No Bears Are Out Tonight
Group Size: 10–40
Rules: In this game there are humans and there are bears. The goal of the bears is to attack the humans. The goal of the humans is to survive and make it back to the home base. Choose a place to be the home base for the humans; this can be a sidewalk or a section of grass. To start, three players are chosen as bears and must go find hiding spots somewhere around the whole High School building. While they do this, all the humans stay on home base and count to 30. After counting to 30 they shout, “No bears are out tonight, Daddy caught ‘em all last night!” Then they start walking around the building hoping to make it back to home base without being tagged by a bear. Humans must travel counterclockwise around the building and may not go clockwise even when being chased. The bears wait for the humans to get close and then jump out to chase and tag them. Once a bear jumps out, the humans yell “Bear!” and run for their lives. The bears want to tag as many people as they can but only the first one that each bear tags will become one of the new bears for the next round. Once back on home base players cannot be tagged.
Rotations: After two rounds game captains rotate new people into the game, if any are waiting to join.


Follow the Judge to Court
Group Size: 10–30
Rules: In this game there are civilians and there is a judge. The judge’s job is to catch civilians and lead them to court. The goal of the civilians is to not go to court. To start, the judge must pick a direction in which to travel around the building. Once this direction has been chosen the judge may not travel in the opposite direction at all. He or she also may not turn around and completely face that direction, but they are allowed to look over their shoulder. When it comes to traveling, the judge can walk, run, or stop and hide. Every time they see a civilian, they have to call out “_(name/brief description)__, follow the judge to court!” For example, “Brown-haired girl with white shoes, follow the judge to court!” Then the civilian that was caught has to follow the judge around at least half of the building before they can sneak away and hide again. Civilians have three options for staying out of sight:

  • Try to hide, knowing that the judge will likely be checking all the places as they go.
  • Try to stay right behind the judge, carefully peering around each corner of the building to make sure the coast is clear.
  • Try to stay ahead of the judge by peering around a corner and running for their lives each time they see the judge coming.

Once the judge has made their 5th call-out, the game is over and that person becomes the judge for the next round.

Variation: Once the judge has caught someone twice, the game is over and that person becomes the judge for the next round.
Rotations: After each round game captains rotate in new people, if any are waiting to join.


Giant Soccer
Group Size: 6–10 per team (Additional substitutes are a good idea. It’s tiring!)
Rules: This is regular soccer but with a 5-foot tall, 18 lb ball. Players are not allowed to kick the ball or move it with their arms or hands. The only way they can move the ball is with their torso or hips. A “hip-check” is usually the most effective way to move the ball. Each time a player checks or intentionally touches the ball and it goes nowhere (because of an opponent doing the same thing on the other side of the ball) they must take two large steps away from the ball before trying again. This will help keep the ball from getting surrounded and stuck. Just like in normal soccer the teams need goalies, defenders, midfielders, and forwards (quantities may vary). When the ball goes out of bounds, a member of the other team hip-checks it back in. All other players must be ten steps away from the ball when it’s checked back in. Each time someone makes a goal, their team gets to kick off from the middle of the field. Their opponents must be at least 5 steps away from the ball. This same type of kick-off is how the game is started.
Rotations: The game captain sets a timer on their phone for 15 minutes. When it goes off, they’ll end the game, even if it’s a tie. Then they’ll rotate in new people, if any are waiting to join.


Red Light Green Light
Group Size: 8–50
Rules: In this game there are pedestrians and one traffic cop. The goal of the traffic cop is to enforce the law and keep his/her job. The goal of the pedestrians is to sneak up on the traffic cop and take his/her job. To start each round, the traffic cop stands 20 to 50 yards away from the starting line. In this case, the sidewalk will be the starting line. All the pedestrians line up with one foot on the starting line. The traffic cop starts the game by yelling “Green Light!” and turning to face the opposite direction. At that point all the pedestrians begin walking, running, rolling, cartwheeling, or army crawling toward the traffic cop. Then, without warning, the traffic cop turns back towards them and simultaneously yells “Red Light!” The traffic cop then points out anyone that they saw move, even a little bit, and those pedestrians have to go back to the starting line and begin again from there. Note: the traffic cop must turn in a full circle with each red light/green light cycle, meaning they can’t switch back and forth between clockwise and counterclockwise with each light change. The game continues until someone makes it all the way to the traffic cop and tags them, thus ending the round and becoming the new traffic cop for the next round.
Rotations: After checking in with the game captain (to go over the rules), people can join at any time as long as they begin at the starting line.


Lava Tag
Group Size: 4–30
Rules: In this game there are explorers and a lava monster. The goal of the lava monster is to catch an explorer. The goal of the explorers is to survive both the lava and the lava monster. To begin, someone needs to make trails in the wood chips from both ends of the swing set to the corresponding sides of the playground. This is best done by dragging a foot sideways to dig down and remove the top layer of wood chips where you want the path to be. Repeat this process with both sides of the jungle gym so that all the different parts of the playground are connected and there’s always a way in and a way out of any given structure. Then pick someone to be the lava monster. Proceed to play tag where the wood chips, excluding the trails, are lava and the lava monster is it. The lava monster can go anywhere – lava, playground, and trails. Any explorer that gets tagged or that falls in the lava becomes the new lava monster.

  • Variations
    • Infected: In this version each person to be tagged or fall in the lava is added to the growing team of lava monsters. The last explorer standing wins.
    • Double Lava: This rule can be added whether you’re playing the classic or the infected version. The rule is that the wood chips and the playground floor are both lava now. This adds a new challenge as participants have to get creative and move across railings and such to get around. The only caveat is that lava monsters are allergic to the new lava (the playground floor) so they can’t touch it either. If lava monsters do touch the new lava, they have to return to the wood chips before proceeding to chase explorers.

Rotations: The game captain sets a timer on their phone for 15 minutes, then looks for a good point to end the game after the timer goes off (e.g., when someone is tagged, or we have a last explorer standing).


Light-Up 9 Square
Group Size: 9+
Rules: In this game there is a king or a queen and there are subjects. The goal of the king or queen is to retain the throne. The goal of the subjects is to advance and take the throne. Start with one person in each square and a line of everyone else feeding into a corner square each time someone is eliminated. The person in the center square is the king or queen and always begins the round by serving the ball up and out of their square into someone else’s square. The recipient must hit the ball back out, over, and into another square with one hit. If they hit it more than once, if it hits the ground, or they hit it out of bounds, they are eliminated and must go to the back of the line. Everyone then moves forward in a spiral, trying to acquire and keep the center square as the new king or queen.
Rotations: No set rotations; people come and go as they want.


Light Up Ultimate Frisbee
Group Size: 4–10 per team (2 teams for each of the 3 fields)
Rules: This game is played in the dark with an L.E.D. Disc and everyone wearing glow stick bracelets of their team’s color. The cones marking the end zones will also have glow sticks on them. To start, divide everyone into two teams. Do this by having each person flip the frisbee like a coin. If it lands top up, they go to one side of the field. If it lands bottom up, they go to the other. Once half of the people playing are on one team, send everyone one else to the other team without flipping the disc. Then the first team to be full will throw the disc off to the other yelling “Ultimate!” After that, the other team may catch or pick up the frisbee and begin working their way toward the end zone. In order to score someone has to catch the disc inside of their endzone. The disc cannot be handed from one player to another. It must be thrown. Each time the disc is dropped or caught by the other team, it changes possession. There are 3 different fields, marked by rectangles, on the map. There is no out of bounds. If a player goes a little out of their field, the game continues and they are expected to work their way back in with each throw. There is also no need to have players restrict themselves to three steps when they make a catch; we trust everyone to just stop as soon as they can.
Rotations: The game captain sets a timer on their phone for 15 minutes. When it goes off, they’ll end the game, even if it’s a tie. Then they’ll rotate in new people, if any are waiting to join.

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