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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

Toss 'n' cross

Warm up and improve coordination with these simple ball games.

Back to Activities

You’ll need

  • Tennis balls
  • Large balls

To watch in full screen, double click the video

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.
  • Watch the video above to see how you can deliver this session. Skip to 00:41 to see this specific activity. 

Stop and go

  1. Everyone should take a tennis ball and stand in a space.
  2. The person leading the activity should explain the rules of the game. When the leader says ‘go’, participants should jog or move around the space while being careful to avoid each other. When the leader says ‘stop’, participants should throw the ball up using one hand, so that the ball goes above their head and in a straight controlled line. The ball should be allowed to bounce once on the floor before participants try to catch it again.

    The person leading the activity may want to demonstrate how to throw the ball and encourage the participants to practice throwing their balls before beginning.
  3. Once everyone is familiar with the rules, start playing the game.
  4. The game can be varied in a number of different ways.
    - Changing the way of moving about the space, such as skipping, side-stepping or high knees
    - Asking participants to clap before catching their ball.
    - Asking participants to spin in a circle before catching their ball.

Bounce and return

  1. All participants should get into pairs and then find a space; partners should stand a metre apart and be facing each other.
  2. In their pairs, one person should have a large ball, and the other should have a tennis ball. The player with the large ball should bounce it towards the person with the tennis ball. The person who has the tennis ball should try to return the large ball by hitting it with the tennis ball, which is kept in their hand at all times. The pairs should have three goes and then swap over, so each player has a turn at bouncing the large ball and at hitting it back using the tennis ball.

    Participants can also just use their empty hands to return the ball depending on their needs and ability.


This activity gave everyone a chance to be active while learning some skills and techniques to improve their tennis abilities. Did everyone enjoy the new game? What kinds of skills did people need? How did people feel the first time someone threw a ball at them? They may have been a bit scared or nervous at first - did this change as they carried on playing? Does everyone feel more confident in their catching and throwing skills? Can anyone think of any more rules or variations to add to the stop and go game?


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.

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast, and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

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.

Depending on the ability of the group, you can change what the participants need to do when calling ‘stop’ and ‘go’. We’ve added some suggestions to make it more difficult. Give participants some time to practice and get the hang of throwing the balls to each other if this is something that they haven’t done before.

You can play 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.

This game can be combined with other tennis inspired ball games we have.

Consider taking suggestions on different variations on the stop and go game, and allow participants to lead the game.