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Drie blikkies

First suggested by Scouts South Africa
Discover this traditional game from South Africa and work as a team to score the most points.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Buckets
  • Something to mark lines (for example, chalk, masking tape, or rope)
  • Three clean, empty tin cans
  • A small ball that’s easy to clean

Before you begin

  • Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here
  • Split the playing area into four quarters using rope, chalk, or masking tape.
  • Clean the bucket and tin cans then place the bucket upside down on the cross in the middle of the four quarters and stack the tin cans on top.

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Make sure that everyone knows the plan for dropping young people off (and picking them up again).
  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session. Ask everyone to wash their hands before and after the game.
  • Stay socially distanced when moving around the space.
  • Make sure the equipment is cleaned before use. Choose a ball that’s easy to clean and think about how often you’ll need to clean it during the game.
  • If you want to play this again, have time in between for a hygiene break and to clean the equipment.

Play the game 

  1. Everyone should sit in a socially distanced circle.
  2. The person leading the game should explain that this is a game that originates from South Africa. It’s called drie blikkies, which means 3 tin cans. The aim of the game is knock over the three tins with the ball and re-stack them before you get caught out. There are two positions (bowlers and fielders) and four people can play at once.
  3. Everyone should line up, staying a safe distance from each other.
  4. The first four players should each stand in their own quarter. They should decide which player will be the bowler – the other three are the fielders.
  1. The bowler should decide whether they’ll use an overarm or underarm throw. They should throw the ball and try to knock over the stack of cans. They can have up to three turns.
  1. Once the bowler has knocked over the cans they must collect them and stack them back up before being caught out by the other team.
  2. At the same time the fielders should watch the ball. Once the bowler’s knocked all three cans over, they should work as a team to pick up the ball and throwing or kick it at the bucket.
  3. The bowler wins if they stack up the cans first. The fielders win if they successfully throw or kick the ball at the bucket first.
  4. When the bowler has finished their turn, everyone should rotate positions. The person at the front of the line should move into the bowler position, the bowler should move into a fielder position, two fielders should move around, and the final fielder should go to the back of the line.
  5. Everyone should continue to rotate like this after every bowl until everyone has bowled once and fielded three times.


Learning a new game from a different country is a great way to discover something different about a place. This game let you learn something new while being active and working as a team. Did the game remind anyone of a game they play in the UK? People could think about how it’s very similar to games such as rounders or cricket. The fielders had to work together to get the ball back to the middle to catch the bowler. What skills did people use to help achieve this? People could think about how they had to communicate and coordinate to get the ball in the right place. What worked best for different teams of fielders?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.