Four Corners

Divide the gym into 4 distinct areas. Place a hula hoop in the middle of each area and place a ball in the hula hoop. Mark an area in the back corner to become the teams jail. This is played like many other capture the flag games. Students try to steal the other teams flags (or a ball acting as a flag) while trying to protect their own. If a student steps out of their area they can be tagged by the other team. If tagged they must go to that teams jail. To get out of jail they must be tagged by one of their teammates or you can add a get out of jail ball into the game which has to be caught by the person in jail to get out. Students stealing the flags are safe while inside the hula hoops of the other teams They can stay in the hoop as long as they need, but can be guarded there as well. Throwing of flags is not allowed. If a team gets all 4 of the flags in back to their hula hoop they are the winners.

Capture the Pigs and Chickens

This is actually two games made into one. This is a capture the flag game as well as a pindown type game. Lineup five cones on each side of the gym and on top of each place a tennis ball. Also place two hula hoops on each side of the gym to act as the jail and the location of the flags (2-3 for each team). Place 6-10 gator balls around the gym. Teams can win this game in one of two ways. They can use the gator balls to knock off each of the tennis balls off of the other teams cones or they can try to steal all of the other teams rubber animals (flags). Students must throw the gator balls from their side of the court. Students who are tagged on the wrong side of the gym are sent to the jail hula hoop. To get out of jail they must be tagged by another teammate. Students may not steal more than one animal at a time. First team to get all of the tennis balls knocked down or all of the animals into their hula hoop would be the winner.

Baton Capture

This one is best played outdoors. Divide the class into two equal teams. Place 8 hula hoops on each side of the field in 2 rows of 4. Place a baton in each of the 4 furthest hula hoops on each side. Hula hoops are safe places to be. If a students gets into a hula hoop they can stay there as long as they need, but they can be guarded as long as they want as well. Students job is to try and steal all 4 of the other teams baton while keeping their 4 batons safe. They may only place one baton in each hula hoop. Students who are tagged on the wrong side of the middle line are frozen and must sit or kneel down where they were tagged. To get unfrozen a teammate must run and tag them. If they are freed, both players have free backs to their side of the field. These players must raise their hands or they are free to get tagged again. They may not visit any hula hoops or grab a baton on the way back to their side of the field. The first team to get a baton in each of their 8 hoops would be the winner.

Steal the Bag Berries

This is a good capture the flag type game for younger classes. Split the class into two teams. Place an even amount of bean bags on each side of the gym. Students try to run across the middle line to steal bean bags from the other teams side. If tagged on the other teams side the student is frozen and must sit down where tagged. To get unfrozen, one of their teammates must run across and tag them back up. First team to steal all the bean bags from the other team wins.

Gathering sticks

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Six sticks, two mats
INSTRUCTIONS: Class is divided into two teams, each team on opposite sides of the playing area. On each end of the playing are place the three sticks on a gymnastic mat. On the given signal, players will run to the opposing teams side of the field in an attempt to steal the three sticks (1 at a time) located on their mat. If the player gets tagged before he makes it to the mat, he becomes a prisoner and must stay on the opposing teams mat. If a player makes it to the opposing teams mat without being tagged he may release one of the prisoners, or if there are no prisoners then he may take one stick. The first team to collect all six sticks is the winner.
- Students cannot be tagged if they are on their own half of the field.
- All prisoners must be rescued before sticks can be taken.
- Prisoners must join hands to get a free walk back to their half of the field.
- Players that are carrying an opponent’s stick cannot be tagged.
HELPFUL HINTS: Emphasize fair play, be sure students release prisoners first. This game is difficult for one person to judge, especially with younger students. You can make this game easier or more difficult by changing the number of prisoners that can be released by a player. Furthermore, you can make the game easier by changing how many sticks it takes to win the game.

Capture the flag

INSTRUCTIONS: Divide the class into two teams, one on each half of the playing area. In the back of each teams playing area place a flag. The object of the game is to get the opposing teams flag and return it to your side of the field without having any flags removed. The first team to do this is the winner. A player that has a flag removed while attempting to steal the opponents’ base flag is sent to a designated area (dungeon). That player remains in the dungeon until touched by a teammate that has both flags on and escorted back to his/her own territory. Once a player is released from the dungeon he is entitled to a free walk back to his own territory as long as his/her hands are joined with the rescuing player. A player released from the dungeon must go to his own territory before attempting to capture the opposing teams flag. A player may not have his flags removed while he is in his own territory.

VARIATION - Add a guard for each team to guard the base flag and the dungeon. When I do allow guards, I will designate an area around the flag in which the guards cannot be inside unless an opposing player is in the area first. I do this for safety reasons as it reduces the possibility for collisions at the flag. This area is approximately an 8 x 8 square.

For the dungeon, I Velcro two mats end to end and use them to seal off a corner of the playing area. Opposing players are not safe until they are behind the mats and in the triangle created in the corner. Players are not allowed in their own dungeon or on their own mats. Since students are not safe on the mats, this setup has almost totally eliminated any arguments over weather a student was in the dungeon when their flag was removed. I tell the students this rule prior to the start of the game “If the player who removed your flag was not on the mats, then you could not have been in the dungeon, as it would be impossible for students to reach from the floor outside the mats to the floor behind the mats”

HELPFUL HINTS: No player is allowed to guard his own tags. You can only rescue one player at a time from the dungeon (meaning each player may rescue only one player at a time).

Pirate Ball

Instructions: Set up the playing area as follows: Divide the gym into four equal quadrants. (I use half court line for one direction, and my rope for the other. However, tape, chalk, cones and such, will also work fine). In the far corner of each quadrant you will build a base. Each base consists of a mat place diagonally across the back corner. Behind the mat (inside the small triangle created by the mat placement) place a hula-hoop. Inside each hula-hoop should be 1 of each type of ball being used (I use basketballs, volleyballs, soccerballs and footballs).

Divide the class into four equal teams and have each team put on flags and belts. Each team should be designated by it’s own color of flag or pinnies. Each player must begin the game from his or her own home base. Each team will be given a name that is representative of their particular ball (for now we will call them the football team, basketball team, etc.). The object of the game is for each team to collect all of their designated balls from the opposing teams. The first team to have gathered all four of their own balls will be declared the winner of that round. Following are the rules of this game: Once a player enters an opposing teams quadrant (pirate ship), he or she is susceptible to having their flag removed. If you have a flag torn off, or fall off while in an opposition’s territory you must retrieve your flag and go to their dungeon (mat). Once inside the dungeon (on the mat), you must take your flags off and wave them overhead while kneeling. (Note): Any player from any team can remove the flag of any player who is not inside his/her own quadrant (ship). However, the captured player would go to the dungeon (mat) of the team whose quadrant he was in at the time of his capture. If a student successfully makes it into an opposing teams vault (triangle of floor behind the mat) he must rescue one of his/her teammates (to rescue; student must escort his/her teammate, by the hand, all the way back to their own quadrant). In all variations of this game, rescued students and their escort, get a free walk back to their quadrant as long as the hand joins them. If a player makes it to the opposing teams vault and there are no prisoners from his team to rescue, then he may steal only the treasure that represents his team.
Following are some other miscellaneous rules that help with this game:
1. Students cannot have their flag removed as long as they are in their own quadrant.
2. Players are not allowed inside their own vault unless they are returning with a piece of treasure (ball).
3. You may rescue only 1 player at a time.
4. Players are not allowed on their own mat, this is how I stop the arguments over weather a person was safely in the vault or not when their flag was removed. By not allowing players to be on their own mat, and opposing players to be safe if in the vault area, arguments are eliminated because: If a player had his flag removed by an opposing player not on a mat, then he must be out because the students are not capable of reaching the vault without being on the mat.
5. You may not rescue a player and a ball at the same time.
6. If a flag falls off in enemy territory then you are out and must go to the dungeon.


To win:
  1. Students must gather 4 matching balls regardless of their originally designated team
  2. Students must gather their own 4 designated balls.
    1. Students can steal only their designated ball.
    2. Students can steal any ball they choose
3. Any combinations can be chosen, 2 sets of three, or 2 sets of two. Sometimes I will choose odd combinations depending on how long I want the game to last.
1. Teams get a free walk back if they have a ball. (This year I am going to try to have the students use the ball on the way back; ex. dribble soccer ball, basketball etc.)
Teams do not get a free walk back with a ball. In fact, they are not safe anywhere including their own property.

Capture the Whatever

Split class into two teams. Place a mat in the back corner (where the flags are kept) and a box of cones in the other corner (the jail). Setup 4 cones with balls on top in the middle of the gym. Students are to try to get to the mat to steal an item at a time. They can be tagged any time they are across the middle line unless they are on the mat. Once they leave the mat they can be tagged again. If tagger they go to the jail. To get out of jail they must catch a ball from a teammate or hit a ball off of a cone. If they catch a ball from a teammate then they are safe to return to their team. If they knock a ball off the cone then everyone in jail is free. Count items on the mats to see who is leading.

Capture the Kickball

Setup two teams in the gym with a kickball field. The kicking team may kick the ball in any direction. Setup four bases plus home plate and four cones in the outfield with flags out of top of them. Kickers kick the ball and run the bases. When they get to 2nd or 3rd base they can choose to grab a flag out of the cone. If they grab a flag they try to make it to home base without being tagged by the ball. If they make it home they get 3 runs. If tagged they get an out. Teams switch with 4 outs. Outs can also be made by catching a ball out of the air or forcing an out at first base only. The kicking team may also score single runs by making it around the bases.

Capture the Cheese

Setup a large box with poly dots in one corner of the gym. This will be the mouse house that will hold most of the class. Setup another smaller box in the opposite corner of the gym. This will be the mousetrap. Spread balls or objects of some kind all around the gym. Pick 4-5 students to start out as the cats. Everyone else will act as mice. Mice are safe in their mouse house and can leave at any time to try to grab a piece of cheese (the balls). If a mouse is tagged by a cat they are sent directly to the mousetrap. To get out of the mousetrap another mouse has to run across and free them. They have free backs to the mouse house as long as their hands are up in the air. Mice cannot get cheese and save someone from the mousetrap at the same time. It is either one or the other. Rotate the cats.

Capture the Captain

Divide the class into two teams and give one team jerseys to wear. Split the field in half with cones. Make a jail in the back corner of each side of the field with cones. Setup a cone with a tennis ball on top of it along the back line of each side. Setup a hula hoop with 3 tennis balls in it on the back side of each teams side.

Each team is going to select one person to act as the teams captain. This captain will wear a flag football flag or something that can be pulled from their waste band to show that they were caught. In addition, each team is going to select two guard for the captain. These guards are the only ones that can go within 10 feet of the captain. Each guard is connected to either the cone with the tennis ball on top or the hula hoop with the tennis balls in it. They MUST know which they are connected to. If the other teams runs across and knocks the tennis ball off of the cone, then the captain looses the guard that was associated with it. If the team is able to get all 3 tennis balls (one at a time) to their side of the field then the other guard (the one associated with the tennis balls in the hoop) is no longer a guard. Once a team loses its guard then nobody can be within 10 feet of the captain. First team to grab the captains flag would be the winner. If a student is tagged on the other teams side, they are sent to the jail in the back corner of the field. If anyone makes it across to the jail and tags a team member in jail then everyone gets free backs to their side (hands need to be up). Tennis balls need to be run. Hula Hoop is a safe spot. Can't add tennis balls to your hoop (just place them in the middle of the field). The hoop with the tennis balls and the cone with the ball on top can only be guarded by one person.

To make it a little tougher, I like to add multiple cones with tennis balls on top...the other team has to knock over all of them to get rid of the guard. You can also add tennis balls to the hoop to make it harder to get that guard taken away. You could also give the guards a special jersey so that people know who they are.


Setup two teams with a line in the middle. In each end zone create a bank (use a goal box or two cones). Place multiple batons in each of the banks (8 to 10). Object of the game is to steal all of the batons on the field. Students may be tagged any time on the other teams side unless they are in the bank. Students are safe in the bank. When tagged, students are frozen in place. Another teammate must run across to free the teammate and can choose to continue freeing other teammates of continue on to the bank. Neither teammate has freebacks and can be tagged as soon as they are free.