees all captured players from their mush pot. Cultural aspect: In the 1830’s the US government forced the Choctaws Indians to leave their homes in Alabama and Mississippi and march to Oklahoma. Thousands of Indians died on the way and the march was called the “Trail of tears”. Activity 4: Name: Pick-up sticks (Laos) Participants: 2 to 4 (or more but playing in pairs) Equipment and facilities: 15 to 30 10-ich chopsticks or similar sticks, small ball (or a large nut) Playing area: sport hall, outdoor recreational area Rules: The group is divided into pairs. Each pair of players has a bunch (10-15) of sticks and a small, round ball or large, round nut (such as a walnut). Hold the sticks five to six inches above the floor and drop the whole bundle. The sticks will fall in a random pattern. Toss the ball up and quickly pick up one stick before catching the ball. If a player successfully catches the ball in the hand holding the stick, the same player continues the next turn. He picks up two sticks on the next attempt, then three, and so on as long as he is successful, each time emptying his hand before trying for more sticks. If a player picks up the wrong number of sticks or fails to catch the ball, his turn is over. The game continues until one player picks up all the sticks in one turn successfully. Cultural aspects: Most of the traditional forms of recreational activities in Laos centers around religious holidays and festivals. There are many forms of strategic games played on cardboard or chess boards). Activity 5: Name: Anything under the sun (Great Britain) Participants: any number of players 55

Equipment and facilities: none Playing area: school backyard, park, street, Rules: One player stands on the far side of the street – this player is the caller. All other players remain where they were. The caller picks a category and shouts out his challenge, ”A boys’ name starting with ‘M’?” If a player wants to guess they must run to the caller then back to their place then back to the caller once more and shout out their guess. “Is it Mark?” If more than one player runs then only the one arriving first can guess. If they are correct then places are changed and they become the new caller. Otherwise the game continues. Cultural aspect: An old street game (a variant of games like “Shop Windows”, “I sent my Son John”, etc) is known under many names such as “John Bull”, “Odds & Ends” or simply by the category name used to play it, “Boys Names”, “Countries”… A great game for reducing obesity and (if you select the category: countries, names of plants or animals ) increasing your knowledge of geography or biology.

Activity 6: Name: Kabaddi/Kabbadi or Kabadi (Bangladesh) Participants: Two teams of seven players and five substitutes Equipment and facilities: Two sets of colour bibs Playing area: This activity is ideally played outdoors on the grassy or sandy area, but can also be played in a gym. The court is 12,5 m long and 10 m wide (roughly half the size of a basketball court) Rules: The group is split equally into two separate teams of seven members and with five substitutes’ players. Each team occupies opposite halves of a field. The game is divided into two halves for 20 minutes each with a five-minute half-term break. After the break teams switch sides of the field. Each team takes turns sending a ‘raider’ into the other half, in order to win points by tagging or ‘wrestling’ members of the opposing team. Meanwhile, defenders try to form a chain linking hands, and if the chain is broken, a member of the defending team is sent off. The goal of the defenders is to halt the ‘raider’ returning to the home side before taking a breath. The ‘raider’, however, tries to return to his own half, holding his breath 56

during the whole raid by saying continuously “kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi...” If the ‘raider’ takes a breath before returning he is sent off the field. Any tagged player is ‘out’ and sent off the field. A player can also get out by going over a limit line or any part of his body touches the ground outside the marked court (except during a struggle with an opposing team member). Each time a player is out, the opposing team scores a point. They also can get a two-point bonus (‘lona’) when the entire opposing team is declared out. The team with the highest scores wins. Cultural aspect: Kabaddi is a team sport originally from the Indian subcontinent. It was probably invented to ward off group attacks. Buddhist literature notes that the Gautam Buddha playing Kabaddi. Legends reveal that Indian princes use to play Kabaddi to display their strength. It is the national game of Bangladesh where it is known as Hadudu. It is popular throughout South Asia, and has also spread to Southeast Asia, Japan and Iran. Kabaddi was often played by the British Army for fun and to keep fit, but in addition as an ‘invitation’ to recruit soldiers from the British Asian community. The game has a lot different forms and different names like Amar, Surjeevani or Gaminee.

Activity 7: Name: Airplane (North America) 57

Participants: Any number of players, but any even number to divide the whole group in set of fourth. Equipment and facilities: There is no need to use any kit to play this game Playing area: Any indoor or outdoor area but with safe surface. Rules: Each fourth group tries to find a proper place for themselves to do the task. Then one competitor of those fourths lays face down on the floor/ground with his/her arms expanded on the sides and with straight legs held together, so he/she remind you of an ‘airplane’. Another three participants take him/her by the arms and lower limps and lift him/her up for about 1 m above a ground and try to carry him/her around as long as he/she can bear the stiff position. Those whose body sang below his/her shoulders or whose buttocks are above the arms level is swapped with the next member of their group. Group which last the longest is the winner. Cultural aspect: The origin of play comes from Alaska but it is known as well among other native American Indians. The English name for this play was given because of the shape of the body during the game. It is one of the so-called ‘arctic sports’ according to local sports terminology and it is one of the competitive events during Native American Indian folk games. Activity 8: Name: Kiczka/Sztekiel (Poland) Participants: Individual gamewhen there is small number of participants, but it can be a team game, when the group of players is bigger. It is suitable activity for girls and for boys of different ages. Equipment and facilities: Long stick 50-60 cm long for batting a shorter one – ‘kiczka’ which is 15-20ch long and it is sharpened at both ends. Playing area: The best place for this game will be school ground or park field. Rules: The object of the game is to knock off a short stick along as far as it is possible using a longer stick. That short stick (sztekiel) is usually 10-15 cm long, 2 cm in diameter and it is sharpened at both ends, like a pencil. The longer stick is usually 60-70 cm long and 2-3 cm in diameter. Player has to strike the sharpened end of the “sztekiel” with a stick so that it flipped up and then he can hit it again, on the volley, towards to finish with 3 times. The winner is 58

someone who hits the ‘sztekiel’ furthest (after three hits), although there are a dozen varieties, each with different scoring systems. Cultural aspect: This is a traditional European game known in Poland. The game has a folk character. Practiced most often by poor youths in the Western part of Poland. “Sztekiel”, as a sport of the poor, who had little or no access to sport equipment, started to disappear when after 1918 and later after 1945 sport was popularized in Poland. It disappeared completely in towns at the end of the 1940s. Activity 9: Name: Kapela (Poland) Participants: Up to 10 players Equipment and facilities: Five stones from the biggest to the smallest one (instead of stones wooden or plastic blocks, ‘ringo’ rings, wooden balls or tennis balls/ bean bags can be used. Playing area: School ground, gym or park. Rules: Kapela is a game of young shepherds from the Kociewie region (North-West Poland). The game was played using a stack of stones called Kapela (Chapel) placed one upon another which resembled one of many small chapels built along Polish roads. One of the players stands in the middle of a circle, 8-10 m in diameter, drawn on the ground close to the stack of stones. His role is to guard the "chapel". The other players standing outside the circle throw consecutively stones at the "chapel". If a thrown or rolled stone hits and knocks the "chapel" over the successful thrower runs to fetch the stone while the "guardian of the chapel" in the circle tries to put the stack back up. If the "guardian" rebuilds the stack before the thrower recovers his stones, he can then throw his hat at the running player. If the thrower is hit, he becomes the new "guardian". Cultural aspect: Polish folk sport which was especially popular among shepherds in the Kociewie (region of Poland). It survived there until first years after World War II. The name of the game probably comes from the shape of the stack of stones which resemble a chapel (in Medieval ages people used to use Latin language to name things, so this stack of stones they called capella). For the game’s purpose, flat round stones of various sizes were used. In 1990s the game was revived by the local authorities in the same region.


Activity 10: Name: Kubb (Island of Gotland, Sweden) Participants: Two teams for at least 6 participants on a side, if necessary, the game may be played with less than 6 players) Equipment and facilities: 10 kubbs (wooden blocks):15 cm high and 8 cm wide; 1 king: 30 cm high and 10 cm wide; 6 batons: 30 cm long and 5 cm diameter, for pools or cons to mark off the playing field Playing area: School yard, gym or park, 5m x 8m Rules: Players divide into two teams and mark the playing field with cons/pools and 5 kubbs on one baseline and 5 kubbs on the opposite baseline, then they need to post the king on the field centre. The main object of the game is to knock over all the kubbs of the opponent so players have a clear shot to knock over the king and finish the game. The game begins with batons’ throwing on the opponent’s lined-up kubbs to knock them down as much as it is possible. All players must throw from the baseline. To hit the kubb each player should flip the baton under-handed to throw it end over end (throws overhand, sideways or spinning side-to-side like a helicopter propeller are not allowed). Any kubbs knocked down by the first team in the opponent’s baseline has to be thrown by opposite team in the first team’s half and now those kubbs becomes ‘field kubbs’. The next stage of the game is a need to knock ‘field kubbs’ down first then the members of the second team can ‘attack’ the opposite ‘baseline kubbs’. If there is even one kubb on a 60

field which hasn’t been knocked down players cannot hit the baseline kubbs. In that case opponents are allowed to move forward to the line ‘marked’ by this ‘field kubb’ and from that distance they try to throw again the batons through opponents kubbs. It is necessary to be aware of the ‘king’ standing on the centre of the play field. No one can knock it down before the end. The ‘King’ is the last kubb to be hit down to finish the round or the game. In case if someone from the team knock the ‘king kubb’ earlier it means they lose the round/game and the opposite team gets 1 point. It is also important to throw the knocked down kubbs accurately into the opposite half of play field to stand them up for hitting. Players should use a strategy to place those kubbs as well as possible in order to knock them down easily (even a few of them in one baton). If one of the thrown kubbs lands outside the field of play, the opponents take it over and stand it in a possibly uncomfortable place for the opposite team to knock it down (but players must be aware the need to stand the kubb at least its own length from the ‘king’, boundaries or a corner mark. Play continues in this manner until a team is able to knock down all kubbs on one side, from both the field and the baseline. If that team still has sticks left to throw, they now attempt to knock over the king. If a thrower successfully topples the king, they have won the game. Cultural aspect: The game was invented by Vikings over 1000 hundred years ago. The word kubb (Sw. kubben) refers for block of wood or branch. It was popular mostly on Gotland Island (Sweden). Viking children use to organize this play to keep warm and to entertain themselves. Possibly together with the Vikings’ conquests, this game worked its way through conquered counties and became to be perceived as a Slavic game.


Kubb field

Activity 11: Name: Gorodki: Russian skittles (Russia) Participants: It can be played individually 1vs1, or in teams contain from 2-5 participants Equipment and facilities: 2 cone-shaped bats of 90 cm in length, the diameter of the bat at base is 3,5 cm and 3 cm at top, 5 pins (length: 20cm, diameter 4,5 cm) Playing area: Park, school yard. The dimensions of ‘gorod’ are 2x2 meters, the throwing distance is 13 meters (for a long throw) and 6,5 meters (for a short throw). Rules: The target skittles are five cylindrical wooden blocks which are set up in a series of 15 distinctive formations. These formations (the towns) are placed inside a chalked square area (the city) 13 meters away from the throwers. The throwers wield long heavy wooden batons which they hurl at the skittles in a sideways throw – the aim being to knock all sticks in the town outside of their containing square. Pins are arranged in one of 15 configurations: cannon (pushka), fork (vilka), star (zvezda), arrow (strela), well (kolodets), crankshaft (kolenchatyval), artillery (artilleriya), raquet (raketka), machine gun installation (pulemyotnoe gnezdo), 62

lobster (rak), watchmen (chasovye), sickle (serp), shooting gallery (tir), airplane (samolet), and letter (pis'mo). Once all skittles have been removed then the next formation is set up. The team that takes the fewest to destroy all 15 ‘towns’ wins.

Cultural aspect: Gorodki is a truly unique Russian street skittles game that has been played for centuries but a standardised set of rules was only developed in the 1920s. In the second half of 1920's, the people of the young Soviet state were weary of revolutions and wars. In 1923 the rules of this Russian folk sports were established and it was officially called gorodki sport. The game became widespread all over the country. Many of the leaders of the USSR played it: Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mikhail Kalinin and writer Maxim Gorky. There was a gorodki playground in Kremlin. The rules of the game were strictly observed at the heart of the Soviet state, no giveaways were tolerated. It is said that the legendary marshal Kliment Voroshilov was the best gorodki player among the Soviet leadership. Gorodki’ s peak of popularity was in 1970's when more than half a million people in the USSR played the game and it even became an Olympic sport in the USSR (Zetilov, 2009). 15 configurations:









machine gun installation




shooting gallery



Activity 12: Name: Pétanque (France, Provance) Participants: The game can be played individually (fr. tête-á-tête) ore in teams two on two or three on three. Equipment and facilities: Set of steel balls (usually 6 balls plus 1 smaller one called ‘jack’ [fr. cochonnet, gari or lé]) Playing area: A pitch may be any flat area with the hardened surface, usually 15m long and 4m wide Rules: This game involves throwing the ball rather than rolling it. The players aim at another, significantly smaller ball, called a ‘jack’ or cochonnet. The game can be played individually or as a team game. In individual and ‘two on two’ games each participant has 3 balls. In a team game of 3 players in each side, everyone has 2 balls. The round begins by one of the players who won the coin toss. The winner starts by drawing a circle 35-50 cm in diameter, then he/sh throws the ‘jack’, which should fall 6-10m from the perimeter of the circle. The participants throw their balls from a standing position with two feet within the circle. Only when the ball has fallen, may they leave the circle. This requirement of staying inside the circle is a feature distinguishing pétanque from „jeu provençal”. Each player tries to aim the ball as close to the ‘jack’ as is possible or to hit opponent’s ball, which is closest to target ball. Thus the opponent’s ball is thrown aside and the new ball occupies its position. Each round is won by the contestant or team whose balls are closest to the ‘jack’. One point is awarded for every ball closer to the target than the opponent’s nearest ball. The score is accordingly from 1 to 6 points (in a team game). If there is more than one balls that is closest to the ‘jack’, then


it is a tie and no points are awarded. The game lasts to 11, 13, 15, 18 or 21 points depending on local tradition. Cultural aspect: Ancient Greeks and Romans played a game very similar to pétanque. Greeks used round shaped rocks (gr. spheristics), Romans used wooden balls covered with iron. They introduced the ‘jack’ or ‘cochonnet’ to play pétanque more for precision skills. The game was very popular in Medieval Ages. But in 14th c. it was forbidden by King Charles the IVth and then Charles the Vth. In 16th century Julius the IInd - the Pop of Vatican formed „a team”, which was supposed to be invincible in pitching stones. During Medieval wars the French army often had fun playing with cannonballs as pastime activity. In modern times ‘the ball game’ became a very common pastime activity for the nobility and aristocracy. At the turn of 19th and 20th c. a new form of the ball game, known as a “jeu provençal”, was introduced to the public and it has become more and more popular since then. Activity 13: Name: Korfball (Denmark) Participants: 2 teams of 8 participants (4 girls and 4 boys in each team). Equipment and facilities: 2 korfball posts (or if is not available use basketball facilities), basketball or football (size 4), bibs for each team. Playing area: Korfball can be played in a sport hall, with a court size of 40m long and 20m wide, or outdoor on the beach: 60m long and 30m wide. Rules: It is co-educational and noncontact game. The aim of the game is to throw the ball into the opposing team’s basket. The basket is made of two rims joined with an elastic sleeve and placed on a 3.5m high post. The passing of a ball through a basket scores 1 point. The posts with baskets stand 10m from the baselines in the outdoor variation and in the indoor variation 6.7m from the baselines.. There are 2 zones on a court: offence and defence. The zones divide each team into two (4 players: 2 girls and 2 boys from the same team) groups. One group plays in the defense zone, other one in the offence zone. Once a player is allocated a zone, they must stay there until positions in the whole team rotate, which occurs in both teams simultaneously every second point scored. Then the defence team members go to offence zones and other way round. The participants are allowed to go round the posts but must not 65

hold on to it. They are not allowed to run with, dribble, hit or kick the ball. Players cannot play in the lying position or pass the ball to a team member without throwing. Grabbing the ball away from opponent is permitted. It is forbidden for a male player to block a female opponent and vice versa. Pairs of same-sex opponents cover each other. A throw towards the basket is allowed only when a player defending the basket is further from it than the offence player. If a defending player is closer to his/her post, then the attacker cannot score the point. Play-time for outdoor variation is 2x35min and 2x30min for indoor ones. Cultural aspect: Interestingly in the 2nd Century B.C. some native Central Americans cultures (the Maya, the Olmecs, and later on the Aztecs) use to play games similar to modern korfball or basketball – tlachti and pokyah. They had a big sanded area to play these games with rubber ball, which they used to throw through a stone rim located on the wall vertically. However, korfball was developed at the beginning of 20th century by a Danish teacher, N. Broekhuysen. Also in the Netherlands and Sweden, in 1900s this game was developing independently to basketball. Even before this, in 1875, a German teacher, O.H. Kluge, invented Korbball, the game similar to that described above but it never became popular. Nowadays









Championships, Euro Champions and Euro Cup). Activity 14: Name: Pierścieniówka/Ringball (Poland) Participants: 2 teams of 4 players with 2 substitute players for each team Equipment and facilities: The net (height as in regular volleyball - 224 cm for women), volleyball with three oval holes in it. Playing area: In the sports version, the game is played on a volleyball court 9x18 m Rules: Pierścieniówka involves two teams of four players each. Each half of the court is divided into two playing areas: a back and a front. The back area extends from the rear boundary of the court to within 1.5 meters of the net. The front boundary then extends from this line 1.5 meters to the net/centerline. Three players for each team stay in their rear area and may not move into the front area. One player (the playmaker) stands on the front 66

boundary. At the beginning of the game, a player serves the ball over the net. The aim of the game is to pass the ball through one of the three rings in the net in such a way that the ball strikes the ground within the other team’s boundary. Once on a team’s side, the ball may not touch the ground and it can only be passed between teammates a maximum of three times. If the ball touches the ground/floor or goes out of bounds, the opposing team scores a point. The playmaker’s role is to pass the ball to one of the three players of his team in the back area to enable their teammate to pass the ball through one of the three rings. The play maker may not throw the ball through the rings. All players can move during a game, but only without the ball. No player can move while holding the ball. There is a rotation of players after each change of service (like in volleyball). The team which scores first the appointed number of points (usually 15) wins the set of the game. Game is over after 3 sets. Cultural aspects: This game stems from the traditions of Polish fishermen who played by throwing buoys through a holed fishing net. It was elaborated into a game in 1935 by a Polish PE teacher, Włodzimierz Robakowski. Pierścieniówka rose in popularity until World War II, but afterwards, it became forgotten for years. In the 2000s, the game was revitalized by scholars from University School of Physical Education in Poznan and is now growing again in popularity.

Activity 15: Name: Tapu-Ae (New Zealand) Participants: 20


Equipment and facilities: two playground balls of different colours, two skittles (pins) or cons Playing area: Sports hall, outdoor recreational area Rules: The teacher splits the class into two team of 10 members each. Each team has six ‘hitters’, three ‘centers’ and one ‘defender’. The main objective of the game is to knock down the opponent’s skittle (con or pin) with a ball to win a point. A center player from each team holds a ball. After teacher’s signal to begin, he/she tries to throw the ball to one of the hitters on their team. The hitters try to knock over the skittle and at the same time the opponents try to intercept the ball and pass it to someone on their own team. In that case the ball must always go to a center as it is being passes across to the opposite court. Both balls can be in the same circle to make it more difficult for a defender to protect their skittle. Players must stay within their own marked area and there should be no running with the ball during the game. Except for a step forward when throwing the ball, the player in possession of the ball must remain stationary. Players must pass the ball within five seconds. If a player breaks a rule, the ball goes to the ‘neighbouring’ player on the opposite team. A team scores one point for a knocking down the skittle with her/his team ball and two points for a knocking down the skittle with the opponent’s ball. The team which gains 11 points first wins the game. Cultural aspects: Although most of today’s New Zealand populations (as well as animals) originate from t settlers from other countries there are still some traces of Maori culture remaining and some rituals are still cultivated, including a lot of dancing and singing. Activity 16: Name: Skyros (Greece) Participants: Two teams of equal number Equipment and facilities: Map of Greece, vests or scarves to divide players into two different teams, playground ball, volleyball Playing area: Sports hall, school yard or park (court setup: 50m long and 35m wide with the middle line and goal lines) Rules: The main object of the game is to score a goal after quickly passing a ball down to field of play. The playing court should be marked with two end lines and middle one at the centre and additionally two goal lines5m from both sides of the end lines. At the beginning, 68

participants line up on opposite end lines to wait for the start signal. After this, they dash to get the ball which is placed on the centre of the marked court. They can only pass and catch the ball (no dribbling is allowed). The participant possessing the ball is not allowed to run with the ball, instead of that he/she must pass the ball to someone else from their team. Players can score a point for the team by catching and finally touching down the ball in the goal area. The opposite team tries to interrupt the opponent (but without any physical contact which is forbidden here) to intercept the ball and pass it to teammates trying to reach the other baseline (between the goal and the end line). The game can be continued until a defined end time or a set number of points with the team with highest score winning. Cultural aspect: Skyros (Σκύρος in Greek) is a Greek island, the southernmost of the Sporades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. According to Greek mythology, Theseus died on Skyros. Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, was from Skyros, as told in the play by Sophocles, Philoctetes (line 239). It is thought that perhaps this game originated from this island. Ball games were very popular in Ancient Greece. Underneath there are some examples of modern ‘regional’ games: Activity 1: Name: Rock-It-Ball (Great Britain) Participants: Two teams of 4 to 7 players each (depending of sports hall size) Equipment and facilities: Required number of ‘RockIt’ (double-ended with moulted scoops), 7 RockIt balls and bibs of two different colours Playing area: Any sports hall (size does not matter) Rules: Rock-It-Ball is a mixed-sex, versatile and flexible game. Several versions of Rock-ItBall exist to accommodate different numbers of players. To play, divide the players into two teams, each with a minimum of four players and a maximum of seven. Each player is armed with a stick or pole that has a moulted scoop at each end. A player may go anywhere on court when they do not possess the ball, but running with the ball in their scoop is not allowed. To move, the player must “dribble” the ball by flicking the ball from one the scoop on one end of the ‘RockIt’ to the other. The aim of the game is to score more points than the opponents. A team scores a point by hitting their opponents with the ball (one point) – the hit person then raises his/her hand in the air to be counted as a point for opponents. Each player also has the 69

opportunity to score two points if they catch the ball with their scoops after an opponent has tried to hit them. The acceptable hitting area is all parts of a player’s body accept their head. The game is dynamic and fast moving, so it is enough to play 4x4 minutes and then change the teams. The team with a smallest amount of hits wins. Cultural aspect: “A pinch of pelota, a little lacrosse, a dash of dodge ball and a whole lot of RockIt – that’s the recipe for Rock-It-Ball” says one of the inventors of the game – Paul Hildreth. Rock-It-Ball was founded and developed in North Yorkshire, UK. It was developed during 2005 and was later introduced to the public at large in February 2006. Activity 2: Name: Speed Badminton/Speedminton (Germany) Participants: 1x1 or 2x2 Equipment and facilities: Speedbadminton rockets, ‘shuttle cocks’/fun speeders for kids, mach speeder for adults, tape or chalk Playing area: Sports hall, beach and any flat surface Rules: The field consists of two squares measuring 5.5 meters on each side. The distance between the squares is 12.8 meters. ‘Match speeders’ are used for normal games. Children and youngsters play with ‘fun speeders’ over a smaller distance 8.80 meters. The aim of the game is to reach the square of the opposite player with the speeder. If the speeder falls outside the opposite square, the other side gains a point. Both players are allowed to step out or anywhere inside their square during play. The game ends when one player has at least 16 points and has at least 2 points advantage over their opponent. Every time a set/round finishes, the players switch sides. At a score of 15:15 there is overtime where two point lead is needed to win the set. A game usually lasts three winning sets. In tournaments, it is possible to play only two winning sets until the semi-finals. If a fifth game (tiebreak) is necessary to play, players need to swap sides after every 6 points. The right to serve first is drawn by throwing a coin or a speeder. Every player has three consecutive serves. Points are scored in every rally.. At a score of 15:15 the serve switches after each point. The serve must be done out of the designated zone which is marked 3m behind the front line. It is forbidden to cross the line during serve which is played bottom-up toward the competitor’s square. The previous loser starts the next set. Points can be gained if the serve is not correct: 1) the speeder touches the 70

floor or the roof, 2) the speeder lands in the opposite court and can´t be returned, 3) the speeder lands outside the court (the lines are part of the court), 4) the speeder is touched two times immediately after each other, 5) the speeder touches the body. If a player returns a speeder from outside the court, it is still considered to be played. Modification Doubles: The doubles match is played on a single court. At the double division, both players stand in the same court. The coin or speeder decides the court side and serving sequence. The serving player stands at the back line, and his partner stands at the front line. The serves are shared among all players after every three serves. The first serve in the following set goes to the loser of the previous one. Cultural aspect: The special shuttlecock and the idea of the game were invented in Germany by Bill Brandes. The inventor called his new sport “shuttle ball”. In 2001 the game’s name was converted to “speed badminton”. Originally the idea of the inventor was to create an outdoor variant of badminton, so he changed the standard shuttlecock for a smaller and heavier ball (which today has evolved into a speeder). In 2003, there were already 6,000 active players in Germany. The sport is growing steadily and there are numerous international tournaments across Europe and the World. In year 2011 the Ist Speed badminton World Championships were held in Berlin. Most societies have undergone a variety of globalising processes over recent years. Specific national and local cultures are overwhelmed with incoming cultures of immigrants. But we need to remember cultural and societal diversity and try to respect and prevent them dying out to give allow later generations to get to know and experience them. In this context Physical Education can contribute its part by providing children with different plays and games from all over the world.. Using various traditional forms of physical activities can help schools, and indeed the whole of to better understand and respect other cultures, religious and ethnicities. Introducing multicultural traditions into education programmes would certainly suit the interest of both children and society. As Lorrain Barbarash claims “„ A good way to explore other cultures and learn more about one’s own is through play. […]. A multicultural, multiethnic approach to education provides children with information they can use to form opinions and practices for they own lives.” (Barbarash, 1997: VII).



Problems based learning or teaching games for understanding?

Adam Kantanista

Capel and Piotrowski [2000, p.182] indicate that although the provision of high amounts of physical activity should be an important component of physical education lessons, it is much more important to build a foundation of more skills and make children’s early activity experiences enjoyable in order to foster future participation. Physical education in schools can therefore influence children in a positive or a negative manner depending on the way the national curriculum is delivered by an individual PE teacher. It is not the sports or activities which can lead automatically to moral/social enhancement or deprivations, but it is the way they are delivered in a process and whether the approach is a truly pedagogical or rather more coaching-like. It is important for PE teachers to realize that by concentrating too much on fitness and neglecting the ‘fun factor’, tasks are perceived by pupils as less enjoyable experience and it may affect their attitude towards physical activity (at least in some of them). This will therefore have a negative influence on their out of school physical activity participation level as well as across the whole life span. A lack of positive memories of school physical education (often reporting boredom and feeling of incompetence) is probably one of the major factors that result in a decreasing level of participation in later life. Designers of other attractions available on the market of free out-of-school proposals (computer games, television and the Internet) seem to pay more attention to creating challenging devises and activities with the latest Wii-fit computerized form of enjoyable activity showing us how far we (the PE teachers) are behind the present-day challenges of attracting youth attention. Some activities may (and should be) co-educational including everybody at once and should not separate the girls from the boys as working in mixed-sex environment may develop some very important social skills such as team working with other genders and communication between genders. Other activities will demand a clear separation due to the violent nature and competitiveness of some sports and obvious physical factor (like tackles) in rugby or Gaelic football. However it is also a teacher’s role to reduce any potential tensions between the subgroups in the class and one of the ways to ease to do this issues may be by asking the two players selecting the team to select the players for the opposite team. In this way the teacher 72

makes sure that the balance between the teams will be carefully maintained by the pupils themselves and the pupils who usually were selected last will now become selected first which is also of social importance for motivation of the weakest ones. A Teaching Games for Understanding model (TGFU) (Bunker & Thorpe 1982; Kirk & MacPhail 2002) focuses on tactical awareness, which is believed to be needed to make important decisions during the complexities of a game being played. Lesson content must be designed in a way that gives pupils a chance to develop confidence and competence in skills and strategies. First the teacher should focus on force production (i.e. generalization in movement before accuracy sometimes requires use of maximal force). Only then can the teacher begin giving clues (but limiting them only to necessary hints – for example by organizing the pupil’s school setting in a way that requires certain movements or tactical solutions). The next phase in the Tactical Games Approach involves the modification of equipment or educational context, followed by appropriately designed progression steps. Finally, if there is no progress or errors are constantly appearing, the teacher gives feedback (Lynn 2002). Bunker and Thorpe (1982) claim that use of this model brings about better tactical thinking and application of technical skills in the later stages of sporting development and thus it seems it may be particularly beneficial for teaching sports. Some groups of games have common key characteristics determined by their rules or equipment. Simplified, modified and generic versions of games can be used to teach the main concepts and skills required by each individual game, which is important in planning and having in mind severe time constraints in the school setting. To be an effective and competent teacher one needs to have an extended awareness of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). Shulman (1986, p. 9) describes PCK as the “ways of representing and formulating the subject that makes it comprehensible to others”, which means transforming the subject into teachable and learnable contents (i.e., how to teach specific tasks to a specific group). Research on teaching effectiveness indicates that teachers with insufficiently developed PCK have trouble designing an appropriate level, sequence and progression of learning tasks. They also cannot recognize common performance errors and do not provide appropriate feedback to their pupils (O’Sullivan 1996, Rovegno 1995).


3.1. Movement games –for building good relations and climate in PE lessons

One of the basic conditions for effective teaching/learning in PE is good relationships between pupils and the teacher and among pupils. Together, these create the climate during PE lessons. There are different exercises, play and games that teachers can use which help to create such relationships and the positive atmosphere. Pupils who are given an attractive task, which is also a challenge for them, focus on its realization. Implementation of such a task by achieving a goal, solution the problem and cooperation will help to build positive relationships in the team. It also prevents the emergence of bullying in school (e.g., kicking, teasing, name calling). It concerns PE, too and can destroy relationships, willingness and enjoyment of physical activity. Building positive relationships between pupils (pupils and teacher) in PE lessons should occur to a greater extent at the beginning of the semester or when teacher starts his or her work with pupils. It is the early lessons when pupils can be left out, rejected or bullied. Below, are examples of play and games movement which can be used during PE lessons. They are known as: ice breakers, team building, name games, cooperative games. A separate group of play and games are problem solving games. They also help to build team and positive relationships. Additionally, they develop a number of social skills, individual (being a leader) or group (e.g., discussion and decision making). Problem solving play and games must be interesting and new for pupils. Pupils who play the game are physically active, thinking toward achieving the goal, communicative, play different roles, argue and look for a solution using creativity. Problem solving games can be found among the different play and games presented below. These are: Human knot, Upside down, Monster’s walk, Blind circle, Moving hoop and Rafts.

Activity 1 Name: Meet me Participants: Up to 10 in one circle Equipment and facilities: Ball for each circle Playing area: Any Rules: Pupils form a circle. Each pupil says his/her name, others try to remember the names. Then, one of the pupils goes to the centre of the circle and receives the ball. He/she throws the ball up and says the name of one of his/her peers. The person who is called tries to catch the 74

ball and repeats the throwing motion. Students who have thrown the ball up, take their place on the circumference of the circle.

Activity 2 Name: Moves and names Participants: Up to 10 in one circle Equipment and facilities: None Playing area: Any Rules: Pupils sit on the circumference of a circle. The first person shows some movement (e.g. clap, lift legs, arms), and says their name. The next person repeats the move and the name of its predecessor and makes his/her own move and says his/her name. The next person shows moves and speaks the names of predecessors, and then his/her own. Modifications: instead of their names, pupils can give other information (e.g., favorite sport) or each pupil can have some sport equipment (e.g. ball, gymnastic equipment).

Activity 3 Name: Eye to eye Participants: 10 – 30, it depends on parachute size Equipment and facilities: ‘Parachute’ (circular material, divided into colorful parts - colored triangles). Playing area: Any Rules: All players hold the parachute at the height of the chin. One person tries to make eye contact with other person and swaps places under the parachute. Underneath they say their names. The parachute should not go down on the ground.

Activity 4 Name: All Change Participants: 10 - 25 Equipment and facilities: ’Parachute’ (see previous activity) Playing area: Any Rules: All players hold the parachute. The teacher (or a pupil) calls different information. Then the pupils lift the parachute and whoever the information concerns, swaps places under parachute. The teacher can call out birthday months, numbers, and colours of parachute, or e.g. “who likes oranges”. Children swap places under the parachute before it falls. 75

Activity 5 Name: Love catcher Participants: 10-30 Equipment and facilities: Markers for catchers Playing area: Any Rules: One chaser is chosen (or more, it depends on the number of participants). The Chaser’s role is to try to catch another person. If this person is caught she/he becomes a new chaser. If three people (runners) grab another’s hands („three”) they are safe and cannot be caught by chaser. But they are safe only for 3 seconds, then run away and they can create the next „three” with other students. At a time when students are holding their hands, chaser cannot wait until they face 3 seconds. Modification: The hand grip can be replaced by a hug, in a series of standing shoulder to shoulder, etc... (it depends on the relationships of the group).

Activity 6 Name: Cooperating pairs Participants: 14 - 30 Equipment and facilities: None Playing area: Any Rules: Students form pairs, grab hands and take up a position on four sides of the square at equal intervals. One pair (with grabbed hands, too) is in the middle and acts as the chasers. The task for pupils outside the square is to make eye contact with another pair and change places passing through the square. Outside the square pupils (pairs) are safe. The pair in the middle try to touch a pair running through the square. If they do it, there is a change of chasers. If one pair changes place and other pairs do not take the risk and stays in place, they becomes a chasers. Modification: Instead of pairs, groups of three or four people can be created (depending on the number of participants and size of the pitch or the gym hall).


Activity 7 Name: Animals group Participants: 12 - 30 Equipment and facilities: Cards with written forms of animals on it Playing area: Any Rules: Each pupil is given a card with a name of a different animal on it. This is a secret. Then, everyone walks/runs in the gym/sport field and acts out the animal that is written on the card (they are not allowed to say anything). The task is to make a group of pupils with the same written forms of animals. Modification: a) Pupils can be blindfolded and try to find each other through sound. b) Instead of card with animals pupils can get different types of sport.

Activity 8 Name: Quiet walk Participants: 6-30 Equipment and facilities: Four cones of different colors Playing area: Any Rules: Cones of different colours are placed in the four corners of the square. Students stand around one of the cones. One pupil is positioned in the middle and closes her/his eyes. The 77

group's task is to change location and stay near the other cone in such a way that the person inside cannot hear. The task of a person standing in the middle is to indicate the colour of the cone where pupils have moved.

Activity 9 Name: Race with balls Participants: 12 - 30 Equipment and facilities: Balls – different size, cones Playing area: Any Rules: Pupils are divided into two groups (or more depending on the number of participants). In each group, the students split into pairs. A starting line is marked. , Balls of different sizes are placed at a distance of 10-15 meters from the starting line (the number of balls is equal to the number of pairs in the team). The task for each pair is to run to the balls, take one and transports it to the starting line without using their arms. After crossing the start line the next pair begins to run and take another ball. Two pupils have to be involved in the transport of the ball. The winner is the team who first and correctly moves all the balls to the starting line.

Activity 10 Name: Human knot Participants: 4-12 (this activity works best if you have an even 78

number of participants). Equipment and facilities: None Playing area: Any Rules: Pupils make a circle. Each person raises their right hand and grabs the hand of the other person, then each pupil raises their left hand and grabs the hand of a different person. each pupil should thus be holding hands with two different people. The task is to solve the knot and make a circle. If the group is having difficulty, they can decide to break one pair’s link.

Activity 11 Name: Upside down Participants: Up to 20 (depends of the chute size) Equipment and facilities: Parachute (see activity 3) Playing area: Any Rules: Everyone stands on the parachute (shoes should be taken off beforehand). The task is to turn the parachute upside down without touching the ground with the body. If you have 2 parachutes you can form two groups and organize a competition.

Activity 12 Name: Monster’s walk Participants: 6-30 Equipment and facilities: None Playing area: Any Rules: Divide your group into smaller ones (2-6 players each). Determine the start and finish line. The task is to reach the finish line linked all together with some rules. For example, only 3 hands and 3 legs can touch the ground between the start and finish lines.

Activity 13 Name: Blind circle Participants: 8-16 Equipment and facilities: Rope Playing area: Any


Rules: Pupils receive a rope, grab it and make a circle. Then, they close their eyes and through verbal communication try to create a square. If you want to make the activity competitive two teams with a rope each can be created.

Activity 14 Name: Rafts Participants: minimum 4 up to 30 Equipment and facilities: Gymnastic mats (two per group) Playing area: Any Rules: Pupils are divided into smaller groups of 2-10 persons. Each group receives two mats. Start and finish lines are set out. The task of the group is to get from the start line to the finish line using 2 mats without touching the ground with their bodies.

Activity 15 Name: Moving hoop Participants: minimum 6 up to 30 Equipment and facilities: One hoop Playing area: Any Rules: Pupils form a circle. Their hands are linked. Two hands of 2 pupils are linked through the hoop. Pupils have to move the hoop round the circle as quick as possible without breaking the links. Modification: two circles and with two hoops can be organize to make it competitive. 3.2. Teaching games for understanding (TGfU) – alternative approach

Sports have been taught using the skills and drills in most school and sport clubs. This technical approach develops teaching skills which are isolated from the game and then the skills and the game are reintroduced. Participants are focused on a technique during the activity and not the joy of being active. In this traditional model teaching game is as follow:

Skill Execution --------------------Game ----------------------- Tactical Awareness

This is reflected in physical education lessons plan: warm-up, skill development, modified game, and then the actual game. This method of teaching is necessarily wrong or 80

uninteresting. Indeed, some pupils even prefer such a way of teaching. However, the reality is that the majority of pupils’ wish is to have fun and play a game.

When students come into gym, for PE lessons, they usually ask: ARE WE GOING TO PLAY TODAY? WHICH GAME?

If students need to play, why not meet their expectations? An alternative is teaching game for understanding (TGfU). This method was introduced by as a means to conceptualize games teaching and learning. Since 1982 TGfU has been a focus for researchers and teachers in several countries, mostly in USA, Canada, Singapore, UK, Australia, and France. However, TGfU has good theoretical foundations, but little empirical research has been carried out as to the effectiveness of the method. The model of TGfU presented by Bunker and Thorp (1986) is shown in Figure 1. In this model, the learner/teacher is in the centre. He/she is the guide when a game is being learnt by pupils. We can observe that the skills execution occurs in the fifth stage. This allows students to see the reasoning behind the skills that they will be learning. TGFU (Bunker & Thorpe 1982; Kirk & MacPhail 2002) focuses on tactical awareness, which is believed to be needed to make important decisions during the complexities of playing a game. Lesson content must be designed in a way that gives pupils a chance to develop confidence and competence in skills and strategies. Bunker and Thorpe (1982) claim that the use of this model brings about better tactical thinking and application of technical skills in the later stages of sporting development and thus it seems it may be particularly beneficial for teaching sports.


Game (1)

Game appreciation





Tactical awareness

Skill execution



Making appropriate Decision

What to

do? How to do? (4)

Figure 1. Model of Teaching Game for Understanding (Bunker and Thorpe 1986)

There are four categories of games (Webb, Pearson 2008): 1.

Target Games: e.g., golf, bowling, curling, wheelchair bocce, shuffleboard


Net/Wall Games: e.g., tennis, badminton, volleyball, squash


Striking/Fielding Games: e.g., baseball, softball, tee ball, cricket

4. Territory/Invasion Games: e.g., football, rugby, basketball, lacrosse, hockey Some groups of games have common key characteristics determined by their rules or equipment: There are similar tactical concepts in team games such as football, handball or field-hockey but in net/wall games it will be playing the shot so that opponents cannot return it, while cricket, baseball and rounders share scoring by striking a ball into an open space. In all these examples simplified, modified and generic versions of games can be used to teach the main concepts and skills required by each individual game, which is important in planning and keeping in mind severe time constraints in the school setting. Important to the whole TGfU approach of deep understanding of games is the ability of successful questioning. Questioning can be applied to four areas: strategies, technical, rules and psychology [Webb, Pearson 2008]. Questions should be inspiring, open and understandable for pupils of a particular age. You can start the question with: How do you ...?, What did you ...?, When do ...?, Where is/can ...?, Which choice ...?.


During the last 30 years some variations and terminology of TGfU have occurred, for example ‘game sense’, ‘play practice’, and ‘game centered approach’, ‘tactical game model’. Some researchers suggest that there is a need to rethink and modify the TGfU model. It is perhaps appropriate to transplant the role of affect from the periphery to a more central position when theorizing how TGfU could evolve as a model (Pope 2005). It is not obvious that TGfU is a better method than a traditional approach. Rink et al. (1996) suggest that despite some positive findings, the studies reviewed could not provide conclusive support for TGfU over technique-led approaches. Below, you can find examples of games’ forms (simplified game) with an indication of their usefulness in teaching various sports games. We focused on Net/Wall Games and Territory/Invasion Games. Notice that a sports game can sometimes become a form of teaching another sports game. For example: badminton and tennis, basketball and rugby.

3.2.1. Examples of territory/invasion Games

Activity 1 Name: Divided Court Eduball There are many variations of Eduball. Participants: 6 (3 in one team) Equipment and facilities: Ball Playing area: Gym hall Rules: It is based on getting more points than the other team. The ball should be a polymer or foam ball, the same size as a senior handball ball (but a different sized ball can be used). When choosing a ball, the key is that it should not hurt when somebody is hit and it cannot rebound too much. The court is a rectangle of 20x10m, divided in two halves of 10x10m. A volleyball court of 18 x 9 m can be also used, too, divided in two halves of 9x9. Other courts may be used with walls. Players from one team can’t enter onto the field of the other team. One team gets a point when the ball is hit to the other team field and goes through a 30 cm height goal set at the far end line of it. . Time: two periods of 15 minutes with 5 minutes break between them (this can be modified). Goal: is the goal a space between the far end line of the team and an elastic band placed 30 cm height attached to two posts. If there is a wall the goal can be drawn on the wall. How to score a point: passes through the goal. When the other team is not able to send the ball back to opponents’ team field. When the other team doesn’t play correctly the ball. How to play the ball: The ball can’t be caught but only hit. 83

Each team may hit the ball three times before sending it to the other team’s field. The same player can’t hit the ball two consecutive times. If as a consequence of one intervention, the ball hits two body parts of the same player, they are regarded as only one hit. How to play the ball: The first touch of the team may be performed with any body part. The second and third hits of the team can’t be performed with the foot. The ball can’t be sent to the other team field with the foot. When the ball goes out after rolling or bouncing in the field, one player must hit the ball (ball is kept below his/her knee) meanwhile his foot is on the line where the ball went out. After a point and at the beginning of each point: one player must hit the ball (ball is kept below his/her knee) meanwhile his foot is on the far end line of the team. Modification: A goal of 3x2 m and a goalkeeper can be introduced in the court, similar to handball. How to play the ball: it may be allowed as many hits of the balls is needed, the ball can be caught, without running with it, or later (in an invasion version players can run freely on the whole court) to catch the ball and run with it until being touched by a player of the other team.

Activity 2 Name: Eduball – invasion game Participants: 8 players (4 in one team) Equipment and facilities: ball Playing area: gym hall, minimum 9 x 18 m 84

Rules: The aim of the game is to gain more points than the other team,. Players can enter any part of the court. A point is scored when the ball is sent to the goal of the other team. Players from the opposing team are allowed to may intercept the ball at any time. Ball, court, time, and goal are the same as Divided Court Eduball (above). Players: each team has 4 players are positioned freely on the court according the role they perform. Substitutions are allowed when the ball goes out or after point. Substitutions are performed over the goal line or not more than 1,5 m from it (in case of a wall). How to play the ball: the ball can’t be caught and can only be hit. Any player may intercept a pass or throw at any moment. In this case the player can hit a second time the ball. If as a consequence of one intervention the ball hits two body parts of the same player, they are regarded as only one hit. The first hit of the team may be performed with any body part including feet or legs if they are resting on the floor. Subsequent touches cannot be performed with either feet or legs This action is punished with a free throw from the place where they were performed and players from the opposite team must be at least at 1,5 m away from the ball . After the ball goes out - one player must hit the ball (ball is kept below his/her knee) meanwhile his foot is on the line where the ball went out. After point and at the beginning of each time: one player must hit the ball (ball is kept below his/her knee) meanwhile his foot is on the center of the middle line. It is not allowed: - to catch or keep the ball, - to catch or hit the opponent, - to hit the ball with the foot or leg, with the exception of the first team hit if the foot is on the floor. This action is punished with a free throw from the place where they were performed. Players from the opposite team must be at least at 1,5 m away from the ball.

Activity 3 Name: - Defense of the treasure Participants: 8-26 Equipment and facilities: 2 balls Playing area: any, minimum 9 x18 m Rules: The playing field is divided into halves. Each team has its half of field and a base in which there is a treasure (the ball). Neither team has right to enter into their own base. The task of team is to win the treasure of the enemy and return it to its half. Acquisition of treasure is made by the entry of persons into the enemy base (where it is 'untouchable' by the time of departure). A player on her/his own half is safe. A player on the opponent's half can be” frozen” by touching. She/he can be “unfrozen” by player from her/his team, also by touching. 85

The player who took the treasure can also be “frozen” and “unfrozen”. The treasure may be transferred from hand to hand, but it cannot be thrown. The game takes place up to a given number of points or a set period of time


In the next games presented below rules used in different sports can be applied and modified. At the same time different balls or pucks or different equipment can used in invasion/territory games. Only the basic rules are described for the games below.

Activity 5 Name: Hoop ball Participants: 10 (5 players in one team) Equipment and facilities: 12 hoops, 1 ball or puck (depending on rules it can be basketball ball, soccer ball, handball ball) Playing area: Depending on used balls Rules: 6 hoops are placed near end lines of the pitch. In the middle of each hoop there is a sheet of paper with numbers written on it (from 1 to 6) signifying the number of points. Points are scored by dunking the ball into one of the hoops. The team with the higher number of points wins.


Activity 6 Name: stop the ball Participants: 4-22 Equipment and facilities: Ball Playing area: Gym, football field, Rules: Divide the players into 2 teams. Final pitch lines are longer than the lateral line. The task of the defending team is to defend their end line, and stops the ball on the opponents’ end line. You can use different rules depending on the game: in football the task is to stop the ball with legs, in basketball by putting the ball on the line, in floorball by stopping the puck with the bandy, etc. Modification: you can set a scoring field (1 m wide) instead of using end line.


Activity 7 Name: Ball to the captains Participants: 9-22 Equipment and facilities: Ball Playing area: Gym, football field Rules: Divide the players into 2 teams. Each team appoints two captains who stay on the end line on the opponent's half. Captains can only move along their lines. The team task is to get to the opponent's half and make a pass to one of their captains. Each pass scores 1 point. Modification: Captains must change Position i.e. swap places before receiving the ball.


Activity 8 Name: 7 passes Participants: 4 - 26 Equipment and facilities: ball, ringo (a rubber ring) and others Playing area: Any, minimum 9 x 9 m Divide the players into 2 teams. The task is to pass the ball 7 times among players of one team. If the ball touches the ground it goes to the team that did not drop it. If it goes outside the parameters of the court it goes to the team that did not let it get out. Activity 9 Name: Keep the ball with a neutral players’ help Participants: 12 players on one field Equipment and facilities: Balls Playing area: 10-20 Rules: You need two teams of four players each and four neutral players. Eight players are on the pitch, and the other four move along the side and end. Players on the game pitch try to keep the ball and can use the help of neutral players to get outnumbered. Players on the lines play the ball after receiving it or without receiving. Modification: You can change number of players 89

Activity 10 Name: Two fields game Participants: 10 Equipment and facilities: ball Playing area: 20-40 Rules: You need two teams of five players. Each team is composed of three forwards and two defenders. Players of these formations are not allowed to cross the center line. The game takes place without goalkeepers. The task of the attackers is to score goals (points) by playing a 3-2 advantage, while the defenders defend their goal. The game can be two in two or four goals (football, floorball) or two or four basketball hoops, etc.


3.2.2. Examples of net/wall games

Activity 1 Name: - Thrown volleyball (1) Participants: 8-12 Equipment and facilities: Ball Playing area: Volleyball court Rules: Pupils play volleyball but with modifications to the rules. A service may be replaced with the throw of the ball. A student can grab the ball over their head instead of receiving it and throw the ball over the head. The second pass is to a playmaker. Modification: Students grab the ball below their waist instead of receiving it and throw the ball below the waist.

Activity 2 Name: Sitting volleyball Participants: 8-12 Equipment and facilities: Ball Playing area: Volleyball court


Rules: Pupils sit on the floor The net is set at the height of 1m. Students play using volleyball rules with modifications. They can change positions, rotate by using their hands (players cannot walk but have to move on all fours). The ball is allowed to bounce a maximum of once before a team touches it.

Activity 3 Name: Blind volleyball Participants: 8-12 Equipment and facilities: Ball Playing area: Volleyball court Rules: Students play using volleyball rules but a sheet is draped over the net so that neither side can see the other

Activity 4 Name: Volleyball with rackets Participants: 3-6 in each team Equipment and facilities: Rackets, net, ball Playing area: Volleyball court or smaller one Rules: The same as volleyball. Each pupil has racket (badminton, tennis). Depending on type of rackets you should use different type of balls or shuttlecocks. The ball is allowed to bounce a maximum of once before a team touches it.. If required, the net height can be changed. Modifications: as in blind volleyball sheets can be draped over the net.

Activity 5 Name: Eduball – Divided Court Eduball – toward volleyball Participants: 4-6 in one team Equipment and facilities: Ball Playing area: Gym Rules: see Territory/Invasion Games – Eduball (Divided Court Eduball) and rules presented below. The middle line: An elastic band may be placed over it, increasing progressively its height. The goal: It will be a point if the ball bounce in team field ones and go out or if the ball bounce in the team field twice or more.


How to play the ball: The ball is allowed to bounce a maximum of once before a team touches it. Modification: rackets and different balls – can be introduced, you can use extra scoring area – if ball bounce in this area you have extra point

extra scoring area

Activity 6 Name: Running volleyball Participants: 3 - 12 Equipment and facilities: Ball Playing area: Volleyball court (or smaller one) Rules: Teams A and B stand in single file on both sides of the net behind the end lines. The first player from Team A serves the ball and runs onto the court. At the same time the first player from Team B also enters the court, returns the ball to Team A’s half and runs to the end of his team’s line. This is repeated by the other players from both teams. Each player can touch the ball twice – receive and pass the ball to opponents’ half. Players are not allowed to spike the ball. Points are scored as in indoor volleyball.


Activity 7 Name: Ringo (ringo is a sports game, but it is a good activity for teaching/learning many net/ wall games). Participants: 2-6 on one court Equipment and facilities: Ringo (it is a rubber ring, 17 cm in diameter) Playing area: volleyball court Rules: The goal of the game is to score 15 points, defending one’s own half of the court. And throwing the ring from one’s own half of the court or from outside– so that it falls on the opponent’s half. The team version of the game (doubles and triples) is played in an area the size of a standard volleyball court. The net is set at a height of 243 cm. The ring may be served on the head referee’s whistle. ~the referee makes sure that the two teams are ready and then raises his/her arm. The captain serves first, in the matches of singles, the serving player is changed every 3 points. In a game where two rings are played, the server changes every 5 or 5+1 points, in a regular sequence. when two rings are used, each team serves at the same time. Dropping a ring causes the loss of a point. The ring that fell on the surface must remain there until play with the other ring has ended. The ring should fly more or less parallel to the surface or with its circumference facing the opponent’s half of the court (similar to a normal Frisbee throw). In no moment of its flight may the ring become vertical. The pitched ring must be rotating in whichever direction. To pitch the ring with no rotation causes a loss of a point. When throwing the ring, the player must touch the ground with at least a part of his/her 94

foot. To take both feet off, the ground when pitching the ring causes a loss of points. The technique of the pitch is discretionary, with this reservation that the pitch started must be continued in the same direction. To stop the ring’s flight or to change its direction (a feint) causes a loss of a point. The ring may be caught with left or right hand but must be returned with the same hand. Two rings may not be caught on one hand. The ring can be caught even with only one finger. The ring may be held for a limited period of time - three seconds between a catch and a throw. When the player arrives at ”3” - the player holding the ringo loses a point. The ring held in the hand cannot touch the holder’s (save the fore-arm of the catching hand) or his/her partner’s body, the ground, the ringo line (net) or the area above it. Players take the position they want in their half of the court. (description of the game comes from website: http://ringo.org.pl/irf/rules.html) Modifications: Depending on the abilities of pupils we can implement some modification: lower net, holding ringo in two hands, passing ringo from hand to hand, a larger number of participants. Modification: ringo (a rubber ring) may be replaced by a ball or bean bag.

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About the Authors Małgorzata Bronikowska, PhD, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Olympism and Ethnology of Sport at the University School of Physical Education in Poznan, Poland. Her main research area is the cultural and anthropological context of traditional Polish and world sports and games. She also created “Regional Games” - a new module for students at the faculty of Physical Education. She has finished her post-graduate doctoral seminar, and recently has become a lecturer at the International Olympic Academy (Greece). In 2008 she was a leader of the Polish national team at the World Traditional Games in Busan (South Korea). She has published a few books and numerous articles on physical education, Olympic education and on the subject of traditional plays and games both nationally and internationally. Michał Bronikowski, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Methodology of Teaching Physical Education at the University School of Physical Education in Poznan, Poland. His main research area is Sport Pedagogy where he has investigated the determinants of successful learning/teaching process with the emphasis on movement didactics, teaching sport games and physical education teacher training. He has finished his post graduate doctoral seminar, and is a lecturer at the International Olympic Academy (Greece). He has coordinated a number of European Union projects in Poland concerning experienced-based learning and teaching of physical education (www.health-a-ware.eu) and problems of healthy children in sound communities (www.hcsc.eu). He has published extensively in English on physical and health education concerning experienced-based teaching Physical education – teaching and learning and Physical education and health education – common didactic goals and interdependencies (eds. M.Bronikowski, A.Krawański, W.Osiński), most recently a collection published by Meyer&Meyer Sport in 2011 Contemporary issues in Physical Education (eds. K.Hardman and K.Green). Adam Kantanista, PhD, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Methodology of Physical Education at the University School of Physical Education in Poznan, Poland. His research fields are physical and health education, determinants of (un)healthy behaviour of underweight and overweight children and adolescents, health interventions in schools settings. He has been involved in two EU funded projects: “Healthy children in sound communities” (moderator in the project), “Health(a)ware an experiencedbased learning and teaching approach for physical and health education” and conducted a research project entitled “Obesity and overweight in junior high school students and their attitudes towards physical education lessons and physical activity”. He organizes or participates in national and international workshops for PE students and teachers. In 2009 he completed a postgraduate seminar at the International Olympic Academy.


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