What to expect
Imagine playing football. Then imagine playing football with a ball 1.8 metres wide, and you’ve got pushball. Like football, the objective is to get the ball through the other team’s goal; unlike football, the ball’s too big for anyone to kick or pass it on their own, so people have to work together to get it across the pitch.
Of course, the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Just because that’s how pushball was originally played, it doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and come up with your own rules and variations.
What you’ll learn
Pushball can be hard work – imagine all the energy you use to play regular football (or another sport like basketball) then imagine having to move a giant ball around. Teams will have to work together to push the ball across the pitch, or dig deep and take a deep breath before getting in their opponents’ way. They’ll have to find a way to make sure they’ve all on the same page with tactics if they want to win.
Pushball was originally developed in the United States in 1891. It’s appeared in various forms since, including being played on horseback.
- Don’t forget your water bottle. It takes a lot of energy to play pushball, so you’ll want to keep hydrated.
- Be prepared for mud. If you’re playing on a natural grass field it’s likely to get muddy. It may be a good idea to take a change of clothes and a watertight bag to put the muddy ones in for the journey home.
- Wear sturdy shoes. This isn’t the time for flip-flops or sandals – as everyone’s jostling to push the ball, you’ll be thankful for closed-toe, sturdy shoes to protect your feet.
- Don’t forget to stretch. Pushball’s an energetic game, so it’s best to warm up and cool down to avoid aching muscles.
You must always:
Be safe outdoors:
- Check the weather forecast
Joint activities with other organisations:
This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts
You can go to a centre or use an activity leader who is not part of Scouting:You must find a suitable provider who meets the following requirements:
The provider must have public liability insurance.
Pushball needed everyone to be active – it’s an energetic game! How did playing make people feel? Perhaps it was exciting but also hard work. Did anyone notice how they had to move their body and the sorts of skills they needed? People needed to move fast, but use the strength to push the ball (and their agility to get out of the way).
To win at pushball, teams needed to work together – it was pretty obvious to see how one person couldn’t push the ball to the goal on their own. What would’ve happened if some people didn’t bother helping, or if people on the same team pushed in opposite directions? Did people work together in any other, subtler ways?
Pushball was originally a bit like football, but you can play different games too. Think about your favourite games to pay with a regular ball, and see if they could be adapted to work with the giant pushball.
Make it accessible
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.
If people enjoyed giving pushball a go, you could organise some competitive challenges with other groups. You could also branch out and try something similar (but different), such as zorb football or water zorbing.
Young people should take the lead to decide how everyone’s skills will be put to use in their team. Encourage them to lead themselves and figure out how to make it work.