Starburst and spoof games – guaranteed laughs and learning PLUS activities for tackling, contact and footwork

Here are two adaptive games, which I’ve adapted over time as well.

Starburst was devised for a teacher day. As you will see, the defenders surround the attackers, and the attackers devise a tactic to score. We adapted the game by changing the starting points for the defenders. They also suggested using tackling – though we didn’t use that on the day, for obvious reasons.

When I rolled this out in a training session with players, it was more physical. I also noticed they spent less time on the tactics. Perhaps, this was because they were teammates already and so knew how to work together?

The other deceptive game is called Spoof. This game comes from 2010! I was coaching the Welsh Women team, and we were using lots of ways to challenge the players to think quickly in chaos.

This game took a little longer for the players to get used to. It definitely benefitted from being played a few times over a couple of weeks. Then, I really saw lots of creative ways to win.

It’s worth noting what you want from a game, rather than playing a game for its own sake. Here are my potential outcomes:

  1. Creativity under pressure
  2. Evasive skills
  3. Quick, accurate defensive communication
  4. Passing to space, not a static player

One key “rule” for me was that the ball carrier can run with the ball. I think this is more game-like.

Also in this issue:

Tackling: Tackle, change feet

Contact: Support the maul

Footwork: VIDEO: Ladder mirror warm up

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