Hoops and Loops

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise sending an object toward a target using an implement. Participants learn about and practise fielding an object to prevent scoring.

  • Junior (Ages 10-12)


  • Gymnasium

Materials and Equipment

  • 1 paddle per group
  • 1 soft object per group (e.g., beanbag, sponge, soft-skinned ball)
  • 1 hula hoop per group
  • 1 tee or large pylon per group


Inspect activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Provide a safe distance between activities. Check equipment regularly for safe condition.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into small groups (e.g., three to four).
  • Groups set up an activity area by placing a tee or pylon on one side of their activity area and a hula hoop in front of the tee at a distance determined by the group.
  • Groups divide up, with one participant at bat while the other group members are in the outfield (around the hula hoop) to retrieve the objects.

Activity Instructions

  • The batter uses the paddle to hit the object off the tee toward the hula hoop. If the object lands inside the hoop, the batter receives a point.
  • If the ball does not go into the hoop, the batter tries to run to the hula hoop and back to the tee before the fielders retrieve the object and place it in the hula hoop. If they retrieve the ball and place it into the hula hoop before the batter makes it back to the tee, the fielders each receive a point.
  • The batter tries to accumulate as many points as possible by landing the object in the hoop while fielders work to accumulate points by returning the object to the hoop as quickly as possible.
  • After the batter has had three chances at bat, another group member takes a turn.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: As a batter, what body parts do you use and how do you move them to increase your chances of scoring when batting the ball? As a batter, how do you control where the ball is going when using a paddle? As a fielder, where and how would you position yourself to be successful at catching the ball? As fielders, how can you work together to earn more points?


To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Move the hula hoop closer to the batter.
  • Use a larger target (e.g., tape, skipping rope).
  • Use a smaller playing area.
  • Increase the size of the ball (e.g., beach ball).
  • Use a hand to hit the ball when batting.
  • Run only to the hula hoop, and not back to the tee.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Move the hula hoop farther away from the batter.
  • Increase the size of the activity area.
  • Decrease the size of the ball (e.g., whiffle ball, tennis ball).
  • Decrease the size of the batting implement (e.g., flat-sided bat).

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for effectively batting an object toward a target. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness: applying appropriate force to bat the ball in a specific direction and to a specific location (e.g., batting the ball with a strong force if the target is far away; batting the ball with less force if the target is close)
  • Locomotion: moving in different directions to successfully catch the ball (e.g., running and switching directions to move quickly to field the ball)

Movement Strategies

  • Application of skill: understanding the skills that need to be applied to be proficient in the game (e.g., batting the ball with the appropriate force to get it into the target)
  • Performance: demonstrating skills and techniques to be successful in the game (e.g., as a fielder, positioning your body into a ready position to be able to receive an in-coming ball)