back to soccer skills

Section 5

Part 4 - Sharks and Minnows


Coach: "Sharks and Minnows is a very simple and very entertaining game. Adults and children alike will love this game because it gives them a chance to practice their one-on-one skills and to be the last player standing. There are a number of variations of this game as well as different names. Another variation of this game is 'British Bulldog.' In Sharks and Minnows there are two groups. I'm sure you can guess that there is one group of Minnows and on group of Sharks. The goal of the game is to 'run the gauntlet' so to speak. The Minnows must dribble the ball down a gauntlet of cones past the Sharks to the other side. If they make it they go onto the next round. If they don't make it they become a Shark. Play continues until the last Minnow becomes a Shark. There is a twist though. If a Shark steals a ball from a Minnow and gets past all the Sharks, then the Shark becomes a Minnow again."
(this whole scene done facing coach. Perhaps have the 'gauntlet' of cones set up for the view to see).

Coach: "Ok let's do a break-down of the rules.
- typically the Shark team only starts with one member and grows from there. This member could be the coach or a player. If one member isn't enough to get the game going then add more as necessary.
- All other players start as Minnows and must have a soccer ball.
- A large rectangle playing area is needed. The Minnows will start at one end and will be safe if they reach the other end with the soccer ball. Typically a width the same as, or slightly wider than all the Minnows standing side by side is ideal.
- If a Shark steals a ball from a Minnow they instantly become a Minnow and the Minnow becomes a Shark.
- If a ball gets kicked out the side of the rectangle instead of the end that ball becomes dead and cannot be used. If a game is taking too long it may be a good idea for the coach to play as a Shark and kick a whole bunch out of bounds. Alternatively you could name a player as a permanent Shark. Typically this does not become an issue as players fight for the balls and they get unavoidably kicked out.
- If a ball is kicked past the end line at the safe end, the first player to touch it is safe. That means that a Minnow is not safe until they touch it first past the end line. If a player just boots it the length of the play area they are not safe unless they get to it first.
- At the beginning of each round all the Sharks must be in the middle of the play area and no closer.
- A round is completed once all Minnows are safe or there are no balls left in play.
- A round only starts when the coach says so!"
- (again start with the coach and then use graphics and/or pictures to help illustrate points the coach is making)