Surprise your youngster and his group of friends with a brand new activity during your next party or celebration at a recreation center's gym. Disc golf is similar to regular golf, but is played with a flying disc instead of a golf ball and clubs. While traditional disc golf is played outdoors with a distance to each hole averaging a minimum of 200 to 300 feet, when you're playing indoors with a group of elementary-aged kids, you'll have to make a few adjustments to make the game suitable to the size of the gym and the kids' technique and motor skill level.
Set up at least 3 holes (baskets) and tee-off spots before the game begins. Mark each tee-off spot with masking tape on the ground or place a gym mat at each spot. Modify the number of baskets based on the number of children in your group and the size of the gym. Each basket should be at least several feet from the tee-off spot. Vary the distance between tee-off and basket for each one so the group can practice different throwing strengths.
Practice gripping and throwing the disc with the kids if they've never played the game before. Demonstrate how to hold the disc comfortably first -- whether you hold the disc with two, three or four fingers is entirely up to you.
Teach your group how to flick the disc from the wrist and release it as flat and level as possible. First practice the flicking motion, which is similar to snapping a towel, but don't release the disc. Once the kids have gotten familiar with the movement, have them practice releasing the disc with different strengths. First release it with a light flick and then with increasingly more strength to see the difference in distance and control.
Practice throwing the disc at a few simple targets for the kids to learn how much force to use to reach their goal.
Divide your group into teams of two or three kids. Have each team start at a different hole and have one member of each team play at a time. Designate one child from each team to keep track of the score on paper. The score is determined by the number of throws necessary to get the disc into the basket.
Have each starting team member throw the disc toward the basket from the tee-off area. The remaining one or two team members then each make their first throws. Use different colored discs to keep track or have each child write his name on the top and underside of the disc.
Take turns throwing the disc until everyone has gotten their disc in the basket. Have the teams' scorekeepers record the number of throws.
Rotate the teams between the holes until every team has played each one. Tally up the scores for each child or each team at the end of the game; the player or team with the lowest score wins.
Items you will need
- Baskets (at least 3)
- Masking tape (or gym mats)
- Flying discs (1 per child)
- You can use an ordinary wicker basket for each hole, but the taller the basket, the better. Tall laundry hampers work well, but are unnecessary to play the game.
- If you're in a hurry and don't have time for an in-depth lesson on gripping and throwing the disc, give a quick demonstration instead and let the kids learn the technique on their own as they play.
- You can set up obstacles, such as ball racks and hanging ropes, to make it more challenging to reach the basket.
- Disc Golf: All You Need to Know About the Game You Want to Play; Michael Steven Gregory
- The Disc Golf Book; Thomas Ivory Jr., et al.
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