My 3rd and 4th graders have been working on a basketball unit. It is a challenge to find games that challenge those who are more skilled and experienced and give the others the practice they need. This game worked really well as a follow-up to our work practicing bounce and chest passes:
Circle Guard and Pass
Form 2 teams: offense and defense. Offense team makes a large circle with one team member in the center. Defense team makes a smaller circle inside the offense circle. It works best if you have actual circles drawn for them to stand on. (Our school has 2 large circles like this painted on the black top outside — perfect!) The offensive team tries to get the ball into the person in the center with a bounce pass or a chest pass. The defensive team tries to swat or steal the ball as it passes through. All team members must stay on their designated lines, but can slide along them. I really worked with the offensive to move the ball quickly and look for holes in the defense to pass through. It took some time for them to quite throwing the ball overhead and look for ways to bounce pass instead. After about 5 minutes I would rotate the teams. We played this two weeks in a row because they were just catching on at the end of the first session. The second week they really had a good time with it. They all love being the person in the middle.
PROS: Only need one ball to play, if played right all children can be involved and active, great way to show the correct way to use a bounce pass and its potential effectivness
CONS: Tendency to just chuck the ball overhead must be overcome, some kids can get ignored and never touch the ball. I solved both these by playing the game along with them. I had to play it inside one day due to bad weather and without the drawn lines it didn’t work as well. They really need a line they have to stay on.