F3 Dads Game: Boogers and Pickers

I was at an F3 Dads workout with my two sons on June 9 at The Fort (WEP). It was a good turnout of F3 PAX and their 2.0’s. Airborne was QIC for the workout and led the kids and dads on a great COP followed by a mini Murph. It was great to expose the kids to a Murph! After the Murph and water break, Airborne huddled up with me to see what we could come up with something fun for the kids. He saw me arrive with a large mesh bag full of stuff. Oh I had something up my sleeve. I gave him a brief outline and he gave me the thumbs up to Q-Jack the workout at this point. So here it is…..

Boogers and Pickers

This is a little game we used to get the kids to play when I assistant coached youth soccer for my son’s teams (the younger groups, U-9 and under). It was a real crowd pleaser, the kids would look forward to it near the end of practice. Goal was to have fun and make them fall in love with the game, but they also got a workout with all the running and reinforced some basic kicking, trapping, and lateral movement skills.

What you need:
* Open field – size depends on number of kids/adults. Preferably level.
* Cones or something similar to mark boundaries
* Soccer balls or kick balls – ideal would be one for every kid, or one for every other kid at the least. I’ve also tried it with medium sized inflatable beach balls – that was a real hoot.

Field setup:
* Make a rectangular playing field. 2:1 ratio length to width ideally, but can be adjusted based upon number of people and/or age of kids. The idea is that the kids will not be too close to each other when they run from end to end, so if you have alot of kids make it a little wider so they are not shoulder to shoulder when they run. If you have alot of young kids, make it a little shorter when they have to run so they don’t get too tired too quick. You will get the  feel for what you need based upon numbers and ages of the group. You want it to be a little challenging, but more fun. When we played we had 25 people – about 2:1 kids to dads – so our field was about 10-12  yards wide by about 25 yards long. Mark boundaries with cones.

Team setup:
* Divide entire group into two teams – kids vs. dads
* One team will run – those are The Boogers (we let the dads run first)
* Other team will kick the balls – those are The Pickers
* Divide the Pickers in half. One half lines up spaced out along the length of one side of the field, the other half lines up on the opposite side. Divide the balls evenly on both sides of the field and give them to the Pickers. Pickers cannot be within 10 feet of the ends where the Boogers start. That’s the start zone.
* The Boogers are all at one end of the field, lined up abreast, not single file – they all run together at the same time, not one by one

* When the Q says – the Boogers are to run from one end of the field to the other. If they make it to the opposite side, they are safe. Do not return to the same end as they started. Just run from one end to the other and stop – that is one round of play.
* Pickers try to kick the ball at a Booger as they run – pick the boogers! They kick the ball from their side to the opposite, and trap and kick balls back across as they come to them. Pickers should move side to side as needed to trap incoming balls. If they have to go out in the field to get a ball, they have to return to a sideline before they kick it. Pickers don’t have to kick straight across, they can kick where needed to get a Booger – but they cannot kick into the starting zone and they cannot target a Booger who has made it to the other end of the field, the safe zone. Pickers can only use their feet, and are to keep the balls on the ground as much as possible when they kick. Only if you are using beach balls then they can air it out and kick high.  Dads – kick lightly!! Remember, we want this to be fun, don’t want anyone getting hurt.
* If a Booger gets hit by a ball as they run between the ends of the field, they immediately go to one of the sidelines and become a Picker, kicking balls to pick the other Boogers out there.
* Boogers are allowed to pause, dodge, jump, etc, to avoid being picked, but they have to run from initial starting end to the other end.
* When all Boogers are at the opposite end, no more kicking. That is the end of one round.
* Collect the balls, give them to the Pickers between rounds so they can be ready. That gives the Boogers a little rest.
* Rinse and repeat until only one Booger remains. That’s the Slippery Booger – the one that was impossible to pick – and the winner!
* Then the Booger team becomes the Picker team and vice versus, and do it all over again.
* Have the winner of the kids and winner of the dads come out in the middle and get a round of applause! They earned it.

* Some kids, and parents, are dang good at being Boogers. After a 3-4 rounds, there usually ends up being 3-4 kids or so (or dads) who can dodge things with the best of them, making it obvious it will drag out a while before there’s only one. What I ended up doing for the kids who were running is ended up making them stop 2/3 the way and go back – shorten the field, concentrate the kickers. For the dads who were tough to pick, I made them do 10 jump squats mid-way. Be creative if it goes on and on and gets tough to whittle it down to just one booger winning it.
* Seriously, try it with beach balls. The more the better. Little kids can kick them harder, faster. Also, you can get them up in the air without fear of hurting someone. Plus, sometimes they don’t always make it to the other side – those become obstacles in the field the boogers cannot touch or they become pickers.

Have fun with it!! Guaranteed the kids will have fun.


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