Props: Large Inflatable Ball (Earth Ball)
Credit: Cowstails and Cobras II (page 60-61)
Circle. The game is very simple. See the large ball? The facilitator will throw it into the air and the group, working together, will have to keep the ball up in the air. How do you do that, you ask? (I know that’s what you’re thinking. If not, pay attention…) The ball must be hit, catching and throwing are not allowed, and each hit must launch the ball at least four to six feet into the air (except, of course, if the ball is out of control,
then any hit will count). As soon as the facilitator throws the ball, they will start the stopwatch. When the ball touches the ground or, if the group makes an illegal grab, the time stops. For a group of fifteen people, an average score is 1:15 with exceptional scores over the two minute mark!
Cooperation. You will find teamwork to the extreme on this activity! It takes a lot of effort to keep hitting the ball up in the air. The unusual thing you will find, however, is that when you begin this activity, you might find it hard to drag the group away from it. Most people want to set the record. Let them go, if you have time. However, do not sacrifice team-building for the sake of “pure fun”. Remember, this is fun with a purpose!
Record for the 4′ cage ball is 2:45 – New Adventurers, 1997. (The group, by the way, was exhausted. They had been playing it for almost two hours, but weren’t about to stop until they broke the former record!)
Record for the 4′ beach ball is 11:32 – Sunshine House (?) 1998.
Record for the 3′ cage ball is 4:51 – Summer Staff Training 1997.
Did you break the record? Why or why not? What could you have done differently to help keep the ball up in the air longer? Who had the best “save”? Do you think, if you came back to this later, that you could get the record? Why or why not?
Don’t let the ball come down on just one person, if possible. Watch out for people crashing into each other, not that this can be helped. If the group is exceptionally hyperactive (running people over, jumping into the ball, etc..), you might want to have them come up with an organized structure for how they are to keep the ball up in the air!