Prairie Dog Pickoff

Prairie Dog Pickoff

Focus Skills: Attacking a Goal · Communication · Defending a Goal

quickrulesicon Quick Rules

Every Student takes a hoop and a pin.
Players scatter across the playing area, put their hoop (prairie dog hole) on the ground and their pin (Prairie Dog) upright in the middle of the hoop.
A ball is put into play that children can use to throw at the other student’s prairie dog.
Children may not move with the ball, only pivot.
When a student’s prairie dog is knocked over, that student picks up his hoop and prairie dog and goes to join the person who knocked his dog over (by placing his hoop right beside that player’s own hoop, therefore forming a team)

buildicon Builds

Build One: Finding an Open Space
Students find an open space set up their hoop and their pins. On the teachers command, the students must pick up their hoops and pins and go set up in a new open space. Do this a few times with your students and then discuss tactics behind finding an open space quickly.
Build Two: Offence/Defence
The teacher now introduces foam balls into the game. Students may use these balls to knock down other players’ pins. When in possession of a foam ball, the students’ movement is restricted to pivoting. If a player has their pin knocked down, they must pick up their hoop and pin and go set up in a new, open space.
Build Three: Team Strategy
In this layer, if a player’s pin is knocked down, that player must go join the player who knocked it down. A player does this by picking up their hoop and pin and going to set up beside the player who knocked down their pin (their hoops should now be touching). The players must now work together to defend each others’ pins and to increase the size of their team (by knocking down other players’ pins). If a teammate’s pin is knocked down, only that player must switch teams. Players may make passes with the ball.

Additional Builds
The teacher may continue to add additional layers to increase the tactical complexity of the game. For example, some players may be allowed to take three steps with the ball, some may only play defensive or offensive roles, and some may only pass the ball (they cannot knock down pins). These layers should be added based on what the teacher is observing in the game.

tacticalicon Grade Level Outcomes

Attacking a Goal
Defending a Goal

questionsicon Discussion Questions

How do you successfully knock down someone else’s pin?
How do you prevent your pin from being knocked over?
How do you work with your team to attack other targets?

safetyicon Safety Information

Students should always keep their heads up and make sure that they throw towards the ground

equipmenticon Equipment Requirements

Gator or Foam Balls



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