Trap and Toss
Participants learn about and practise striking and fielding a ball while using an implement. This activity is inspired by lacrosse which has First Nation origins. One of the oldest North American sports, lacrosse evolved from games played by nations such as the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois nations) found around the Great Lakes.
Materials and Equipment
- 1 ball (e.g., soft, air-filled ball, wiffle ball) per two groups
- 1 molded, plastic lacrosse stick per participant
Inspect the 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. Activity must be non-contact. No body-on-body, stick-on-body, or intentional stick-on-stick contact may be used to gain an advantage. If a goalie is introduced into the game, the goalie must wear a protective facemask.
- Divide participants into small groups (e.g., four to six).
- Have two groups play each other in a game. Multiple games happen in separate activity areas.
- For each game, designate an end line for each group to serve as the scoring area.
- One group within a game starts with the ball at their own end line.
- The objective is to pass the ball up the court to the other group’s end line.
- A group scores a point by successfully passing the ball to one of its group members who is standing behind the other group’s end line.
- The group without the ball is defending its end line against the advance of the opposing group and trying to prevent successful passes.
- If a pass is intercepted, the ball goes to the other team.
- The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: If you have possession of the ball, what choices do you have to help move the ball up the playing area to score a point? If your team has possession of the ball, how can you help support the person who has the ball? If you are on the defending team, how can you position yourself to increase your chances of gaining possession of the ball? Describe how communication plays a role in this game.
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:
- Create smaller teams and smaller playing areas.
- Use catching and throwing rather than lacrosse sticks.
- Use scoops instead of lacrosse sticks.
To increase the challenge, participants could:
- Increase the size of the activity area.
- Use a net as the scoring area and add a goalie (note that a goalie should wear a protective face mask).
- When playing offence, have groups pass the ball to each group member before scoring a point.
Pause for Learning
Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for effectively keep possession of a ball. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.
Movement Skills and Concepts
- Manipulation and body awareness: knowing how to manipulate the lacrosse stick to apply a desired force to send and/or to receive an object
- Spatial awareness: knowing where and how to move during the game (e.g., finding the open space while in offence and covering a member of the other group in defence)
- Decision-making: learning how to make decisions alone or as a group about what to do in the game play (e.g., when in possession of a ball, deciding to either pass to another participant, or move with the ball, and/or score a point)
- Communication skills: sending and receiving verbal and non-verbal signals and body language to or from other participants in the group (e.g., communicating where you are located in the playing area to help another teammate who has possession of the ball)
Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
- Planning and drawing conclusions: generating and organizing information to develop strategies to be successful in the game (e.g., analyzing how the other group is playing the game, and creating strategies as a group to be more successful in the game)
First Nations Inspiration
Lacrosse is an important component of Haudenosaunee culture in terms of conflict resolution, spirituality, and community well-being.
The game was originally played by a large number of participants and was played to help solve disputes in time of conflict as well as to keep participants in good physical condition. Lacrosse also prepared players for their role as peacekeepers in the community.
For all community members, the game is considered “good medicine” as people gather to play, watch, and enjoy themselves. Playing lacrosse can build personal qualities applicable to contemporary life such as showing respect, getting along with others, and trying your best.