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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Noughts and crosses relay

Work as a team to win the relay in this giant version of noughts and crosses

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You’ll need

  • Hoops, masking tape or chalk
  • Cones, bean bags or other items

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Setting up the playing area

  • Use hoops, masking tape, or chalk to mark out a grid of three by three on the floor at one end of the space.

Play the game

  1. Everyone should split into two teams. Each team should line up at the opposite end of the space to the grid.
  2. Give each team three cones of the same colour.
  3. Explain that everyone will be playing a giant version of noughts and crosses. The aim of the game is to be the first team to get three cones into an uninterrupted row on the grid.
  4. Just like in the traditional game, you can count the rows horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
  5. The person leading the game should say ‘go’ and the first person in each team should pick up a cone and run to place it in a spot on the grid.
  6. Once the first person has placed the cone, they should run to join the back of their team’s line. When they reach the back of the line, it’s the next person’s turn.
  7. Everyone should repeat steps four and five until all three cones have been placed.
  8. If neither team has completed a row, the next player should run to the grid and choose one of their team’s cones to move to try to complete a row. Then they should run back to their team.
  9. Everyone should keep playing until one team has moved their cones into an uninterrupted row.


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. 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. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

Try playing with a bigger grid and more cones to make it harder. You could also change the distance everyone has to run in the game to make it easier or harder, too.

You could nominate one person from the group to be the ‘runner’, instead of the whole team running. You could also play with a sheet of paper or the cones on a table, rather than a grid on the floor.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.