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Fixed seat knowing

Do you know your footboard from your rudder? Put your knowledge to the test with this fast-paced rowing game.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Chalk
  • Large paved (or asphalt) area
  • Spare clothing

Before you begin

  • If you don’t have access to an area where you can draw on the floor with chalk, you could use big pieces of paper and pencils instead.
  • You’ll need spare items of clothing for all weathers. You could ask people to bring some from home (make sure it’s named!) or have some ready for when they arrive.
  • You could play this in a regular meeting or just before you hit the water for your first session.


Start the game

  1. Everyone should get into small groups of three or four people. Each group should grab some chalk and stand on one side of the space.
  2. The person leading the activity should call out a part of the pulling boat. The first person in each team should run and use their chalk to draw the part on the ground at the other side of the space, then run back to their team.
  1. Once everyone’s back in their team, the person leading the game should call out another part of the pulling boar. Someone else from each team should run to their chalk boat and add the part before returning to their team.
  2. Everyone should keep going until they’ve drawn all the different parts of the boat.
  3. Everyone should gather together as a group and correct any mistakes.
  4. The small groups should return to their spots opposite their boat.
  5. The person leading the activity should call out a part of the boat (or a description of a part of the boat) and the whole team should race to stand on the right part of their drawing. They should keep going, with all of the different boat parts, until everyone’s confident they know where they all are.
  6. If people are about to head out onto the water, they could try a quick version of the game using a real boat to help everyone see how their drawings match up.

Prepare for the weather

  1. Everyone should touch up their drawings if they need to – have any parts smudged or rubbed away?
  2. Meanwhile, the person leading the activity should get all of the spare clothing items.
  1. The person leading the activity should call out a weather condition.
  2. Each team should quickly chat about what they’d need to wear to go fixed seat rowing in that weather.
  3. After about 30 seconds of discussion, the person leading the activity should call out a part of the boat (or its definition).
  4. The first person in each team should race to put on an item of suitable clothing and stand in the right part of their drawing.
  5. Once everyone’s in their boats, they should take it in turns to explain why they chose their item of clothing and why it’s appropriate for the weather condition.
  6. Everyone should keep playing until all of the players have had a turn to show their knowledge.


This activity was all about developing skills. What did people learn? How might what they’ve learned be helpful when they give fixed seat rowing a go? It can often be tempting to jump straight in, but with adventures, it’s especially important to make sure everyone’s aware of the lingo and how to be prepared. When else have people had to take their time to learn things before getting stuck in?

The game needed people to work together as teams. How did people support and encourage the people who were finding the boat parts or clothing? Perhaps they said encouragement or gave them hints if they were stuck. How else did they work together as a team? Fixed seat rowing is a very different activity, but teamwork is essential too. How could everyone use their teamwork skills on the water? People might think about how they’d encourage people who were finding it hard or keep everyone rowing in time to get the boat moving in the right direction.


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.

Contact games and activities

Make sure everyone understands what contact is acceptable, and monitor contact throughout the activity.