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Rooster Tail
Thanks L. Fielitz


Purpose: This warm-up game works on quickness and agility while participants must also focus on the other participants’ actions. Variations could also incorporate teamwork and ball handling skills.
Equipment: One “tail” (football flags, extra sock, towel, etc.) per participant. Variations could include a ball (basketball, soccer ball, volleyball, football, four square ball, etc.) for each participant.
Description: Designate boundaries of an area large enough to scatter participants so they are approximately four feet apart. On the command of “Go” each participant attempts to pull as many opponents’ “tails” as possible, while protecting their own. An individual is “out” when her/his tail is pulled off, and s/he must leave the playing area. (A “tag” could replace a tail to reduce the amount of equipment.) As more players leave the playing area, shrink the boundaries to keep the remaining players roughly four feet apart. The game continues for a set time or until only two participants remain. The participants who are “out” can jog in place, stretch or run laps around the playing area until the game is complete.


  1. Add strategy and team dynamics: Divide participants into two to four teams. Teams can either be positioned together in one quadrant of the playing area to start, or scattered as when playing individually. The game is played the same, ending when members of only one team remain.

  2. Increase difficulty: All participants dribble a basketball or soccer ball. A participant is “out” if her/his tail is pulled OR if her/his ball is knocked out of the playing area.

  3. Increase difficulty: All participants hold a ball (football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, four square, etc.). A participant is “out” if her/his tail is pulled OR if her/his ball touches the floor.

  4. Increase length of play: Participants who are “out” can perform a designated number of callisthenic exercises (pushups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, etc.) and re-enter the game.

Rooster Tail Warm-up Game

Daily Physical Activities and Games