Three great cardiovascular activities submitted by Tom Spalla from Asbury, Iowa. 2-6
Background: Here are three great games that are guaranteed to provide your students with a vigorous cardiovascular workout and add more fun to your program!
Four for All: For this game, designate four students to be taggers. Each tagger is given a small foam ball. This is held in one hand and is used to tag players (tag, not thrown). Two taggers are assigned to each half of the basketball court. The rest of the students line up on the basketball sideline. These players are the “runners.” The runners score points by running to the opposite side of the gym without being tagged. Once they get there they will walk along the perimeter of the gym to the side wall and return to the starting line (basketball sideline) and run again. Students walking back to the starting line may not be tagged. All the running is in one direction – to the other side of the gym. Taggers score 1 point for each student tagged.
Other: At our school, we generally have six squads of four students per squad. One squad is selected to be the initial four taggers. Because this is a very strenuous workout, we rotate the taggers every minute.
Three Catches: For this game, mark off your gym into quadrants. Divide the class into groups of three. Two groups are assigned to a quadrant, 3 versus 3. The object of this game is to pass the deck tennis ring to your teammates. Three consecutive catches scores 1 point for that team. Students may run anywhere in their quadrant.
When you score a point, the other team gets the ring. If the ring is dropped or intercepted, the opposing team gets possession. This game is like a small version of Ultimate Frisbee. We use deck tennis rings because they are easier to catch. Koosh balls make it even more challenging. Rotate the teams every 3-5 minutes.
4th and Goal: This is a fun football lead-up game. Use the same set-up as in the previous game. This allows for four games at a time. Every player has a flag football belt and one team is given a tennis deck ring or Koosh ball. The team with the tennis deck ring is on offense and will try to score a goal by throwing the ring to teammates in the end zone or to a teammate who can run it into the end zone.
If a player catches the ring in front of the end zone and attempts to run it in, the defense may snatch the flag to prevent a score. The offense is given three chances to score, so it is possible to score three touchdowns before having to change sides. The defense will try to prevent the offense from scoring by intercepting the ring, knocking it down, or pulling off the flags of the player with the ring.
After each play, the offense lines up at the center of the gym as shown. If the ring is intercepted, the defense may not immediately rush the quarterback. They must slowly count to 7 (“one thousand one, one thousand two, etc.”). Usually, one defensive player will rush, while the other two players defend the two receivers. Again, the teams switch sides after three downs.