Triangle and One

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise working as a group to keep possession of the ball while playing against a defender. Participants learn about and practise applying defensive skills, concepts, and strategies to gain and maintain possession of the ball.

  • Junior (Ages 10-12)


  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 1 ball (e.g., beach, foam, basketball) per group


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

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Participants divide into groups of four and select one ball per group.
  • Have three participants form a triangle and the fourth participant will be a defender in the middle.

Activity Instructions

  • The participants forming the triangle attempt to throw the ball to one another without dropping it and without having the defender intercept the pass. Participants can move around and select the type of pass they would like to use. The defender is not allowed to grab the ball from an opponent’s hand.
  • If a pass is intercepted or unsuccessful, the defender switches places with the thrower of the pass. Participants in the triangle work to complete five successful passes in a row, and then rotate so that another participant becomes the defender.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: If you are in possession of the ball, how do you decide which group member you should send the ball to? When playing as the defender, what strategy did you apply that helped you successfully intercept the ball?
Triangle and One


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:

  • Use pylons to show where participants can move to be available to receive a ball (e.g., set up four pylons to create a square with the participants on the offensive group at each pylon, leaving one pylon empty).
  • Have groups begin with no defender and become accustomed to moving and sending/receiving the ball.
  • Choose the object they want to play with (e.g., beach ball, rubber chicken, soft-skinned ball).
  • Decrease the size of the triangle to decrease throwing distance.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Limit available time to three seconds to pass the ball when on the offensive group. If the ball is not passed by 3 seconds, the participant loses possession of the ball.
  • Increase number of times participants pass the ball before getting a point.
  • Send the object a different way (e.g., kicking, using hockey sticks).
  • Increase the size of the triangle to increase throwing distance.
  • Add a rule that you cannot pass back to the person who just passed the ball to you.

Pause for Learning

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

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness: Applying a controlled force to send/receive an object to/from another participant in order to keep possession of the ball (e.g., using short, quick passes to group members to make it challenging for the defender to intercept the ball)
  • Spatial awareness and relationship: Directing how the body moves and extends when sending/receiving an object while playing against a defender (e.g., keeping an eye on where the ball is travelling, being in a ready position with knees bent and shoulder-width apart, and hands up ready to intercept the ball)

Movement Strategies

  • Applying appropriate skills to be proficient at controlling the object and sending/receiving an object to another participant while playing with an opponent (e.g., keeping eyes on the incoming ball and moving one’s body into its path to successfully receive the ball)
  • Making quick decisions as a group about what to do in order to increase chances of success with sending/receiving an object (e.g., communicating with other group members to ensure they know where you are positioned and when you are ready to receive the ball.)