Do you feel a little envious when you watch the guys battle it out on the gridiron during Monday Night Football? You might not be able to take a snap in an NFL game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play. Find out how to hold a family-friendly football game in your backyard.
Choose the Teams and Rules
You need to divide the teams up evenly, so both have the same number of players. However, if you don’t have an even number of people, you can choose one person to play quarterback for both teams.
After choosing teams, you need to select the rules. You’re playing in your backyard, so you don’t have to follow the NFL’s rules. Have everyone give input and then choose the game rules. Once everyone agrees, you can move to the next step to get ready for the game.
Mark the End Zones
Next, you need to mark the end zones for the game. If you have trees, you can use them as markers. If not, set up some chairs or cones to mark the end zones. Remember, this isn’t regulation, so the endzones don’t have to be super far apart.
Make Sure it’s Kid Friendly
Before you start playing, make sure the game is kid-friendly. First, it’s a good idea to play touch instead of tackle football with the little ones. They can get hurt during tackle football, so that you might end up nursing wounds instead of scoring touchdowns.
Also, simplify the scoring for the little ones. You probably don’t have goalposts, so get rid of the point after a touchdown attempt. Instead, you can award seven points for each touchdown.
Finally, make it kid-friendly by keeping it short. Stick to around a half hour to ensure your little ones stay engaged while you’re playing. If you play longer, they might get bored and start sitting on the field. You’ve likely seen that a time or two at youth sporting events and would rather avoid it at home.
Lastly, you need to choose coaches. If you want your little ones to be engaged in the game, have them be the coaches. They can call plays throughout the game, so they’ll be involved every moment. Since there’s downtime between downs, this will help them maintain a high interest level during the game.
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Hand Out Awards
It’s not a competition without an award ceremony. Make some certificates or get trophies for the winning team. You can also get some extras and give awards in other categories, such as best sportsmanship or longest run. If possible, make sure that every kid receives a certificate or trophy. This can act as positive reinforcement, meaning they’ll be more likely to play again.
Now you’re ready for some football. Pick your teams, set the rules, and get ready to take on the family.