Virtual Team Building Events

Activity Description

Moving Balls Experiential and Interactive Game

The aim of the challenge is to get groups to work together. Each group is given a tarpaulin with holes and some tennis balls. Groups must now work as a team to successfully move the tennis balls around the tarpaulin. They must do this for as long as they can and must avoid dropping the balls through the holes and prevent the balls from rolling completely off the tarp.

Required Resources:

One tarpaulin with randomly cut holes and 1-3 tennis balls per group.

Space Required:

Medium size Indoors or Outdoors.

Group Size:

8 to 12 ideally (per tarpaulin).

Duration of Activity:

Total Time: 25 minutes

  • 5 minutes to brief the group, allow planning and set up
  • 15 minutes for challenge
  • 5 minutes to review and debrief

Running the Moving Balls Game Activity

  • Introduce the activity to the group: The aim of the challenge is for the tennis ball to travel around the tarp for the longest time possible without falling through the holes or coming off the tarp.
  • Provide the tarp and get participants to hold it with both hands, creating a table-top effect.
  • Before you place the tennis ball on the tarpaulin, explain the rules of the challenge. Next, allow the group some time to discuss the challenge and think of a strategy to deal with the problem. Once ready, place the tennis ball on the tarp and begin the challenge.
  • If the group finds the challenge easy, add an extra tennis ball or two to increase the difficulty.

Rules of the Moving Balls Game Activity

  • When the ball falls of the tarp, either through the holes or off the edge, the group must begin all over again.
  • All participants must hold onto the tarp using both of their hands.
  • Everyone must stretch the tarp out, so it is flat all the time.
  • The tarp must be held up in the air and is not allowed to touch the ground.
  • If a ball is about to roll off the edge of the tarp, a player may use their body to push it back on again. While using their body, they should not let go of the tarp.
  • For the activity, the tarp is not allowed to be changed in any way and the holes must remain open. Nothing is allowed to block the holes.

Suggested Learning Outcomes

  • Team work and communication
  • Encourages problem solving
  • Reviewing and reflecting on the experience

Activity Guidance and Notes

To start the activity, add on a time limit. Once the group successfully completes the exercise, you can increase the length of time. Also, if you want to start out with an easier challenge, cover a few holes up with paper that is taped on. Once the group gets better at controlling the tennis balls, remove the paper and tape covering the holes.

The above variations are a great way to include lessons in progressive goal planning. To make it even more challenging, have the group move the tennis balls in a specific order. You can number or letter the holes and the group must then navigate around the holes in this order.

Debriefing and Review of the Moving Balls Game 

Here are some simple questions to ask, which will help the group to process their experience of the game Moving Balls.

  • What was your goal and strategy for the game?
  • Were all group members communicating clearly from the beginning? What did you do to achieve this?
  • Was there a leader selected for the game?
  • Did you have a role and what was it?
  • Do you think it was important to support other team members during the game?
  • What was the team’s response to handling more than one ball at a time?
  • Were there any changes that needed to be made in the plan, especially when there were more tennis balls added?
  • Would you do things differently if you could do it all over again?
  • Is there something to learn and gain from this game?

Moving Balls Game and Team Building Activity

Basic Details
Property Type : Team Building
Listing Type : Placeholder
Activity Type : Team Building
Focus On : Build Trust, Communication, Collaboration, Having Fun, Time Management
Outcome Based : Yes
Facilities : Indoor, Outdoor
Props Required : Yes
Duration : 16 - 25 minutes
Exertion Level : Low
Group Size : 1 - 8, 9 - 16, 17 - 30, 31+
Age : Children, Youth, Adults