Game: Duck Duck Bin Chicken

It has increasingly come to my attention that not enough people are aware of the Australian Bin Chicken.

This game is an ode to the average Bin Chicken. The fight for survival. The thrill of a freshly-captured bin. The malodorous bouquet unique to these wonderful examples of the Avian Aesthetic [with the possible exception of Year 8 boys dorms].

You’ll Need

  • A largish outdoor space.
  • Some youth or other humanoids
  • A reasonable number of cones, or other way to mark circles (rope)
  • Some chairs or other object to place in the centre of your circles.

Setup:

You cannot play Duck Duck Bin Chicken without some bins. However, unless you are fortunate to have a high bin entitlement, you probably have to settle for chairs.

We like to play this game with three teams, and six bins. Arrange the chairs in a big circle:

                               
                               
                x         x    
                               
                                       
                                       
       x                           x   
                                       
                                       
                               
                x         x    
                               
                               

Then put a circle of cones around each bin chair.

             /-----\   /-----\ 
             |     |   |     | 
             |  x  |   |  x  | 
             |     |   |     | 
    /-----\  \-----/   \-----/  /-----\
    |     |                     |     |
    |  x  |                     |  x  |
    |     |                     |     |
    \-----/  /-----\   /-----\  \-----/
             |     |   |     | 
             |  x  |   |  x  | 
             |     |   |     | 
             \-----/   \-----/ 

Rules

The aim of this game is to control as many bins as possible at the end of the round. Each round will take about three to five minutes.

  1. Obtaining a bin. To capture a bin, you run into the centre of the circle, and tag the bin.
  2. Taking care of your bin. Once you have a bin, you’ll need to defend it from the other roving tribes of Bin Chickens. You can do that by tagging them when they come inside your circle, before they tag the bin. You can’t tag anyone outside the circle.
  3. What if I’m tagged? Thankfully, Bin Chickens are durable little beasties. If you are tagged, you need to go back to the respawn point. Just pick any random object. We often put an extra chair in the centre of the field.
  4. The really important rule. It’s just like Duck Duck Goose. You can only move around the field in one direction. This is why the bins are arranged in a circle. You can only try and capture the next bin in the circle. Pick a direction. Clockwise is easier to spell, so I recommend it.
  5. More Bin Maintenance instructions. Two small rules to make the game faster. Firstly, set a maximum amount of defenders allowed around each bin. Three is a good number. Two makes it very hard to defend, and four is almost impossible to attack. Secondly, if a defender touches the bin, it’s a fowl [sic], and they lose their bin to the attackers. This stops defenders just standing on top of the bin and not letting anyone in.
  6. Team Elimination. It’s possible for a team to lose all of their bins. This happens most rounds with three teams. If so, they are out for the round. Short and sharp rounds (a few minutes) means that nobody is sitting out for too long.

That’s it. The teams all run around capturing bins until the timeout. The team with the most bins is declared Victor. After a few rounds, everybody is nicely tired out.

And now, this:

Game: I’m all about that blue (no yellow)

This game is vaguely related to both Foosball and pinball, is reasonably active, and can be played indoors. Useful for those delightful winter months.

You’ll Need:

  • Three balls, about the size of a tennis ball, in three different colours. We use blue, yellow and red, but we promise not to look down on you if you choose to use different ones. Peasant.
  • About 30,000 metres of masking tape
  • An indoor, quasi-rectangular space. If you do not have one, try your local supermarket.
  • Four chairs (to act as goals)

Setup:

Use masking tape to divide the space into lanes. Like a pedestrian crossing:

+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+

Details:

  1. There must be an even number of lanes.
  2. Make them a metre or so wide.
  3. The number of lanes is equal number of active players. We like to use 10-12, for a group of 20ish. It’ll depend on how much space you have, of course.

Then, place two chairs in each endzone:

+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
| X   |     |     |     |     |     |     |   X |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
| X   |     |     |     |     |     |     |   X |
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+

Divide your group into two teams. Place them into the lanes according to the rules below, and get the rest to line up like a relay.

Once you’re ready, release the balls [or kraken, I guess, if you prefer].

Rules:

  1. The Lanes
    • Each lane has at most one player in it
    • Players can move anywhere in their lane without restriction, but aren’t allowed outside at all. They can’t even reach over the boundaries.
    • Teams alternate in the lanes. That is, Lane 1 is Team A, Lane 2 is Team B, Lane 3 is Team A, etc. This is why you need an even number of lanes.
    • Endzones: One endzone should belong to Team A (i.e. there is a Team A player in it), and the other to Team B.
  2. The Balls.
    • Any of the balls can be moved by rolling it along the ground (like ten-pin bowling).
    • To clarify, roll the ball. Roll. Not throw sideways. Roll. Police this as you see fit. Fast movement is good, broken windows/arms/egos not so much. Actually, scratch that last one.
    • You’re only allowed to be controlling one ball at once. You can have more than one in your lane, but you can only be holding/handling one of them.
  3. If a player gets out (more on that in a second), they return back to their team, and the next free player from their team takes their place in the lane (like a relay).
  4. You can get out in a few ways:
    • You get hit by the red ball anywhere except your hands. So the red ball acts like a dodgeball.
    • You score a goal. This helps to stop any single scorer from dominating the game.
    • A goal is scored, and you’re in the endzone at the time. This one is so that you don’t get stuck there forever.
    • The referee decides you broke some rule that they totally made up five seconds ago and it’s so, like, unfair.
  5. The aim is to score goals:
    • Goals are scored between the front legs of either chair (not between the two chairs). It’s an intentionally small target. There are two goals in each endzone to stop the player in the endzone from just standing in front of a single goal. Keeps it fast paced and all that.
    • You can only score goals with the blue ball. The others have no effect.
    • Fairly obvious, but Team A is trying to score in the goals defended by Team B, and vice versa.
    • As explained in point 4, when a goal is scored, both the scorer and the defender in that endzone return to their teams, and are replaced.
    • Once a goal is scored, the ball starts again in that endzone. That means that the team who was scored against will start with the ball. Play then continues.
  6. You’ll have noticed that the yellow ball doesn’t do anything. You would be correct. It does add to the drama, though, so I’d strongly recommend keeping it.

The game is won by the team that scores the most goals.

Notes:

If you find players are holding balls for ages, start counting down from a suitably low number. If they’re still holding it when you reach zero, smite them with something suitably heavy.

You can randomly change the roles of the three balls- e.g., blue gets you out, yellow scores, red is useless. This will somewhat increase confusion.

Add additional balls. They don’t have to actually do anything.

If a ball is out of play for too long, the referee should probably nudge it into somebody else’s lane. Keeps it moving and all that.

You can also use the ‘useless’ ball(s) to knock the other balls around, if you’re clever.

And if you get confused, remember, you’re all about that blue, ’bout that blue, no yellow. Now if only there was some horribly catchy tune that we could use as a memory aid. Someone should get onto that. I think it would make millions.

Game: Kings in Grass Castles

This is an outdoor game combining tag/chasey/tiggy/tips, bluff, and a healthy dose of running around like a maniac. In any given round, one team plays Offence, and the other Defence. They have different abilities and objectives. At the end of the round, the roles switch, and the game continues.

You’ll need:

  • A largish outdoor area. It could work indoors if you have the space (a gym or similar)
  • Cones, or something else to mark largish circles (the Castles). Rope might work. Spray paint definitely would, but might result in some disapproval from the powers that be. I would advise against using it on the carpet that dear old Mrs Smythe donated in 1671.

Setup:

Mark out a series of Castles on your playing field. We do this by placing roughly circular groups of cones. They can vary in size, and should be distributed across the field. Size will vary. They will restrict the movement of the Offence team, whilst allowing free passage to Defence.

Playing Defence:

  1. Setup. At the start of the round, the Defence team chooses one player to be the King, and another to be the Jester. This information should be kept secret, especially from the Offence. Defence may then spread out across the field of play, before the round starts.
  2. Movement. Defence players have unrestricted movement across the field. In particular, they can freely move in and out of Castles.
  3. Being Tagged. When a Defence player is tagged, they sit/kneel down where they were tagged. They are not allowed to move.
  4. Tagging. Once (and only once) a Defence player has been tagged, they can tag out Offence players that happen to get too close.

Playing Offence:

  1. Setup. Offence begins at one end of the playing field. They may not move until the referee starts the round. There are no special roles on the Offence team.
  2. Movement. Outside of Castles, Offence players can move freely. Once an Offence player steps inside a Castle, they become trapped. They cannot exit the Castle until that round is over. They may still tag Defence players inside that Castle.
  3. Tagging. An Offence player may tag a Defence player with their hand. They cannot ‘accidentally’ tag someone – in particular, the Defence Jester cannot run into an Offence player, and claim to have been tagged. Secondly, Offence may not tag across Castle walls – if the Defence player is inside a Castle, they cannot be tagged from outside. In a similar fashion, an Offence player inside a Castle cannot tag a Defence player outside that Castle.
  4. Being Tagged. Offence players can be tagged by Defence players who have been tagged. See the Defence tagging rules above.

Some other Rules:

Winning a Round:

  • If the King is tagged, Offence immediately wins.
  • If the Jester is tagged, Defence immediately wins.
  • If a round has stalemated (all Offence players are trapped inside Castles), Defence wins.
  • If a round takes too long (determined by the Referee), Defence wins.

After a Round:

After a round completes, Offence and Defence switch roles. The teams alternate until you run out of time, or decide this is a silly game and you’d much rather play dodgeball.

Winning the Game:

  • If there are more overall victories in Offence, the team with the most victories in Defence wins the game.
  • If there are more overall victories in Defence, the team with the most victories in Offence wins the game.

For example,
Purple Team: 3 Offence victories, 3 Defence victories
Red Team: 2 Offence victories, 4 Defence victories

The winner is Purple Team. There were 5 overall Offence victories, and 7 overall Defence victories. As there are more Defence victories, the team with the most Offence victories (Purple) wins.

A more extreme example:
Purple team: 0 Offence victories, 7 Defence victories
Red team: 1 Offence victories, 1 Defence victories

Ignoring the impossibility of that scoreline, Red is the winner because they have the most Offence victories.

The idea is to balance any disadvantage that Offence or Defence has with your particular ground. In our experience, Defence tends to win more games, so this scoring mechanism rewards the team that gets more of the harder Offence victories. Your kilometreage may vary.

Game: Hitchhiker’s Teeball

Hitchhiker’s Teeball is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike teeball.

Now that we’ve got that over with, this game is somewhat akin to netball. It seems to work well both indoors and outdoors.

You’ll Need:

  • A rectangular space, free of chairs, Bibles, mushrooms, toddlers, and other trip hazards. As always, safety first.
  • Masking Tape (indoor) or cones (outdoor)
  • A soft ball [Importantly, not a softball. The space in that phrase punches well above its usual semantic weight.]

Setup:

Use the masking tape/cones to mark out a pair of end zones and a scoring zone:

  +---+---------------------------------+---+
  | E |                                 | E |
  | n |                                 | n |
  | d |                                 | d |
  |   |                                 |   |
  | Z |                                 | Z |
  | o |            +-------+            | o |
  | n |            | Score |            | n |
  | e |            | zone  |            | e |
  +---+---------------------------------+---+

Divide youth into two teams, using your favorite team division methodology. If in doubt, you could always try King Solomon’s method. In my experience, it’s usually pretty divisive.

Rules:

  1. Each team starts in their end zone.
  2. A player is ‘controlling’ the ball when they have caught it, or are holding it.
  3. When a player is controlling the ball, nobody is allowed to move their feet. So whilst someone is holding the ball, everybody must stop moving.
  4. Players throw the ball to other players on their team. Whilst it’s in the air, everyone can move.
  5. If the ball is dropped, it’s a turnover, and the other team plays on from where it landed.
  6. To score a goal, a team must catch the ball in the opposite endzone (i.e., not the one they started in). Then, they must catch the ball inside the scoring zone, with at most one intermediate pass. That is, the ball must either go from the end zone -> scoring zone directly, or end zone -> player -> scoring zone. If this chain is broken at any point, no goal is scored. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. However, the team retains possession, and can attempt to score again.
  7. Special Scoring Zone rule:
    • Only one player from each team is allowed inside the scoring zone when a goal is scored.
    • If a team scores with two of its own players inside the zone, the goal is disallowed.
    • If a team scores with two opposing players in the zone, it’s a point as normal.
    • If a team fails to score (shot is dropped, etc) with two opposing players in the zone, a penalty goal is awarded to that team.
    • If both teams have too many players, no score, no foul. Continue playing.
  8. Once a goal is scored, the teams return to their endzones, and play restarts. The ball should start with the team that lost the previous round.
  9. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins

Variation Rules:

If you’ve got a larger group, try playing rounds with less than the full team. This also gives a breather for some of the less athletic team members. The tactics required change as the number of players on the field change.

If you have a particularly overcompetitive group [Not that we do. Oh no. Perfect little angels, every last one.], it may be helpful to add a ‘personal space’ rule. That is, nobody is allowed with 1 metre (or so) of the person with the ball.

If there’s not many people, you can allow players to throw to themselves. You will probably want to limit the number of consecutive times they can do this; one is usually enough for our group.

Other Notes:

This game requires players to work as a team, and plan ahead. There’s not much point getting to the end zone if you have nobody near the scoring zone. This will take some getting used to.

If there is a turnover, nobody is controlling the ball until it gets picked up. This means everyone can move freely. The more tactically minded player might use this to their advantage by not picking up the ball until their team has repositioned.