For our Field Day event, the National Link Team got out of the office and onto a grassy field [conveniently located across the street] to show off our athletic skills [I’m using that phrase loosely]! We had a whole lot of well-deserved fun while we supported each other in all kinds of crazy “sporting” contests! We fell down, and missed a few balls thrown our way, but just couldn’t stop smiling and laughing because we were OUTSIDE, TOGETHER after a year of pandemic sheltering.
Our event was such a great success, we’d like to share some key event planning notes so maybe you too can plan a Field Day for your hardworking team.
Scroll down to the end of the article for the Equipment List. Make sure to appoint a Referee who will be the designated score keeper and will not participate in the events.
Our events [acceptable for all ages and skill levels] are based on teams of four people each:
- The Dizzy Kick – Place a soccer ball on the ground in front of the participant. The participant should stand in front of the ball, gaze skyward, and spin around at least ten times, stop, then immediately kick the soccer ball in front of them as far as they can. Winning is based on the farthest ball travel. Challenge level: 8. It’s surprisingly disorienting to try to regain stability after spinning!
- The Relay Race – An old familiar favorite! Our “course” ran in a straight line, at a distance of approx. 30 yards. Our “baton” was a frisbee. Challenge level: 5. The thick, springy grass we ran on literally “tripped up” a few of our players.
- Tug of War – Another familiar favorite and probably the best team building event of the day! I overhead a lot of coaching amongst the team members. In the pre-game huddles, everyone had their own winning strategy notes to share; get low, lean way, way back, dig your heels into the grass, offset the rope pullers [on different sides of the rope]. Challenge level: 1. Use a soft rope to avoid rope burn by those really intense rope-grippers.
The event was such a hit, after we announced the completion of the event, our employees looked a bit befuddled, hovered around and didn’t move towards the exits. They weren’t ready for the event to end! Success! A few bold participants shouted out suggestions for impromptu contests, and others joined in, building on those ideas and forming a quick consensus. One of those off-the-cuff ideas was a simple soccer ball kick [individual rather than team participation]. We had a few soccer-playing ringers in the group and they thoroughly enjoyed the spotlight while they demonstrated their soccer skills.
So, leave time for impromptu games suggested by the participants, because it is after all, their day, and this kind of collaboration is what the event is all about!
Frisbees in assorted bright colors [one for each team].
Thick, soft rope, at least 20’ in length. Red tape or a red ribbon to mark the center line.
Soccer balls [at least three or four so you can keep the event going while balls are being retrieved from the outfield.]
Orange Plastic Cones are handy to mark the start and finish areas, for consistent placement of the soccer balls for kicking events, and to mark the center line on the ground for tug of war.
Plenty of drinks on ice to keep participants hydrated, and a wide assortment of snacks; packaged crackers, chips and cookies, for stamina, and just to show your team how much you appreciate them!