The great thing about this battle hockey game, which could equally be called team rag hockey, base hockey, chair hockey…and so on, is everyone plays at once. No one is left standing around. And it’s incredibly noisy fun. So…this is how to play team chair battle hockey. Played in any large space.

To play team chair battle hockey, you will need:

A ‘rag hockey stick’ one for each player. It’s not really a stick. It’s a newspaper.

You need as large a news paper as you can get hold of. Ask in your church for people who still get a newspaper. As with all holiday clubs the earlier you can get the word out to your church to start collecting resources for you the better. So guess at how many you are expecting at the mega day.

Roll each newspaper into as tight a tube as possible, and wrap it in tape as tightly as possible at least at the top, middle and bottom. (see the quick video). The idea is to create something tough enough to be able to hit the floor. Because the kids will miss a lot of the time and hit the floor, obviously. In the video, I used wide clear tape.

Set up

In the hall, or outside, spread out the chairs, enoughor one person each. The chairs should be close enough so that with two children stood or kneeling on each chair with a stick in their hand at least one of them can flick the ball. Randomise how the backs of the chairs are facing.

How to play team chair battle hockey

Divide the children into two, three or four teams depending on how many you have.  Give each person a ‘stick’ or place a stick on each base ready for the players to enter the field of play.

Explain how the game is played and then give the teams just two minutes to discuss tactics and where would be best to stand.

You can avoid organised chaos in the following way:

Have each team stand in their team corner. On ‘go’ the first player from each team runs out and finds a chair and stands on it. A good tactic is to get one player to stand on a chair near someone else’s goal. As soon as that player is stood on the chair, the next player in the team can go. Have leaders monitor this to make sure there is no cheating.

The next player stands on a chair and so on. As each person stands on a chair the next person goes.

Alternatively, just let everyone go to find a chair in one go.

Special instructions if you are concerned for children standing on chairs

This game has the potential to be a bit dangerous with kids over reaching. So give warnings about safety and being careful. Also, say that if you fall off a chair then you are out of the game for 1 minute. Have a ‘time out’ bay where people need to go and stand if they fall off their chair. This should be enough to prevent kids from over doing it.

If you are really concerned, then get some more newspapers or even one sheet of cheap copy paper…or a square of kitchen roll paper… and put it on the floor. Basically the same game with less risk of falling off and injury. Keep in mind though that kids climb trees, and this is about adventure and making a game awesome.

About the balls…

You might be thinking that you need hundreds of balls, which again is going to set you back a bit. Good options are http://amzn.to/2tgFzSO (affiliate link)

You need one colour of ball per team, and the same number of balls per team. If you have set runners then you can have any ‘scored’ balls returned to the team.

The goals

Have one goal in each corner of the room. This is easier than on the sides for scoring. Some low tack masking tape or police line tape is ideal for marking off goals, but cheap pop up goals are worth the investment.

How to play.

The basic idea is for the teams to pass the balls to one another to score in anyone else’s goal other than their own. The number of balls scored in the opposing goals are totalled together, and the total of those scored in your own goal by opposing teams are deducted from that total.

Set a time limit, or play until all the balls are off the ‘pitch’ and have been scored.

No one is allowed to put their feet down on the floor

To start the game, throw all the balls randomly into the play area and shout ‘go’.

If you are playing the endless version of the game (I suggest a time limit!) then a runner returns scored balls back to their own team’s corner. The ball is then passed to the closest team member who then flicks it on into the match.


Alternative adaptions…

If you spread the chairs or newspapers out that little bit further, additional team members can be employed to retrieve balls which no one can reach properly, returning them to base to be brought back into play.


Andy Gray is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. Amazon’s trademark is used under license from Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

“Warriors” by Ralph Aichinger is licensed under CC BY 2.0