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In the Zone

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Here are two great lead-up games for middle school students.  
Submitted by Belinda James from McAllen, Texas.  4-8

 

zonegames
Background: As a middle school physical education teacher, I am always looking for successful ways to introduce sports skills for our students. Here are two great lead-up games for your consideration!

Zone Flag Football

Area: Playground, football field or gym

Equipment: Footballs, flags used in flag football, and cones (to mark all zone boundaries)

Strategies and Rules: The goal of the runners is to get past all of the zones without being de-flagged; the goal of defensive players is to take flags away from runners as soon as they enter the first zone. When a flag is removed, the runner must stop immediately where the flag was removed; if the runner steps outside the boundaries, the runner is denied any points; each zone is worth 5 points – runners may accumulate a maximum of 20 points.

How To Play: Divide the class into teams of four players. One team is the offense and the other is defense as shown in the diagram. One by one, the players on offense run into the field. They earn points by successfully getting past each zone.

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After all of the runners have a turn, the teams switch positions: offense becomes the defense – defense becomes the offense. The game can be repeated as time permits. Individual and team scores can be kept.

Variation: The defense can rotate back one zone after each runner (e.g., the defensive player in the last zone moves up to the first zone).

Zone Tag Basketball

Area: Basketball court

Equipment: Basketballs, flags used in flag football game

Strategies and Rules: This is a one-on-one basketball drill/game. The students are divided into teams of five players as shown in the diagram on the next page. Offensive players try not to be tagged (de-flagged) by defensive players.

If an offensive player is de-flagged, the player quickly bounce passes the ball to the next player and goes to the end of the line.

Scoring: A player scores 1 point by dribbling past the free throw line, 2 points if he is able to get off a clear jump shot once past the free throw line that hits the backboard or goes in, and 3 points if he is able to do a layup that hits the backboard or goes in.

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Other Rules: The defensive team has two players on the court. One player attempts to keep the dribbler from scoring 1 point and the second player attempts to keep the dribbler from scoring 2 (jump shot) or 3 points (layup).

As the dribbler is stopped or scores, the defensive players quickly rotate to get in good defensive position to guard the next dribbler from scoring points. As mentioned before, the offensive team’s job is to quickly bounce pass the ball to the next player in line as to get a “jump†on the defense.

Non-Stop Action: Each team plays non-stop for a designated time period (2-3 minutes) with the offensive team keeping track of points scored. When time is up, the teams switch positions: offense becomes the defense – defense becomes the offense. Individual and/or team scores can be kept.

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