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Youth Ministry Object Lesson – Flying Disc-Iples
Games Using Flying Discs (Commonly known as Frisbees)
[NOTE: For some games, to avoid injury, you may wish to use a soft nerf style flying disc rather than a hard plastic one.]
- Bocce Frisbee – The object is to get the Frisbee as close to a designated object as possible without touching it. Make it more difficult by increasing the throwing distance.
- Bottles – Two teams of six face each other in a line, with each player having an empty soda bottle in front of them. Each player starts with three lives and each time a players bottle is knocked over they lose a life. Each team gets three discs. Discs must be thrown from behind the bottle, and players may only throw a disc when their bottle is upright. When a player loses all three lives, they are out of the game and must sit down. Any player may retrieve a disc from the area between the teams, but cannot go behind enemy lines. You cannot block a disc and cannot touch a moving disc until it passes beyond the line of bottles.
- Call it – Any group size forms a circle. One person throws the disc straight into the air, ideally flat and with spin. The goal is to catch the disc using one-hand. If the disc is caught everyone who made any move to try and catch the disc must leave the circle. Whoever caught the disc is now the server, they are not allowed to catch their own serve. The game continues until only on person remains. In the event that it becomes a duel between two people a outside person will become the server. In the event that one player simply refuses to make an attempt at catching the disc a rule can be invoked such that the player will forfeit if they do not make no attempt X times in a row.
- Disc Dodge Circle – Make a circle of players with one player in the middle. Circle is wide enough so there is at least 10feet to the person in the center. Person in the middle tries to dodge the throws coming at them. People in the circle can either throw at the center or toss to someone else in an attempt to flank them. If you hit the person in the middle you are in the middle. Play goes on as long as your willing to get hit with a disc. Use a soft nerf disc to avoid injuries.
- Disc Dodge – There is one thrower and the rest of the team is in a box of cones, size of the box depending on the size of the group. When the disc is in the air each person must decide if they can catch it. If you move for the disc than you HAVE to catch it. Each catch is a point and you need 3 points to become the thrower. If you move or if the disc hits you and do not catch it then you are out. Once you are out you go to the Mac line. From here you can go for a disc after someone in the game moves or you can hit the disc into the box to hit other players. If you mac the disc into someone then you are in and they are out. We also allowed Bidding for discs to get back in, but not everyone does.
- Disc Dodge Ball – Same basic game play as dodge ball, but with frisbees. Of course, head shots put the tosser out on the sidelines.
- Disc Golf – Disc golf is played much like traditional golf but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc or “Frisbee”. In disc golf targets or holes can be almost anything – a tree, a rubbish bin, a lamp post, a bucket, a flower pot, a net, or even a patch of the sidewalk. Each shot must be made from behind where the disc lands. Like golf you want to get to the target using the least possible number of throws. You include special conditions like requiring the disc to go around a tree or through a fork in a tree before hitting the target. If a tree is designated as the hole, the target is typically assigned as hitting the tree trunk below the first tree branch so that leaves and low branches do not count. You can have a marked out course or after each hole someone new can choose the next target and the conditions.
- Discathalon – A trail is marked out through a park or open area, around natural obstacles and to a finish line. All the youth, each with a disc, begin behind the start line and race to the finish line, following the designated course. Each successive throw must be taken from behind where the disc last stopped. The winner is the player whose disc first crosses the finish line.
- Five Hundred – Groups are separated by a distance of about 20m. One group throws a high disc above the other group. If someone catches it, that person scores 100 points. That group then throws another high, throw back and the other team gets to try to score points. The winner is the first person to score 500 points. The game is non-contact; no pushing or holding is allowed.
- Frisbee bowling – For this game you need a plastic bottle. Turn it upside down and push the neck into the sand. See if you can knock it over with your frisbee! Challenge yourself by putting more bottles in the sand and seeing how many you can knock over.
- Frisbee Relay – This relay type race is best for 8-12 people, divided into two teams. Two Frisbees are needed, one for each team. Each team should spread out in a line about 50 ft. (or more) apart from each other. On “GO!” the first person in the line of each team throws the Frisbee to the second person. That person allows the Frisbee to land, goes to where it landed, then throws it to the next person in their line, and so on. The object of the frisbee game is to see which team can throw the Frisbee the furthest in the fastest time (to the last person in their line).
- Gritz – Gritz is played on a regular volleyball court and scores similar to volleyball (score on serve, 3 touches max, rotation) Players cannot touch the ground and the disc and the same time. The disc must not be travelling downwards at the point of release. No serves are allowed where the disk is thrown overhand and perpendicular to the ground.
- Monkeys in the Middle – Form a 20m square with the 4 cones. The aim of the game is to retain possession of the disc by passing to teammates for as long as possible. As in ultimate, players may not run with the disc and cannot hold it for more than 10 seconds.
- Passing Relay – Divide the youth into teams. Each team lines up in a straight line, at least arms length apart. Place a disc halfway down the line and about 5 meters to the side of the line. On “go” the last player in the line runs out to the disc and tosses it the to the 1st player in the line, who passes it back. Then he tosses it to the 2nd player and so on until the end of the line is reached. When the last player catches the disc, they run out the front to become the person tossing the frisbee and the previous captain runs to the front to become the first receiver. If a player has to retrieve a disc, they must return to their place before throwing the return pass. Continue until the original captain runs out the front again and the whole team sits down to finish.
- Rounders (Disc Baseball) – Set up a diamond, similar to baseball. The rules are similar to baseball and the position are also the same except there is no pitcher. All players must be at least 5 meters from the batter. In each play, the batter tosses the disc from home base keeping it in bounds. It must travel at least 5 meteres or it is considered a foul. The batter is out on the third foul or if their toss is caught. Runners are out if the disc reaches the base they are running towards before they do. Only one runner can be on a base at a time. Only the basemen may run with the disc and everyone else must throw the disc to other players. The batting team earns a run each time a runner runs around the bases and reaches home base. When the batting team gets 3 outs the teams switch positions.
- Sidewalk Seven – This is frisbee game that is played on a sidewalk, usually on the way to somewhere. It is best with two to three players. Each player throws a frisbee, trying to land it inside a sidewalk square and as far away as possible. For each square away from the player that it is thrown, the player earns one point. The frisbee is considered in the square if it is more than 50% in. If it lands off of the sidewalk, the player earns zero points for that round and the next round begins. If the frisbee lands seven squares away, the player earns zero points for that round.
- Statue Frisbee – Pair up in teams of two. See how many times you can consecutively catch the Frisbee without moving your feet. Advanced rules: Set a time clock and go for points. Each valid catch equals one point. Catches under a leg or on the tip of a finger earn two points. When the buzzer rings, the team with the most points wins. Variation: If the partner catches it without moving, then they both take a step back. If a person drops the Frisbee or has to move their feet, they are out of the game. After each successful round, each team must take a step back. Whoever lasts the longest in the game, wins.
- Throwing Race – Split the youth up into pairs. All pairs are competing against all other pairs. Pairs line up across from their partners so that all the youth are in two rows. During a set amount of time, the youth in a pair must complete as many passes as possile. If a disc is missed and must be retrieved, the pairs must get back into their original positions before they can toss the disc again. If you want to increase the difficulty, then add a rule that the receiver may not move their feet to catch the disc.
- Touch it – Line of players with a thrower/receiver at each end, a few metres off. Disc is thrown down the line, players need to touch it without catching it, then the receiver has to catch it one-handed. If you successfully touch it and then it’s caught, you get through the round; if you knock it enough that the receiver can’t catch it, you’re knocked out. Repeat rounds knocking out the last X people each time. You can also just do it by points.
MOST OF THE LESSONS ARE APPLIED TO THIS GAME
Ultimate – The Field is rectangular shape with endzones at each end. A regulation field is 64m by 37m, with endzones 18m deep. Each point begins with teams lined up in the front of their own end zone. The defence then throws the disc to the offense. A point is scored each time the offense completes a pass in the defences’ endzone. The disc can be passed to a teammate in any direction who must catch it. Players may not run with the disc. The person with the disc has ten seconds to throw the disc. The defender guarding the thrower counts out the 10 seconds. When a pass in not completed (e.g. goes out of bounds, touches the ground, is blocked, or intercepted), the defence immediately takes possession of the disc and becomes the offense at that location on the field. No physical contact of any kind is allowed between players, regardless of whether you have the disc or not. When anyone makes physical contact a foul occurs and if it results in a turnover to the other team, the team gets the disc back. Players call their own fouls.
TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
* What comparisons can you make between this game and and living as a Christian?
When we look at Ultimate, here are some of the things that are similar to spiritual truths:
(Running, Standing Firm, a Goal, winning and losing, Struggle, Opposition, Spectators, teamwork, passing it along, fouls and rules.)
- We pass it along – When we pass along faith or the gospel, we must deliver it in a way that it can be easily received, and the person must be ready to receive it.
- Field – Our field is the world (Mat. 13:38), and our goal is to win it for Jesus Christ. Everyone is called onto the field to play and we have to do it together. You must rely on your team mates to move things forward on the field together with you in order to reach the goal.
- Rules – The rules keep us focused and set the standards for how we act on the field. There are also boundaries. When we break the rules or step out of bounds, there are penalties. Yet when we compete according to the rules, and are victorious in our efforts, we will receive a prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
- Time – In most games of ultimate, like life, we don’t know how much time we have on the field. This makes it even more important for us to make the most of it. The Bible commands us to redeem the time, to make the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:16) rather than waste it.
- Goal – It is not enough to simply be in the game. It is not enough to simply overcome the opposition. Our goal is to score one for the team. And another one. And another one. “Press on toward the Goal.” – Philippians 3:14.
- Team – We don’t play alone, but play as part of a TEAM. In Ultimate, once you receive the disc, you have to stand firm with it and pass it on to someone else. You can’t do it alone. Every believer has a part to play as we pursue the goal (1 Cor 12:4-6; 12-20)
- Offense and Defence – Sometimes in the game we must be on the offence and at other times we must defend.
- Our actions affect others – When you drop the disc during a game, the possession turns over to the other team and you and your teammates suffer the consequences alongside you. They must now run the length of the field again, this time on defense.
- Getting fouled – Sometimes in the game, bad things happen to you of no fault of your own. It is your responsibility to call the truth of what happened but the game still continues.
- Taking risks – Sometimes you have to take risks to reach the goal. Push yourself a little harder, stretch for the goal, pass the task to someone else on your team completely out of your control. The same is true of our walk and also of evangelism. It is said that it usually takes 20 interactions before a person accepts Christ. And while some skills may be clumsy and awkward at first, with practice we can be much more effective.
Make it Practical
- What are some of the difficulties in faced in this game that remind of us of difficulties in the Christian’s life? In evangelism?
- How is the teamwork in this game similar to the body of Christ?
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:4-9. How does this relate to the game?
Make it Personal
Are you in the game?
No one in the crowd ever makes progress on the field. No one in the crowd ever adds a single point to the score. The game is played and won by the players on the field, and not by anyone else. Are you in the game or a spectator? Just being a Christian isn’t enough. You are called to be on the playing field, not in the stands or on the sidelines. Are you on the field playing the game and gaining ground for Jesus Christ or are you merely watching the game? The clock is ticking away, and time is running out. Get in the game before you lose your chance forever!
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
- Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
- Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
- 2 Timothy 2:5 “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.”
- 2 Timothy 4:7-8 – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:4-9 (NIV) – ‘For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-20 (NIV) – “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”
- 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV) – “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
- Philippians 4:9 (NIV) – “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
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