I was rummaging through my game files and came across another of those activities from the meandering mind of Neil Mercer, that I’d written down but never actually brought to fruition. It seems as though it was just biding its time and waiting for its moment! I’ve attached my instructions – both for facilitator and participant on one sheet [PDF Download below]. I’ve played it a couple of times which went quite well. Some other colleagues of mine have also used it. Please let me know what you think of it.
Wishing you well and keep safe,
Here are the original directions for 'Just One Step' from Neil:
I think that one step is actually not enough. So each participant is allowed two steps – which includes the step needed to pass through the hoop. Of course, the name of the task thus becomes, JUST TWO STEPS. As the facilitator, it’s important to be strict regarding the rules of touching the hoop or it touching the ground –otherwise, the task will be too easy. Furthermore, we should be sensitive regarding the size of the hoop and the self-perceived size of the participants. Perhaps having a larger hoop available would be wise.
[NOTE from Chris: I really like how Neil just gets things out there, shares it, asks for feedback, refines it and lets us all join in on the discovery. If we wait to share until something is "just right" (i.e., perfect), it may never reach the helpful hands of others.]
After Neil sent me, Just Two Steps, I took a little time to let it simmer. He left his directions pretty wide open for interpretation - something I like to do as well when I start building on an idea. I decided I wanted more specific Rules and less restriction on movement. One of my preferences when creating an activity, one that works for me, is to have as much moving around as possible (minimizing 'wait' time). So, here's what I came up with:
Preparations: Use a large diameter hula hoop (being mindful of Neil's second email) and three lengths of rope or p-cord about 4-feet (1 meter) long. (If you use a length of webbing as the 'hoop' use four lengths of rope to make the webbing form a square hoop.) Tie the ropes to the hoop so the 'hoop apparatus' (HA) looks like the configuration in the diagram above. Tie an overhand on a bite at the end of each rope to create a small loop 'handle'. Set down the HA among the spots.
Set out games spots, like illustrated in the diagram above, at a distance mandated by the distancing procedures you are following (e.g., all spots are 6 feet from any other spot). In the diagram, there are 15 spots for a group of 12 participants - if you add more spots, the activity will be a little easier.
- PPE: Since participants may be passing within 6-feet of each other (and maybe closer), masks might be required - LOPs. Also, providing hand sanitizer or, at least, one rubber glove (holding the rope) might be recommended as well - LOPs. (At least 6 participants will be touching the ends of the ropes.)
- Ask everyone to stand, by themselves, on a spot.
- Safety Protocol: Everyone should do their best to stay '6 feet' away (LOPs) from each other. If someone sees they are too close to someone else, he/she is free to move and occupy an open spot in a different area.
- OPTIONAL RULE (it will make the activity a bit more challenging) Participants are allowed to move to a different spot as long as no one is touching the Hoop Apparatus - see Rules below.
- Objective: Everyone must pass completely through the hoop. This will be a timed activity - time starts movement on "Go" and stops after the last person goes 'Through the Hoop' and everyone is standing on a spot.
- Hoop Apparatus (HA) Movers can move anywhere within the activity area - they don't need to stand on a spot while they are manipulating the HA.
- After a participant passes through the hoop (completely), the HA Movers set down the HA in the playing area and move to, and stand on, an open spot. The HA is now ready for another group to pick it up the get someone else through. (HA Movers may not move the hoop over two or more people in a row. They can come back to be a Mover after another group of Movers passes someone through.)
- Participants cannot make physical contact with the hoop.
- The HA Movers can only manipulate the ropes by holding the loop handle at the end of the rope - no other part of the rope may be touched.
- HA Movers may not touch any part of the HA until all non-hoop movers are standing on a spot.
- Non-HA Movers are required to pass through the hoop completely - the hoop can start at the feet and be lifted up over the head or the hoop can start at the head and go down past the feet.
- All participants are required to keep at least one foot on his/her spot at all times while going through the hoop - any part of a foot on any part of the spot.
If a Rule is broken, 10 seconds is added to the overall group time. (Who will be responsible for keeping track of Rule violations?)
- It's okay for the hoop (and ropes) to touch the ground - keeping the hoop off the ground would require more ropes for the change-over and might bring participants close together.
- Forcing the HA Movers to change out after each 'through the hoop' provides more opportunities for other participants to be active and assume the 'risk' of moving the hoop over someone.
- Not touching the HA until everyone else is on a spot opens up some strategic planning opportunities (e.g., the HA Movers place the hoop down 'over' an empty spot after moving the hoop over someone. Then, a participant runs to the spot inside the hoop, ready for the new Movers to bring the hoop up and over).
- With all the specific rules, there is an opportunity for the group to create a number of roles and responsibilities during the task - and some will change for participants depending on how much they want to take on. There is more to do for more people.
I hope you get to try this one. Let us know how it goes. Leave a Comment below.
All the best,
Neil & Chris