Musical Hoops: Standard Setup
Musical Hoops: Standard Setup

Soccer: Musical Hoops Leadup Game

Nadine Slavinski

Musical Hula Hoops is a game that challenges soccer players to demonstrate good ball control while dribbling the ball. It can be played indoors or outside with students of all abilities. The inspiration comes from Musical Chairs.

Each player should have a ball. Lay hula hoops of different colours around the field or gym, using slightly fewer hoops than players.

How To Play
Students  dribble around playing area until a whistle signals them to dribble into the nearest hoop and stop there.

Beginners will find it a challenge not only to reach a hoop quickly, but also to stop inside it – many find their ball rolling too far.

Only one player may occupy a Hula Hoop at a time and players receive one point each time they win a spot in a Hula Hoop. No one is eliminated; once all the hoops are occupied, start again.

Start by calling out two or more colours, then gradually reduce the number of available hoops by calling out just one colour. This makes it more difficult to score points as the game progresses.

Tip for Fair Play
Some students play sly and stay near a hoop at all times. This can be avoided by calling out different hoop colours every time so that players can't predict where they might score.

Musical Hoops: Mixed-Ability Setup
Musical Hoops: Mixed-Ability Setup

Variation for Mixed-Ability Groups
For a mixed-ability group, the game can be adapted by creating an inner zone around the hoops and an outer area a few steps away. You can mark the outer area using cones.

Advanced players must dribble in the outer zone while beginners may use the inner zone closer to the hoops. Alternatively, players who accumulate points more quickly must advance to the outer zone while those who have not yet scored remain in the inner zone.

Musical Hula Hoops is a fun way to practice dribbling, change of direction, and ball control. It encourages beginners to keep the ball close to their feet and their head up. Advanced players can use the game as a warmup or put more emphasis on the competitive aspect. The game is much more challenging indoors but it is useful to help players become accustomed to a fast surface.

Nadine Slavinski is a teacher of Physical Education grades 3-12 at Munich International School in Munich, Germany. A US citizen, she enjoys living and working in Europe with an interesting group of mixed-nationality colleagues and students.

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