What it is: An active game involving hopping and rock-paper-scissors

Best for: A big group (at the very least 8 players) in a gym

What you need:

  • 20 to 30 hula hoops
  • Optional: Painter’s tape to secure the hula hoops to the floor

How to play: This game is easily demonstrated through a video, so let’s just start with one right off the bat:

Now that you get the idea, lets talk specifics! First, setup. Place or tape your hula hoops on the ground, creating one long trail of hula hoops that can wind and curve across the gym. There should be room on each end of the trail for a line of players to stand.

Divide your players evenly into two teams and send each team to line up at either end of the hula hoop trail. Then you’re ready to start the game!

Let’s say on Team 1 we have Simon at the front of the line, and on Team 2 we have Mary. At “go,” Simon and Mary start hopping down the hula hoop trail, landing once in each hula hoop. When they meet each other, they play a quick round of rock-paper-scissors. (If they tie, they play again quickly until someone wins.)

Say Mary wins. The loser of rock-paper-scissors (Simon) then leaves the hula hoop trail, going back to the end of his team’s line. Mary gets to continue hopping up the hula hoop trail, trying to get to the opposing team’s starting point.

As soon as Simon leaves the trail, the next player in Team 1’s line (we’ll call him Jacob) starts hopping down the trail. When Mary and Jacob meet, they play rock-paper-scissors. Say Mary wins. Then Mary continues hopping down the trail, Jacob goes to the end of his team’s line, and Jacob’s team sends another player hopping right away.

The game ends when someone reaches the end of the hula hoop trail (the starting point for the other team).

It’s a great game because it works for any age. If your players are too young to play rock-paper-scissors, have a buddy walk with them and play rock-paper-scissors for them. And there’s really not much skill involved. Sure, some kids might be faster hoppers than others, but anyone (even the youngest players) can win at rock-paper-scissors. So it’s a great mixed-age group game.

Also, it’s so fun! For some reason players just get so excited when a teammate wins at rock-paper-scissors. Much cheering occurs. So much suspense! So much intensity! So much hopping! This game is a keeper.

Source: I learned about the game from Eric Branch. His video of his gym class playing is great! It went viral. Thanks for the great game, Eric!

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