Bumperballs! A few weeks ago we got a call asking if we would do bumperballs for a 10 year olds birthday party at pioneer stadium. Usually when going in a school gym of similar we don't put the arena up as the venue is 'contained', but here the client and venue asked if we could, to keep the balls contained from other users of the stadium.
We arrived early and were set up with plenty of time to spare. When the boys arrived we gave them a quick "health and safety" briefing before letting them loose.
On this occasion the parents had asked us to stay and run the games. Most people don't for parties, and if that's you; here is how we run a session:
1. Briefing (we do this, even if we aren't staying)
2. A simple run around to let the children get used to it
3. Then we break; everyone gets out of the balls and we grab a drink
Having drinks avaialble is great for us. The children get hot and tired running around in the balls, so stopping every 5-10 minutes for a break helps to keep them going for longer. It also gives us a chance to explain the next activity while they are not in the balls!
4. First game: bubble soccer. We call it soccer, because of the ball, but actually it is like American football, in that you can tackle anybody, anytime, anywhere.
5. Break - water*
6. Bull rush - the old classic. We usually pick someone to be inthe middle for the first game and then (unless the game took too long), the winner takes to the middle for the second game.
7. Break - water*
8. Last man standing - again we usually play this twice making sure that everyone gangs up on the winner from the first game
9. Break - water*
10 Depending on time and people involved, we might play piggy in the middle, where we put one person in the middle and everyone else in a circle (ish) around. Then everyone rushes into the centre together. This may run several times with different people in the middle.
11. Break - water*
12. Barrel Rolling - this is a chance for some people to be out of the balls. We organise teams of three. One person gets in the ball and pulls up their legs into their chest. The other two then barrel roll them down the course and back competing against the other teams. Of course we then repeat this three times to make sure everyone has a chance to be in the ball.
13. Break - water*
14. We're usually at the end of the hour by here, so either a simple 5 vs 5 run and jump or soccer again or freetime, depending on the crowd.
Not every session goes like that, but that is our guiding plan. Stag do's often have some alternative plan and sometimes soccer is all anyone wants to play.
*For stag events replace water with Speights/equivalent!