Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cub Scout Games - Part 1

Three-Legged Soccer
Set up for a regular game of soccer:  teams, goals, boundaries, etc.  You might want to make the field a bit smaller, though, and have about 20 players on each side.  The only modification to regular soccer rules is that the players on each team must pair up and tie their ankles together in three-legged race fashion.  Players can kick the ball with either their free feet or the "big foot".
The goalie might be two people tied back-to back at the waist.
To add another dash of random craziness, use a rubber football from a variety store.  Why not have two balls - one for each team - going simultaneously?  Three teams?  One goal in the center?  Try anything!
Catch the Dragon's Tail
It's one thing when a puppy chases its tail - and quite another when a dragon tries it.  The difference you'll find in these "tails" is more than just size.
You'll need a good-sized area for this game, clear of holes in the ground and trees.  About eight to ten people line up, one behind the other.  Everyone puts his arms around the waist of the person in front of them.  (You can't be ticklish around dragons.)  The last person in the line tucks a handkerchief in the back of his belt.  To work up steam, the dragon might let out a few roars.
On a signal, the dragon begins chasing its own tail, the object being for the person at the head of the line to snatch the handkerchief.  The tricky part of this struggle is that the people at the front and the people at the end are clearly competing - but the folks in the middle aren't sure which way to go.  When the head finally captures the tail, who's defeated and who's the victor?  Everyone!  The head dons the handkerchief and becomes the new tail, and the second from the front becomes the new head.
Two dragons trying to catch each other's tails can be formidable - and also a great game.  How about a whole field full of tail chasing dragons?
Sit on the ground, back-to-back with a partner, knees bent and elbows linked.  Now, simply stand-up together.  With a bit of cooperation and practice, this shouldn't be to hard.
After you have this mastered, add a third person.  Have him join you on the ground, and all three of you try to stand up.  Now, add a forth person.  Four people standing up together might be a tremendous accomplishment.
By this time, you should realize that there's more struggling, stumbling, and giggling each time you add another person.  This game guarantees lots of spectators ready to join in the fun and help you get off the ground.
A gracefully executed mass standup (any number greater than five) is like a blossoming flower - but a more rare event.  To achieve it, start by sitting close and firmly packed.  The all stand up quickly and at precisely the same time.
This one-on-one battle for balance can be played almost anywhere and anytime, and the only equipment need is you!  To play the game, two players stand face-to-face on a level surface at arm's length.  (If one player's arms are shorter or longer than the other's, split the difference.)  Each player's feet must be side-by-side, together.  The players present their hands with palms facing their partners.  The object of Standoff is to cause your partner to lose balance, making contact with your hands only.
If your partner moves one or both feet while you retain your stance, you get one point.  If he lunges forward and wraps himself around you in an impromptu "abrazzo", that's also a point for you.  If both of you lose balance, no one gets a point.  The game is won by the player who scores two out of three points.
It is permissible to dodge and feint with your hands, but at no time during the game may players make contact with any part of their partner's body other than the hands.  If such contact is made, no penalties are imposed, but the offending player should reflect upon the real point of the game.
Another version of standoff is inspired by the graceful martial art of Aikido.  The players start with their palms together and keep them in contact through each round.  The object is still to make your partner lose balance, but sudden moves are not permissible.  Played this way, the game becomes a beautiful slow-motion act that looks far more like a dance than a contest.
Note:  A long session of standoff can make your arms sore and leaden.  Remember, you can always stop playing.

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