Targets Away!

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise applying defensive and offensive strategies when trying to knock down other participants’ targets while defending their own targets.

  • Intermediate (Ages 13-15)
  • Senior (Ages 16-18)


  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 6-8 soft-skinned or foam balls
  • 1 target per participant (e.g., pylon, bowling pin, empty plastic bottle)
  • 1 hula hoop per participant


Inspect the area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that surface provides safe traction. Boundaries are to be set a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Inform participants that hula hoops present a tripping hazard.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Participants set up their target in the centre of a hula hoop, at least 2 metres from other participants.
  • Scatter soft-skinned balls throughout the activity area.

Activity Instructions

  • At the start signal, participants pick up a ball and throw it underhand to attempt to knock over another participant’s target.
  • Participants must stay outside of their hula hoop.
  • Participants keep track of their scores and receive a point for every target they knock over. When a participant knocks down a target, he or she must stand it back up to receive the point. Other participants must wait until the player is outside the hula hoop before trying to knock that target over.
  • The game ends after the allotted time has elapsed.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: How do you decide when it’s best to play in a defensive role versus an offensive role? What strategy can you apply to successfully defend your target from being knocked down? What kind of throws do you prefer using when you are attempting to knock down another participant’s target? What kind of risks did you take in this game? How do you decide when it is to your advantage to take a risk?
Targets Away!


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:

  • Select the object they want to throw (e.g., beanbag, sponge, beach ball)
  • Work in small groups (e.g., two or three) to defend a territory.
  • Roll the ball toward the target before progressing to throwing.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Send the ball a different way (e.g., non-dominant hand, overhand throw, kicking).
  • Use an implement to send the ball (e.g., hockey stick, racquet).
  • Subtract a point from their score whenever their target is knocked over.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to help participants learn to apply defensive and offensive strategies. 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 a controlled force to send an object to knock down targets (e.g., knowing when to use an underhand or overhand throw to successfully knock down another participant’s target)

Movement Strategies

  • Developing and demonstrating an understanding of how to participate in the game (e.g., anticipating opponents’ decisions to attack your target and being ready to respond by switching to a defensive role)
  • Creating and applying tactics to invade the other participant’s territory and to defend your territory (e.g., when other participants aren’t looking in your direction, attempting to knock down their target)