Targets Away

Play for All
Intermediate, Senior

Location: gymnasium, outdoor field, tarmac, large activity space

What’s It All About?

This activity is quick to set up and requires minimal equipment. It can be played in various locations and be customized for the number of participants and the available time. Participants learn about and practise applying defensive and offensive strategies when trying to knock down other participants’ targets while defending their own targets. The activity is designed for maximum and meaningful participation and inclusion for everyone in a fun and welcoming environment. It is designed so that everyone feels valued and encouraged to participate to the best of their abilities.


  • Incorporate some or all of the variations listed in the “Variations” section while planning the activity. This will help to best meet the needs and interests of participants during play and maximize the fun, inclusion, and participation of everyone.
  • To elevate participant voice and choice, periodically pause the activity and share the variations with participants. Ask them to determine how they would like to change the activity to maximize the fun, inclusion, and participation for everyone. Encourage participants to add any variations of their own.


  • Visually inspect the equipment and activity area to identify and remove hazards. Check that the activity surface provides sufficient traction.
  • Establish the boundaries for the designated playing area at a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Share the boundaries with participants.
  • Review the safety rules and activity instructions with participants prior to the activity.
  • Instruct participants to be aware of their surroundings, including the locations of other participants during play.


  • 6 – 8 soft-skinned foam balls of various sizes (to provide participants with a choice of equipment)
  • 1 hula hoop per participant
  • 1 target per participant (e.g., cone, pylon, bowling pin, empty plastic bottle)

How to Play (1 to 1, pair to pair, small or large group play)

  • Instruct participants to set up their target in the centre of a hula hoop at least 2 metres from other participants and within the designated playing area.
  • Scatter soft-skinned balls throughout the playing area.
  • Participants start with one foot on their hula hoop.
  • On a pre-determined start signal, participants pick up a ball and send it underhand at any other participant’s target, attempting to knock it over while also defending their target.
  • Participants must not step on or inside any other hula hoop while defending their target or attempting to knock down other targets.
  • Participants keep track of their scores and receive a point for every target they knock over. They must stand the target back up to receive the point. Other participants must wait until the participant has returned the target to standing and is a minimum of an arm’s length away before throwing at the target.
  • If a participant hits another participant with their ball or makes body contact with them, they lose a point or receive a 30-second time out by leaving the playing area, returning to play after the 30 seconds has elapsed.
  • The game ends after the allotted time has elapsed.
  • After a period of play, provide participants with some or all of the variations. Ask them to decide how they might change the game to enhance the fun, inclusion, and participation for everyone. Encourage participants to add any variations of their own.


  • Participants play in pairs or triads, choosing their role in the game (e.g., defending their target or knocking down other targets).
  • Change the object participants can send (e.g., bean bag, sponge, beach ball).
  • Change the target (e.g., an object on top of the cone that must be knocked off, bean bag on a floor marker that must be knocked off the spot).
  • Knock over the object by rolling the ball toward the target.
  • Use a variety of objects to knock down the target, with each object worth a different point value (e.g., beach ball = 3 points, large foam ball = 2 points, small foam ball = 1 point).
  • Send the ball in various ways (e.g., non-dominant hand, overhand throw, kicking the ball) while keeping it in contact with the ground.
  • Every participant or group begins with a total of 10 points. A point is subtracted from their score whenever their target is knocked over.