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String Hockey

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The Items Needed:

  • Thick fishing line – the ‘ice’
  • A ball with a hole in opposite sides (maybe a wiffle ball) – the ‘puck’
  • 2 pens or other similarly shaped objects
  • Enough plastic spoons for every player to have one – the ‘hockey sticks’
  • 2 different colored electrical tape rolls (a set of 5 different colors for about $5 at hardware stores)
  • A dark Sharpie marker – for the ‘goal lines’
  • A referee whistle (optional)

The Players:

  • Everyone plays at the same time and is on one of two teams, unless on a bus where half plays at a time as each team would have the “A line” and “B line” (Driver side, passenger side)
  • 2 volunteers to hold up either ends of the fishing line
  • A couple ‘referees’ are necessary to drop the puck and enforce the rules

The Objective:

  • To get the puck over the right goal line

The Rules of the Game:

  • The players may not touch the puck or string with anything but the spoon or else it’s a penalty.
  • Penalty: puck is dropped 2 seats towards the offending player’s goal line.
  • The players may not leave their spot on the string…”must stay in their positions” or else it’s a penalty
  • The people holding the ends of the string must be able to hold it steady and tight: they are neutral players.
  • The puck is dropped from ‘center ice’ (middle-most players) whenever there is a goal scored.
  • On a bus, if you have at least two per seat there will be “line changes” after every goal or penalty, where the string will be held over the opposite set of seats.
  • Fighting is not allowed (the biggest deviation from real hockey here)

Preparation (10-20 minutes):

  1. Tie/tape the end of the fishing line securely to a pen in anticipation of a lot of tension.
  2. Pull out enough line to span the entire playing area (either the whole bus or enough for everyone in class to stand in two lines).
  3. Put the string straight through the ball so that it slides nicely on the string.
  4. Tie/tape the other end to a pen just as you did in step #1.
  5. Mark the goal lines as best as you can with a Sharpie (about 1 foot from either end).
  6. Choose 2 colors of tape for your 2 team colors.
  7. Wrap bands of tape around each spoon to “tape up their sticks”; half of them one team’s color, the rest in the other team’s color.

Overview:

Keyword for this game: Intense.  String Hockey has become a classic Old Time Baptist Church bus game, but can also be used as a fun Sunday School game.  It involves kids swinging spoons at a wiffle ball, trying desperately to swat the ball better than the kid across from them.  No one is allowed to move from their position so although it’s one of the wildest games with a lot of yelling and cheering, it doesn’t get out-of-control…normally.

Everyone needs to be in two long lines with the fishing line hanging between the 2 lines of opposing players (e.g. each player of the blue team needs to be across from a player from the red team all the way down the string).  You might think that it would be easy to block shots by laying the spoon on the string, but in fact your opponent can “deke you out” by pushing up or down on the string with their stick (spoon) when they swat the ball.

Let me know if you try this one!

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