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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 Up and Down

Send the ball around the circle in this energetic game, trying not to let it fall!

Back to Activities

You’ll need

  • Soft balls

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. There's also more guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples. 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 helpers for each team to have one. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

To watch in full screen, double click the video

Playing the game 

  1. Everyone should stand in a circle. You might want to use markers, such as tape or floor dots to show where everyone is stood and keep the circle in shape.
  2. Begin to pass the ball around.
  3. If someone drops the ball, they need to go down onto one knee. The player must then continue to throw and catch the ball in their new position.
  4. Keep throwing the ball around the circle.
  5. If someone catches the ball, they can go back to their last position. For example, if a player is on one knee, if they catch the ball on their next go, they can stand up again.  
  6. However, if you drop the ball while on one knee, you must go down onto two knees.  
  7. After two knees, you go to one elbow, then two elbows, then one chin, then you’re out.  
  8. Keep playing until there’s a winner! 


This game was all about throwing, catching and coordination. How did you find throwing and catching? If you had to go onto a knee, elbow or even onto your chin, how did you find it? Did it make it harder? Did you come up with different techniques to help catch the ball in your new position?  

If other people had to change position, did you work as a team to help them? Did you throw the ball in a certain way to help them easily catch it?


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.

  • To make this game easier, you may want to play this game with arms and legs, rather than knees, elbows and chins. You could put one arm behind your back, then go stand on one leg, then go down onto one knee, then two knees, then be out. 
  • To make this game harder, use more than one ball.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Young people could decide which body parts to use or actions after each ball drop, such as standing on one leg or putting a hand on your head. Remember to always keep at least one arm free to catch with!