Games That Flip

I was at a family gathering last spring and we were attempting to entertain a group of people from ages 5 all the way to 65. Fortunately, we had some cones and a couple balls and started a short course version of capture the flag. We added some fun rules along the way and eventually out popped Sh'Bobble.

*A Little Context - In our game, the kids wanted to play boys v. girls and I expected that my team with its athletic superiority of runners to hand out a slaughter. However, the girls scored the first 5 goals before the boys even got on the board; we never even came close to catching up. *

This is why you should start playing Sh’Bobble with your youth and children...

  • It’s a high impact, high energy game that equalizes players regardless of athletic ability; it rewards and strengthens teamwork. (Athletic skills won't win this game, the course is too cramped and small to not get tagged. Players must learn to work with others and develop strategies to get close to the ball.)
  • The short course and number of bodies on the field allows younger players to easily succeed and be heros with defensive plays against big athletes.
  • The athletes are often easily tagged and in jail until they learn to work and coordinate with the other players on their team.
  • Game play provides fantastic opportunities for the strategy kids to develop paths and scenarios that create wins.
  • This game allows students to play at their level and pace, be that high speed and sweaty or slow and fixated on a patch of grass (even the players who pull dandelions will regularly play key roles at the right moments).
  • Winning this game always comes down to one thing…seizing moments of opportunity. This is a great life lesson.
  • Lastly, it has an awesome name…who doesn’t want to play Sh’Bobble?

Before the details, take a moment...what games do you love that flip roles and engage kids in a way that teaches and improves more than a traditional sport's skill? If you've got a great one, share it in the comments below so someone else can learn from your great ideas and tools.

Here it is then, if you need a game for camp, youth group, a team bonding activity, a family reunion, or you just want to introduce Crazy Awesome Fun...all you need is two balls, some cones, and a 30 yard square (a little larger than a full-sized baseball diamond infield). The rules and instructions are on the sheet below underneath the diagram. Feel free to download that picture and print it for your use.