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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

Play Catch It, Drop It

Get your ears, mind and hands working together to catch or drop the ball in this quick game

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You’ll need

  • Soft balls

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.

Play the game 

  1. Depending on how many people you have, you could play this as one group or in a few smaller groups. Make sure each group as at least one ball.  
  2. Everyone should stand in a circle.  
  3. Have one person stand in the middle. You may want this to be the person leading the game in the beginning, before switching to have one of the young people take on that role.  
  4. The person in the middle will gently toss the ball to someone stood in the circle and will either say ‘catch it’ or ‘drop it’.  
  5. The person who is catching the ball needs to do the opposite of what’s been said. For example, if the person in the middle said, ‘catch it’, they need to let it fall. If the person in the middle said, ‘drop it’, they need to catch it.  
  6. Once the game has started, if a player does what the person in the middle said, rather than the opposite, then they’re out. They could either leave the circle or sit down. You could have a few practice turns first.   
  7. Depending on what works for your group, you can play the game without people being out, too. 
  8. After each go, the ball then needs to go back to the person in the middle and they throw the ball again.  
  9. The person in the middle could have a few turns of throwing the ball out to people in the circle, then they could switch out with someone else. Alternatively, if anyone does catch or drop it correctly, they could switch out with the person in the middle. 


This game required a lot of hand and mind coordination. Did you find this to be more of a thinking game or an active game? Did you find any techniques that made it easier to stay focused? 



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.

Contact games and activities

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

You could make the game harder by having two or three balls being thrown by the person in the middle or add in another thrower. You could also have people be out if they flinch before catching or dropping the ball, too. 

To make sure everyone can join in, you can play this game sitting down.  

If anyone’s nervous about the ball coming towards them, it’s OK if they want to watch until they feel ready to join in. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.