Gym games for 13 year olds?
January 17, 2012 6:38 AM   Subscribe

Fun PE Games for middle school kids? (Stuff you can play in a gym with 30 kids and fairly good ball/mat/whatever resources)

I'm taking over 45 minutes of a physical education class per week, in which I'm supposed to bring in a few games, explain the rules, and have a group of 13 year old kids play them. I've had real success with a couple games (Rafts, where kids need to competitively cross the gym without touching anything but 2 mats, and line basketball, where 2 teams stand in a line and have to pass to all members of their team and freethrow before the other team does), and a few flops, and I'd love to have some suggestions for new games.
posted by sdis to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Matball was always my favorite gym day.
posted by sanka at 7:03 AM on January 17, 2012

Freeze tag (also known as "stuck in the mud")?
posted by emilyw at 7:04 AM on January 17, 2012

Pass/advance or ultimate frisbee? Take the football or frisbee to the "end zone", marked by cones, by passing it to other teammates. You cannot move with the ball, but you can move to intercept the ball or get in a better position to advance the ball.
posted by Night_owl at 7:17 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

There are a seemingly infinite number of dodgeball variations that would do the trick.

My favorite at that age was Doctor Dodgeball. Divide the gym in half and send equal sized teams to each half. Each team then secretly decides which team member is "The Doctor" and then play can begin. After that it plays out like regular dodgeball but when someone gets hit they have to sit or lay down until the doctor comes by to escort them to the back wall at which point they are back in play. You've got to be discrete about rescuing someone though, because once the other team figures out who you doctor they become a primary target. Once your doctor is out no one can be rescued on your team until the whole team is eliminated. Vary the game up with different ball counts and doctors per team.
posted by cirrostratus at 8:08 AM on January 17, 2012

There was a tag game I played once or twice we called "Hug Tag".

Everyone starts off with a partner except for a group of about 2-3 who are "Free". The partners have to link arms, hold hands, or hug. The person who was "It" tried to tag the people who were Free. In order not to get caught the Free person would run and find somebody to hug. They would have to choose somebody who had a partner. As soon as they grabbed the person with a partner, the partner would be considered Free and would have to find a new partner (They're not allowed to re-hug the person they were partnered with to begin with.) If a Free person gets tagged by It they become another It. The game ends when everybody is IT.

I hope that made sense.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:15 AM on January 17, 2012

How about crab soccer? It's basically just soccer, but everyone has to "crab walk" ie get around face-up while shuffling around on their hands and feet. We did this in the gym on rainy days, and if I recall, we all seemed to enjoy it.
posted by Gilbert at 8:23 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Start the festivities with Robert Preston's Chicken Fat. We started every gym class in elementary school with this ["push ups! every morning! 10 times! not just now and then!"]

13-year-olds might get a kick out of it as a goofy retro thing [my 14-yr-old son likes it] and it's seven minutes of calisthenics.
posted by chazlarson at 8:28 AM on January 17, 2012

Are you familiar with The New Games Book? It might be right up your alley.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:13 AM on January 17, 2012

Kickball, but with a few twists. For example, you can designate the home run area on the wall anything below 8 feet, which gives plenty of target area to hit. (We played this in an outdoor fenced basketball area. If you kicked the ball over the fence, not only were you out, but you had to go get it. The boys loved to play the back wall so that they could rob home runs.) If you hit that on the fly, home run. If you hit above it, on the fly or not, you're out. Balls can be kicked backwards as well (having two catchers playing the back wall can be fun.) Got basketball hoops in the gym? Any kicked ball that goes through the hoop scores 10. You can institute whatever rules variations you like, particularly to suit the area. Got a wide gym? Any kicked ball that goes outside a certain area left or right is an out. Or you can even designate a small doom zone - any ball that hits it is three outs. What's nice about this is that the emphasis on placement and not power can make it a suitable game for all athletic levels.
posted by azpenguin at 10:00 AM on January 17, 2012

Where are you located? State standards for PE can be useful in guiding activity choices. :)
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:27 AM on January 17, 2012

Response by poster: I'm in Austria
posted by sdis at 11:14 AM on January 17, 2012

Speedball is the game of champions and rowdy children
posted by WeekendJen at 5:15 PM on January 17, 2012

Parachute games!
posted by SisterHavana at 5:25 PM on January 17, 2012

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