Chuck The Chicken

Focus Skills: Fielding The Ball · Running Bases · Strategically Hitting The Ball

Chuck The Chicken is a classic striking and fielding game that is perfect for helping students develop their understanding of how to utilize open space in order to increase their chances of scoring points when on offence. Be sure to check out the Chuck The Chicken Game Pack to access a PDF printout of this game (which is perfect for lesson plans) as well as the assessment tools I designed for it!

quickrulesicon Quick Rules

The class is divided into two teams: an offensive “running” team and a defensive “fielding” team. The offensive team begins in possession of a rubber chicken.

To begin the game, the player in possession of the chicken will call “CHUCK THE CHICKEN” and then throw the chicken to an open space on the field. As soon as they do so, the running team gets into a tight circle formation and the player who threw the chicken begins to run around the circle, scoring a point for each lap they complete.

To stop the running team from scoring a large number of points, the fielding team must field the chicken. To do so, a player from the fielding team runs and collects the chicken. Once in possession of the chicken, they must wait for the rest of their teammates to line up behind them. As soon as all of the members of the fielding team are in a line, they begin to pass the chicken to the back of the line using an over/under pattern. Once the chicken makes it to the last player in the line, that player calls “CHUCK THE CHICKEN”, throws the chicken, and the teams exchange roles.

The game ends once every player has had a turn to throw and run.

buildicon Builds

Build One: Chicken Coop Countdown

The teacher divides the class into two numbered teams. Teams begin this build by getting into a circle formation. The teacher then gives an egg (tennis ball) to each team’s player #1.

On the teacher’s signal, each team’s player #1 begins to sprint around their team’s circle in an attempt to get back to their starting spot as fast as possible. Once they do so, they toss the ball to player #2 who then does the same.

The objective of this build is to have every player on your team complete their lap before the other team does the same.

Build Two: Egg Farm Fielding

The teacher scatters eggs (tennis balls) throughout the playing area.

On the teacher’s signal, each team’s player #1 runs to an egg and holds it in the air. Their team then lines up in order behind them. Once a team is lined up, they try to get the egg to the back of the line by passing it in an over/under pattern.

When the player at the back of the line gets the egg, that player yells “GOT IT” and holds onto that egg until the end of the round. Once player #2 hears “GOT IT” be called, they run to a new egg and the process begins again.

The first team to have each member of their team holding an egg wins the round.

Build Three: Chuck The Chicken

Teams begin in circle formations in the playing area. One team starts off as the running team, the other team starts as the fielding team. A player on the running team is then given a chicken.

Once the teacher signals that they may start, the player in possession of the chicken calls “CHUCK THE CHICKEN” and throws it into the playing area. As soon as they do, that player begins to run around their team’s circle. Each time they make it around the circle, they score a point for their team (which their teammates count out loud).

To stop the running team from scoring a large number of points, the fielding team must field the chicken. To do so, just as they did in build two, player #1 on the fielding team run towards the chicken. Once that player has the chicken in their hand, they hold it up high for their teammates to see. Their team must line up, in order, behind them and they begin to pass the chicken over/under to the back of the line. Once the chicken reaches the last player in the line, that player calls “CHUCK THE CHICKEN” and throws the chicken towards an open space.

As soon as the chicken has been thrown, the teams automatically switch roles: the team that just fielded the chicken gets into a circle formation and player #1 begins to run around the circle to try and score points while the team that was just running must now field the chicken to prevent their opponents from scoring a lot of points.

Every time a team regains the role of the running team, the next player in the team’s order gets to be the runner. Once every player on each team has had a turn to run, the points are tallied up and the team with the highest score wins.

After the build, the class comes together to discuss where the chicken can be thrown in order to increase the number of points their team can score.

tacticalicon Grade Level Outcomes

Identifies open spaces and attempts to strike the object into that space. (S2.M10.6)

questionsicon Discussion Questions

Why do you want to field the chicken quickly?

How can you increase the speed at which you successfully field the chicken?

Where do you want to throw the chicken in order to maximize the number of points your team can score?

Aside from how open a space is, what are some other factors you may want to consider when deciding where to throw the chicken?

safetyicon Safety Information

Running players should be mindful of any tennis balls on the ground as they run.

Players should avoid throwing the chicken at the other team.

Running players should avoid making contact with their teammates as they try to score points.

equipmenticon Equipment Requirements


Tennis Balls

Rubber Chickens

Selecting Space Assessment Sheet (Available in Game Pack)