Disc games, commonly referred to as Frisbee games, are a fantastic way to engage students in physical education classes while promoting physical fitness, hand-eye coordination, and teamwork. They can be easily implemented in physical education classes, providing students with an enjoyable and challenging experience. Disc games and activities can be played both indoors and outdoors and offer a variety of benefits for students of all ages.
From basic throwing and catching activities to more complex disc games, physical education teachers have many options to choose from when it comes to incorporating Disc or Frisbee activities in their learning areas. These activities are enjoyable and provide an opportunity for students to learn valuable skills such as communication, leadership, and problem-solving as they must work together to throw and catch a disc in a variety of play conditions.
Implementing a fun frisbee game or activity in a physical education class requires careful planning and preparation to ensure that students are engaged and safe. In this article, I will explore the benefits of playing disc games in physical education classes and provide some tips on how to implement these games effectively. Additionally, six different disc games and activities that can achieve this goal will be presented. Are your ready...let's take this blog for a SPIN!!
Benefits of Incorporating Disc/Frisbee Games in Physical Education Classes
Incorporating disc activities and games into physical education classes provides a range of benefits for students. Here are just a few of the benefits of incorporating these movement experiences into your curriculum:
1. Improved Hand-Eye Coordination: Throwing and catching a disc requires precise hand-eye coordination. Regular practice of these skills can improve hand-eye coordination, which can benefit students in other areas of their lives.
Pic by Middleton Physical Education @DMcWherterPE
2. Enhanced Cardiovascular Endurance: Playing frisbee games can be physically demanding and requires students to run and move quickly. This type of activity can help improve cardiovascular endurance over time.
3. Promotes Inclusivity: Frisbee activities are inclusive, and students of all abilities and fitness levels can participate.
4. Team Building and Social Skills: Disc activities and games can be played in teams, which helps students learn how to work together effectively and develop important social skills.
Pic by Aandrea Haefele @andreahaefele
5. Improved Focus and Concentration: Disc activities and games require students to pay close attention to their surroundings and anticipate the movements of the disc. This type of activity can improve focus and concentration, which can benefit students in other areas of their lives.
6. Fun and Engaging: Disc activities and games are enjoyable for students of all ages, making them a great way to get students excited about physical education classes.
In addition, the highlighted PE Frisbee games in this blog article directly match-up with SHAPE America Standard 2 which states: The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.*
Tips for Incorporating Disc/Frisbee Games into your PE Curriculum
Incorporating Frisbee games for kids into your PE curriculum can be an excellent way to engage students in physical activity and help them develop important skills. Here are some tips to help you incorporate these games into your curriculum:
Start with the basics: Before jumping into any games, it’s important to teach students the basic skills of throwing, catching, and pivoting. Make sure to demonstrate proper techniques and allow students plenty of practice time before moving on to more advanced games.
Choose games appropriate for your students: Select games that are appropriate for the age and skill level of your students. For younger students, simple games like Frisbee catch or toss are best. Older students can handle more complex games such as Ultimate Frisbee or Frisbee Golf.
Video by The PE Thinker @thepethinker
Focus on teamwork: Encourage teamwork by having students play in pairs or teams. This helps them learn to work together, communicate effectively and develop leadership skills.
Safety first: Safety should always be a top priority in any physical activity. Ensure that the playing area is free of any hazards and students are instructed to avoid throwing the disc/Frisbee near other players’ faces.
Set clear rules and boundaries: Make sure to establish clear rules and boundaries for any games you plan to play. This includes outlining the boundaries of the playing area, establishing rules for scoring, and outlining consequences for any rule violations.
Pic by Nick Spencer @PE4Life_Spencer
Encourage sportsmanship: Disc and Frisbee games rely heavily on teamwork and communication, so it’s important to encourage students to work together and support each other during games. Emphasize the importance of good sportsmanship and positive attitudes.
Incorporate it into other lessons: Disc and Frisbee games can be a great way to incorporate other lessons into your PE curriculum. For example, you could use a Frisbee to teach math by having students calculate the distance of their throws or use a Frisbee to teach about aerodynamics.
Mix it up: Vary the types of games played to keep things fresh and engaging. For example, one day could be dedicated to Frisbee Golf, while another day could focus on Ultimate Frisbee.
Reflect on the experience: After playing disc or Frisbee games, take some time to reflect on the experience with your students. Ask them what they liked or didn’t like about the game, and use their feedback to make adjustments for future games.
Follow these tips to ensure that your students have a positive and rewarding experience playing these games.
6 Frisbee Games to Use in Your PE Classes
Now that you’ve got an understanding of how to incorporate disc/Frisbee games into your PE curriculum, let’s look at some specific games that you can use in your class. Here are six fun and engaging Frisbee games for physical education:
1. Capture the Disc
Teams work together to “capture” discs from inside other team’s hula hoop and running them across an interior line back into their own zone, ultimately getting it to their own hula hoop.
Skill Focus: throwing, catching, dodging, agility, speed, defense, strategic play
Pinnies for 4 teams
Large Gym or field lines for boundaries
Cones to mark boundaries
4 different color discs (4 of each)
Game Instructions and Rules
Divide the playing area into 4 equal sections. Four teams of 8 to 10 players put on pinnies. Place a hula hoop in the back of each corner. Put a disc in each corner inside the hoop.
Players enter the other team zone and attempt to steal their disc from inside their hula hoop
If a player is successful in stealing a disc, he/she tries to get it back into their own zone (and ultimately in their hula hoop) by running it over an inside boundary line or throwing it to a teammate located in the same zone and then their teammate runs it across
The players cannot throw a disc over any inner or outer line- it must be carried
Players inside another team’s zone (without a disc) can be tagged and if they are they must sit or kneel and wait for a teammate to give them a “high five” to free them…the same goes if they drop a passed disc from one of their players
If a player is tagged in another team’s zone with a disc in their possession, they must give up the disc and sit or kneel as well, waiting for a saving “high five”
All defenders must be at least 10 feet away from their own hula hoop
Players are safe in their own zone and with 1 foot in any other team’s hula hoop
The team with the most discs at the end of a set time period is the winner
2. King/Queen Pin - Disc Style (Game from Gabe Ervin)
Players attempt to overthrow the King/Queen Pin, situated in the center of their court, with a successful hit to their pin, crowning them as the new King or queen.
Skill Focus: throwing, catching, accuracy, agility and blocking
Bowling pins for the kings and queens to protect
Several indoor foam discs
Lines or cones for court boundaries
Game Instructions and Rules
10 to 15 King/Queen Pin people stand near a pin on a center line of a gym playing area. Everyone else spreads out on the side lines of a gym court.
On a teacher-directed cue, the game begins and students attempt to knock over other King or Queen Pin’s pin
Players can get a disc from anywhere but must return to the side line where they must have contact with that line when they throw it at a pin
If a pin is knocked over, the King Pin must immediately leave their post and go to either side or end line to try and knock down another King Pins pin
If a player knocks down a King Pin’s pin, they immediately run to the center and reset the pin to an upright position and immediately become a King Pin
If a player knocks down his/her your own pin by accident, they leave their post and ask someone to take their spot
King Pins cannot touch the pin but can only try to block a disc from hitting it- if it is falling down, they must let it fall
Players may retrieve discs from in front of or behind their side line but then have to throw or roll from the line…no closer
3. Disc Catch Relay
Teams of throwers and catchers attempt to gain points by throwing and catching a flying disc at different distances (frisbee throwing race).
Skill Focus: disc throwing, catching, accuracy, tracking and speed
1 flying disc per team of 5 or 6 students (different colors preferred)
1 large field or gym
Several cones (or use existing gym/field lines) to mark as “catching zones”
Game Instructions and Rules
Group students in teams of around 5 or 6. Students line up with their teams behind cones, a few feet behind the throw line. Make 3 “catching zones” (using cones or existing lines) at different distances from the throw line and assign points to each zone.
After the students line up at the waiting cones, 1 thrower and 1 catcher move into position to start the game
The thrower and catcher must quickly communicate and decide the distance and point value they want to try and achieve
The thrower and catcher then try to make a connecting pass to earn points as follows: Catching Zone One – 5 points, Catching Zone Two- 10 points and Catching Zone 3- 20 points
If the pass does not make it to the catcher and falls to the ground or the catcher drops the disc, no points are earned for that round
The catcher runs the disc back to the line (and goes to the back) and the thrower quickly becomes the new catcher, and the process continues
Play for a set time and make sure students honestly calculate their scores…they can shout out the team totals as the game progresses
4. Disc Cross
A team strives to get as many flying discs into their opponent's score zones while at the same time steering clear of being tagged in the opponent's home zone.
Skill Focus: throwing, catching, dodging, tagging, teamwork, & cardio
4 – 8 flying discs per playing group
16 large cones to make scoring areas (2 at each end of the playing area)
Cones or lines for boundaries
Game Instructions and Rules
The game is played in groups of 10- 12 (5 vs. 5 or 6 vs. 6); Divide the groups into two evenly matched teams. Two large score zones are created approximately 60-80 feet apart in the back of each team’s home zone. Set cones out to make a large court with a center line.
Players can cross the mid-line (with possession of a disc) in an attempt to throw it in the other team’s score zone. A disc may be thrown or placed in the other team’s score zone from any place inside the other team's “Home Zone”
When a player crosses into another team’s “Home Zone” they can be tagged by an opposing player and if they are, they must give up possession of the disc to an opposing player, at that point, and return back to their own “Home Zone”.
If a player feels like they may be about to get tagged, they can throw the disc back across the midline to one of their teammates (back to their own “Home Zone”) and then return across to start again. However, if the disc is dropped by the teammate or if the teammate already has a disc, he/she must give up possession of the disc at that point.
Once in the other team’s Home Zone, a player can throw the disc into one of the two large score zones (located in the back corners) at any point (closer is better). If the disc misses and hits the ground, it goes back to the other team
5. Disc/Frisbee Golf
In groups of two or four, students travel around a school field, engaging in disc golf while they attempt to make it into each one of the predetermined 9 - 18 holes (marked by hula hoops or small kiddy pools).
Skill Focus: throwing a disc, walking, accuracy, sportsmanship
2 Flying Discs per playing group(1 disc for each pair)
9 – 18 hula hoops or kiddy pools (targets for each hole)
9 – 18 cones (for tees)
9 - 18 number markers (taped on cones)
Game Instructions and Rules
The game is played in groups of 4 players in teams of 2 vs. 2. Nine to eighteen hula hoops (holes) are set around a large playing area or field. If possible, holes can be marked with a number on a cone. Each group of 4 begins at a designated hole (i.e., hole # 5) so that the entire class of students are spread out- Score cards can be dispersed prior to the activity (at the discretion of the teacher).
Students are paired and then put in foursomes and then sent to a starting hole somewhere out on the field or playing area
Pairs alternate throwing a flying disc starting from the cone of the previous hole and working towards the next numbered hoop. (i.e., students throwing toward hole number 6 begin at the cone that is placed beside hole # 5)
The previous cones are used as the tees for the next hole to avoid having to put out extra equipment for the activity but it’s possible to set up separate tee lines
The team furthest away from the next hoop (hole) gets to throw first. A shot is taken on the “fairway” from the point that it lands and stops moving
Scorecards can be kept with partners helping each other keep up with scores
Younger students (K/1) can use a tennis ball to play until they have developed their disc throwing skills
Video by Montgomery PE @PeMontgomery
6. Ultimate Frisbee
Teams work together to throw and catch a Frisbee down a court or field, “ultimately” trying to score a point by catching it behind the other team’s goal line.
Skill Focus: throwing, catching, agility, speed, defense, strategic play
1 – 3 flying discs per game being played
Multiple games can be played on a large field or using 2 gym courts
Pinnies for each team
Gym/field lines for boundaries
Cones to mark boundaries
Game Instructions and Rules
Two teams of 5 to 10 players put on pinnies. Regulation Ultimate calls for 7 V 7 but you can adjust for your court size and numbers of students in a PE class. Teams can sub in after goals if needed. A game starts with each teams on their goal lines facing the center.
On a signal, one team starts with a throw-off from the goal line called a “pull”
Teams attempt to control the flying disc by throwing and catching it successfully, as they progress down the court or field, ultimately making a successful catch behind the other team’s goal line. If they do, they earn a point
After each goal, a throw-off restarts play. The team that scored stays in that end zone and throws the “pull” and then becomes the defensive team.
Teams change their direction of attack after each point.
The defensive team takes possession of the disc if the offense fails to catch a pass, catch it out-of-bounds or if it is intercepted/knocked down by the defense
Players cannot run with possession of the disc. After catching it, they must stop as quickly as possible. Once stopped, they must keep one foot still (pivot)
The thrower has 10 seconds to throw the disc and the defender cannot make contact with the offensive player. There are no double-teaming on defense
For more Frisbee/disc games like the ones showcased above, check out this PE Disc Games- 25 Spin-tastic Flying Disc Activities set on TPT.
Disc/Frisbee games and activities are a fun and engaging way to incorporate quality physical activity into your PE curriculum. From throwing and catching, to tracking and dodging – these frisbee-based activities offer plenty of options for developing different skills. By providing students with the opportunity to play disc games, you can truly help improve their hand-eye coordination, cardiovascular endurance, team building, and overall physical fitness. With the right equipment on hand such as indoor and outdoor flying discs, hula hoops, polyspots, and cones it’s easy to set up an engaging game that encourages teamwork while allowing players to develop their own strategies of play.
Pic by Mr. Bricker @IBES_PE
In addition to the games highlighted in this article, there are a multitude of other disc activity options available for you to explore and uncover. Don't be afraid to innovate by blending games, adding a unique touch and experimenting with strategies that can help amplify students' physical literacy and enhance their motor development. Take the plunge and discover new, exciting and engaging games that involve flying discs! Frisbee tennis, frisbee dodgeball, frisbee baseball and a good old backyard frisbee bowling game are just a few of the popular frisbee games being played around the world.
All the best with launching your DISC REVOLUTION!!!
Are there any disc/frisbee games that you love to play with your kids? We'd be delighted to hear about them in the comments below! The physical education community would certainly appreciate your input!
Need Some FREE Physical Education Games?
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Fill in the form below to download the FREE Physical Education Games Packet- 18 Game Set to use in your PE program! Inside this package are 18 fun and exciting PE games for students, designed for a wide range of ages.
This set is a PDF digital download that includes selected games (3 from each) from the following sets from Cap’n Pete’s PE Games Super Bundle.
1. PE Base Games, 2. PE Basketball Games, 3. PE Soccer Games, 4. PE Volleyball/Net Games, 5. PE Disc Games, and 6. PE Small Group Multi-skill Games
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This Super Bundle includes 150 games from 6 PE game sets that originate from the following resources: PE Base Games, PE Basketball Games, PE Soccer Games, PE Volleyball and Net Games, PE Disc Games, and PE Small Group Multi-Skill Games. Each set has 25 top-rated games that can be used by PE and classroom teachers to teach skills and keep students HAPPY and ACTIVE!!!