Throwing game, tactics and strategy: the gunboats


It is always interesting to have a good bank of games as resources to use according to our interests and objectives. The Cañoreros game is a throwing game, one of those games that dazzle children and are full of interesting nuances: decision-making, collaboration, strategy, motor skills, tactics, etc. We already explained it in a previous post together with another series of warm-up and cool-down games , but I find it interesting to highlight this one due to its characteristics.

Before getting into the game itself, I leave you with a video in which four 4th grade girls explain how to play and give us a demonstration of the game. Don’t miss her she’s great! Already in another entry, other children also explained the Sitting Ball game  that they liked a lot.

The cannonball toss game

This throwing game  unfolds as follows:

It begins with two children keeping it, who have a ball to be able to catch the rest of the class by throwing it. The rules are easy:

  • The one who has the ball in his hands cannot move (only throw or pass to his partner).
  • If they manage to hit a classmate, he joins those caught in order to try to fulfill the ultimate goal of the game: catch the entire class.

This throwing game can be done both in a large group and in small groups, depending on the level of each group. Personally, I advise starting with small groups and expanding it to the large group to take a step further in terms of decision, tactical and strategic complexity.

Playing in small groups

To start playing the cannonball toss game, it is advisable to start by playing in small groups of 5-6 children. In this way, we make sure that they understand the rules and the internal logic of the game. When this happens, the number of children in the groups must be increased, and little by little, introducing the two balls into the game (see characteristic of the game in a large group), which is, after all, what generates an increase in cognitive involvement and perceptive aspects, superior to other types of games.

Playing in a big group

The launch game of the cannonballers, when we play it in a large group, can become a bit static in some phases of the game, especially when more and more children begin to keep it with a single ball (if there are 20 caught, the 20 expect the same ball). To avoid this situation, what we do is deliver, once the game progresses, several balls to the children who keep them. Every 5-6 children caught, one more ball is put into play, in such a way that as those who keep it increase in number, the number of balls they can use also increases, in order to meet their objectives. In this way, we not only avoid the more static situations, but also increase the difficulty of the cognitive and perceptual aspects of the game.

Some of the features that I would like to highlight about this game are:

  • Those who keep it can be caught with several balls, which means that their perception, central and peripheral, has to increase.
  • The attention and concentration, of those who are free, increases by having to attend to several stimuli at the same time (several balls).
  • Those who remain can come up with more elaborate and complex strategies in order to reach those who remain.
  • The tactical possibilities increase considerably when different balls are put into play.
  • At the motor level, the adjustments must be continuous, mainly at two levels: change of directions and dodge so as not to be touched by the balls.

So far the launch game of the gunboats. I hope it has been of your interest and usefulness, and it is very likely that you will think of some more variants that may be useful to us, if so… leave a comment. On the other hand, for any type of doubt, suggestion, question… 

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