TGfU Category: Zone Games
Locations: gymnasium, multipurpose room, outdoor space (e.g., field, tarmac)
Zone games are activities that involve controlling an object, keeping it away from opponents, and moving it into position to score. Both offensive and defensive players share the same playing area as they work to prevent the other team from scoring. By playing these games, participants develop skills and tactics to play other zone games or games that require the application of similar skills, concepts, and strategies (e.g., soccer, handball, ultimate Frisbee, football, basketball, hockey, goalball, wheelchair basketball, lacrosse).
Participants learn about and practise sending and receiving a ball while using an implement.
Key Movement Skills, Concepts, and Strategies
Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to send and receive a ball while preventing an opponent from intercepting a pass and how to move and defend within a designated space. Note that this list is not exhaustive and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.
Movement Skills and Concepts
- Manipulation and body awareness: knowing how to manipulate an implement for sending/receiving (e.g., lacrosse stick, scoop) to apply a desired force to send and/or to receive the ball from another participant).
- Spatial awareness: knowing where and how to move during the game (e.g., finding the open space while in offence and defending space or covering a member of the other group on defence).
Decision making: learning how to make decisions alone or as a group about what to do during gameplay (e.g., when in possession of the ball, deciding to either pass to another participant, move with the ball, and/or score a point).
- Incorporate some or all of the variations listed in the “Variations” section while planning the activity. This will help to best meet the diverse backgrounds, identities, needs, and interests of participants and maximize the fun, inclusion, participation, and success 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, meaningful participation, and success for everyone. Encourage participants to add any variations of their own.
- 1 ball to send per game (e.g., soft air-filled ball, wiffle ball)
- 1 implement for sending per participant (e.g., plastic or traditional lacrosse stick, scoop)
- 1 set of pinnies per activity area
- Markers to identify the boundaries of the playing area zones (e.g., pylons, cones, rubber/vinyl spots)
- 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.
How to Play
- Divide participants into small groups (e.g., 4 – 6). Two groups play per playing area.
- Designate a playing area for each game using markers (e.g., pylons, cones, rubber/vinyl spots) to mark the boundaries and an end line on each side of the playing area to indicate the scoring area.
- Assign 2 groups to each playing area and provide each participant with an implement for sending/receiving (e.g., plastic or traditional lacrosse stick, scoop). Groups choose the ball they would like to send and how to send it (e.g., underhand/overhand pass). Groups may change the type of ball, sending implement, or choice of how to send the ball by mutual agreement throughout play.
- One group starts with the ball at their own end line. The group works together to pass the ball up the playing area to reach the other group’s end line. The opposing group works together to defend their end line against the advance of the other group while also trying to intercept the ball.
- A group scores a point by successfully passing the ball to one of its group members who is standing behind the other group’s end line.
- If a pass is intercepted, the ball goes to the other group at the point of the interception. If a pass is incomplete, it is considered a “loose ball” and the first participant to “trap” the ball with their implement gains possession for their group.
- Groups keep track of how many points they score.
- 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 their fun, challenge, and success. Encourage participants to add any variations of their own.
- Consider having groups share their variations and select another variation to try with their group.
Video: Visual Depiction of the Activity Instructions
Pause for Learning
Throughout the activity, ask open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement skills, strategies, and tactical solutions. Examples include:
- How do you position your body when sending and receiving to increase your chances of successfully getting the ball to your target or receiving the ball?
- How do you position yourself during play to increase your group’s chances of successfully sending and receiving passes and/or scoring?
- If your group has possession of the ball, how do you help support the person who has the ball?
- If you are on the defending team, how do you position yourself to increase your chances of gaining possession of the ball?
- How does communication (both verbal and non-verbal) play a role when you are on offence and defence?
- Which games or sports have you played or know about that use similar rules and strategies to the ones used in this game?
- Create smaller/larger groups or smaller/larger playing areas.
- Allow participants to advance the ball by taking 3 steps before having to send the ball to another group member.
- Add an additional ball into the game so that both groups begin with a ball and engage in simultaneous passing, sending, and receiving to attempt to score points.