9 Spectacular Youth Group Games To Play In A Gym

March 12, 2010 — 25 Comments

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Sign Pointing Towards A GymHere are another 9 Youth Group Games that you might like to play. So far I have written about youth group games that you can play with no resources and some balls, and the list below are 9 youth group games that you can play in a gym.

Now your youth group may not have a gym, but you can still use these games. But before using these games, think through how they will best work at your youth group, and plan out resources that you may need. The numbers of people for each game are given as a guide, please don’t feel constrained by them. PLanning beforehand will hopefully help you to have tons of fun with the kids in your youth group! So here are 9 spectacular youth group games to play in a gym.

  1. Human Fooseball
  2. Human PACman
  3. Fresh
  4. Glow In The Dark Soccer
  5. Dead Ants
  6. Elfs, Giants and Wizards
  7. King Characticus
  8. Streets and Lanes
  9. Newspaper Hockey

Continue reading below for an explanation of how to play these spectacular youth group games.

1. Human Fooseball (30-100 people)

If you have played fooseball on a table before then you will know exactly how this game works. Divide your youth group into lines with 4-10 people in each line, have around 6-10 lines depending on your youth group size. You must however have an even number of lines on each time.

Set up a soccer field inside your gym and set up goals at each end. Each line needs to line up across the field, facing a goal, and every second team needs to turn around. Ensure that the line right before the goals is a defensive line.

Each line can only move across the field and cannot move forwards or backwards, just like in real fooseball, the team with the most goals at the end wins.

2. Human PACman (10-50 people)

This game requires a gym that has lines for courts painted on. Ideal if their are both netball and basketball courts painted on the floor.

One or two people, depending on the size of the group are in, and you play a big game of tip. The trick is that people must stay on lines. When somebody gets tipped, they must sit down on the line where they were tipped, and they now become a block. Other people are not allowed to go past them now. The people who are in however may go past them.

3. Fresh (10-50 people)

Split your youth group in half and ask each team to rest against opposite walls in the gym. This is again a game of tip, this time with a team focus. The aim of the game is to tip every person on the other team. For an explanation of how to play fresh, please watch this video below.

The basic idea of the game is that the last person off the wall can tip others. You need to be fresher than someone to tip them. You then take them to gaol where they can then be saved by their teammates, but just watch the video above.

4. Glow In The Dark Soccer (10-30 people)

This game works best at night, in fact, it only works at night. Imagine soccer, but with a glow in the dark ball and glow in the dark people. That’s what this game is.

Buy lots of glow sticks, preferably the long thin ones, and wrap them around the ball with sticky tape attaching them, and them give at least 5 glow sticks to each person to wear. Then play soccer. It is best if each team has their own colour as well.

Please be careful when playing this game as running around in the dark can be dangerous.

5. Dead Ants (15-40 people)

This is another variant of tip. This time you need to have 1 or 2 people in, depending on the size of your group. When they tip someone, that person must lie on their back with their hands and legs in the air. They are now a dead ant. To be saved, two people must come and grab the dead ants hands and legs, and they then carry them to a safe zone.

Once two people are carrying a dead ant they cannot be tipped.  However if only one person is holding a dead ant and waiting for another person to come and help them, they can be tipped. Once you are at a dead ant, you are stuck to them until somebody else comes to help you. Tricky eh?

6. Elves, Giants and Wizards (10-70 people)

This is a massive game of scissors, paper rock. Two teams line up against each other, and must collectively either decide to be wizards, giants or elves (You can make up actions for each). On the count of three, each team does their action, and the winning team (elf beats wizard, wizard beats giant, giant beats elf) chases the other team back to their wall, and tries to tip as many people as possible. When somebody is tipped they then join that team for the next round.

This is repeated until one team has every single person.

7. King Characticus (16-100 people)

One of the classic youth group games. This game involves setting up lines of chairs, with the line of chairs at the front turned around. This is team number 1, each team is then numbered 2 onwards based on the row of chairs that they are in. The game then flows as such.

Leader: King Characticus has lost his thinking cap, some say this, some say that, I say team number 1 (could be any team) stole the hat.

Team 1: No sir not I sir

Leader: Then who sir?

Team 1: Team number 3 sir

Team 3: No sir not I sir

Team 1: Then who sir?

Team 3: Team number 5 sir


Each time a team stands up, they must have interlocking arms, and all stand up and speak in unison, if they do not, then they are out and go to the back of the rows. Each team then moves up and becomes a new team number. This is tricky as in each round each team changes number. Each team must also not say the team who just accused them, so if team 1 accuses team 3, team 3 cannot then accuse team 1.

Fun and chaos for all!

8. Streets and Lanes (20-100 people)

In this game, there is a cat and a mouse. The cats aim is to tip the mouse, the mouse must try to to be tipped.

Everyone else is lined up in a grid. The leader then calls out streets, and everyone stretches their arms out either side of them facing the front. The leader then calls out lanes, and everyone turns 90 degrees. The leader then calls out lamp posts, and everyone puts their arms up in the air. This creates the streets and lanes.

While the cat is trying to catch the mouse, the leader calls out streets or lanes in order to make it harder for the cat. The cat and mouse can only move up and down the streets and lanes, and can’t go past peoples hands.

9. Newspaper Hockey (10-30 people)

This game requires a 2 or 4 newpapers rolled up and bound by masking tape to make hockey sticks, 2 chairs to act as goals, and a tennis ball.

There are two teams and each person on each team is given a number. And then they sit down the sides of the hall. The leader then calls out a number (or 2) and those people go to the centre, pick up hockey sticks, and try to get the tennis ball in between the chair legs.

The team that has the most points at the end of the game wins.


Well there are another 9 youth group games for you to play. I’ve still got a lot more games to share with you so hold your breath until I write about another 9 youth group games. But for now, how about you let me know about some of your favourite youth group games.

What are your favourite youth group games to play in a gym?

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Calum Henderson

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A Christian Primary school teacher. Married to Alice. I write about Christian ministry and technology, as well as anything that may interest me.

25 responses to 9 Spectacular Youth Group Games To Play In A Gym

  1. i like the fresh vid. good job

  2. Cheers mate.

    Glad to publish some (hopefully) helpful resources.

  3. great ideas – very creative

  4. I had forgotten Dead Ants!! Gosh that’s a fun game, I remember playing it on Escape! Definitely Friday night’s game at Exalt!! Thanks so much for this website, Calum!

    • A pleasure Ali, glad to be of assistance!

      (and how great is dead ants!?)

      • I love Dead Ants. Another great indoor game is Paper Rock Scissors on a large scale.

        Divide the group into 2 teams – teams got to opposite ends of gymn.

        Teams have a minute to decide what they are going to be – you can adapt the game to suit your theme for the night. It is often called Giants, Wizzards and Elves, but I recently used Spiderman, Superman and Batman for a super hero night – worked a treat:
        Superman beats Spiderman
        Spiderman beats Batman
        Batman beats Spiderman

        The teams decide what they are going to be. Both teams chant “Superman, Spiderman, Batman” taking one large step towards the other team at the same time, with each name they call. When the teams are fairly close, a leader shouts “shoot” or “duel!” At the same time, both teams shout out what they’ve decided to be e.g “Spiderman!!!” Whichever team’s superhero can beat the other team gets a chance to chase the other team back to their home gymn wall. Any caught then transfer teams.

  5. Thanks for the ideas bro!! Great stuff. God bless ya heaps!


    (Sydney, Australia)

  6. So many of these games refer to or are based on a game called Tip yet I don’t know that game nor do you explain it. Most of these games are useless without this knowledge.

    • Hi Wesley,

      Tip is a simple playground game, also commonly referred to as tag (as well as numerous other names). To play, one person is ‘in’, they then have to try and ‘tip’ another person by touching them gently. If another person is ‘tipped’, they then become the person who is ‘in’. I hope that clears things up for you. :)


  7. No offense…
    But I do not get it! I have to give a game to my Friday teacher, and I don’t think many of these would work out.
    Anyway, these games sound pretty good I would love to play them with all my buds. Thank you!

  8. Hi! Calum, you are great at this, and I tried these games with my friends, and they had alot of fun!
    Thank you, so much!

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