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Lead Up Games-Make Them Fun

Lead up games can be more fun than actually playing a real game of basketball, soccer, football etc.. especially for younger students at the elementary level. Even older campers/students will enjoy lead up games every so often.


Lead up games


The lead up games that I will touch on first are games that you can play with multiple sports.


Mid-Line steal: Soccer, basketball and hockey.


Grades: 1st-5th ( Wait until 3rd grade for hockey)


  • Place the balls, pucks or even bean bags on the mid line/half court line.  Always put more balls than players.


  • Position one team on each base line of the basketball court or designated line outside.


  • On “GO” the players run to the mid line and each player can only take one ball at at time.  No passing or striking is allowed.  They must dribble the ball back behind their own baseline.


  • Stealing allowed when on the field of play.  Once the ball is behind the base line it can’t be touched.


  • After a player brings a ball behind their baseline  they may go for another ball on the mid line or steal.


  • Sometimes it will almost become a real game, when one or two balls are left.



King Of The Court: Soccer, basketball, hockey.


Grades: 2nd-8th


  • Every player has a ball, puck/stick.  Object of the game is to keep your ball on the court, field or designated area. Note: I usually use a ball for hockey, not a puck.


  • Each player must stay with their ball at all time.  They may not hide in a corner.  Each player must keep moving.


  • Alliances are not allowed.  If it’s obvious two players are near each other and not trying to get each other out, than you’ll know they have an alliance and must be removed from the game.


King of the Court Variation.


  • Tip: As more and more players are knocked out of the game, you can make the playing area smaller.  My campers start in a basketball court, than volleyball, than big circle and finally a small circle.  You can use poly spots if you don’t have the lines or you’re outside.



Relays: Soccer, basketball, hockey, running, scooters.


  • Cone to cone


  • In and out of cones


  • running


  • Hopping


  • skipping


  • scooters on stomach, kneeling, sitting, hands only etc…


  • Tip: I never give one winner with relays.  I always make 5+ teams and say 1st place, 2nd, 3rd etc…


  • Tip: Always make campers/students sit when their finished and ball in lap.  This makes it much easier for the instructor to see when the teams are finished with the race.


  • Tip: If a team has an uneven amount of players than you can have one kid go first and last.



Hectic: Football, soccer, basketball, hockey and bean bags.


  • Place the balls in the center of the gym or playing area.


  • 4 teams in each corner of the gym with a large hula hoop.


  • On “GO” the first person in line runs to the center of the gym and brings back a ball to their hoop. No throwing.  Once the first person puts the ball in the hoop, the entire team may take a ball from the middle or steal from the other 3 teams.


  • Each player may only have one ball in their hand at a time.


  • Not allowed to guard the hoops or physically stop a player from grabbing a ball from their hoop.  Each team must simply out hustle the other teams.


  • If a player has a ball in their hand when you stop the game, they’re allowed to bring the ball back to their hoop. Whichever team has the most balls in their hoop wins the game.


  • Option: Allow throwing, but if a ball is dropped the player that dropped it must put it back in the center.


1,2,3 Red Light Green Light (With a ball) Soccer, basketball, hockey.


Grades: 2nd-5th


  • Turn your back to the class and start your count.  When turn around and say red light, if a player or their ball is moving than they must go back to the beginning.


  • Don’t just allow one winner.  Nothing wrong with allowing 10 winners before you start over.



Base Line To Base Line: Basketball,Soccer and Hockey.


Grades: 2nd-8th


  • Entire class lines up on the base line or designated line if outside.  On “GO” the must dribble the ball to the other base line as quick as they can.


  • Two ways to get out.  If a player loses control of the ball and don’t keep it close to them or if their one of the last few players to cross the line.


  • If a player is out than they sit in the designated area.  If a player is not out, than they qualified for the next round and get ready to race back the other direction on your call.


  • This is a great cardio workout, so the players that make it close to the end, should be given a bye for the first two rounds when you start again.  Allow them to jump into the 3 round of the next game.




Grades: K-5th


  • Let’s say 25 kids in your group.  7 kids will not have a ball and they will be a pirate.  Their job is it steal a ball from someone else.


  • If a pirate steals a ball, than the person who’s ball was stolen will become the pirate.  NO STEAL BACKS!  If someones ball is stolen they may steal the ball back from the same person, but not immediately.


  • Option: When you stop the game with a whistle or pause the music, the players who don’t have a ball must do 10 jumping jacks or whatever exercise you choose.  When they finish their exercise they may take a ball from anyone they want before the next game. Note: If a player holds their ball to prevent another player from stealing it, than they must give it to the pirate.


Hand Football the game is a form of football a non contact version of the sport players must score from an end zone with in four downs. Hand Football is a form of Touch football (American). The game is played one on one non contact mostly Hand Football has been played in De Kalb Junction, New York, North Carolina, & Virgina. It’s a popular physical education game in Missouri.


Rules: Hand Football

Grades: 3rd-12th

  • 1. The game starts with a coin toss the winner of the toss will get the ball and will have to move the ball forward to the basket


  • 2. No pushing and shoving is allowed if he or she is pushing the other opponent that will be a foul if the opponent reach a maximum of 3 fouls he or she will sit out the rest of the game.


  • 3. The official clock rules are usually 3 periods 10 minutes each period if they reach overtime the game will be over no overtime rule.


  • 4. Traveling the ball must be moving at all times traveling happens when the ball stops moving and the player does not pass the ball to every one.


  • 5. No hard blocking is allowed at all times must be blocked when the ball is in the air leaving the opponents han

Rules can vary in Hand Football. You have small end zones to score touchdowns with and you have to score with in four downs only passing plays counts. You must use two hand touch to down your opponent.


Catch Relay


Grades: K-5th


Equipment: Any ball or Football for 3rd-5th  (Equipment option: Yarn ball for K & 1)


  • Students/campers get in groups of two.


  • One ball per group.


  • All students line up on the base line of the basketball court.


  • One partner goes out for a pass.  If they catch the pass they freeze and now their partner goes out for a pass.


  • This process repeats until one partner catches the ball on the other end of the gym.


  • If a pass is dropped before reaching the other end of the gym, both players must touch the original base line and start over.


  • Students can choose any distance they want for throwing.


  • Option:  This can be done in teams of 4.  Player 1 passes to 2, 2 to 3 and 3 to 4.  If player 4 catches the ball, now player 1 may go out for a pass.


  • With this version, if a ball is dropped at any time, all players must return to the starting point and try again.


  • Since you have 4 players, I recommend, having each team go to one end of the gym and back to the starting point to complete the race.


CLICK HERE to check out some volley ball lead up games.


I Hope you enjoyed this post.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.





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