Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Alternative names: --
Objective: To practice speed control and being mindful of what’s going on around you; to practice awareness of track boundaries
Typical length of drill: 5-10 minutes (depends on how many times you want to play it)
Materials needed: A relatively large, rectangular space with boundaries clearly marked by cones or tape (this rectangle is the "aquarium"), and a minimum of 17 skaters (note that this game is much better with a large number of skaters)
Skill level required: None
Description: Jaws is a variation on a regular game of tag.  Your skaters are all fish who must escape the hungry shark.  Before the game can begin you need to make a "door" in each corner of your aquarium by setting up two cones with a narrow space between them.  When the fish enter and exit their homes they need to use the door, otherwise they will be considered out of bounds.  Designate one skater as the shark, and divide all the other skaters into four groups: Tuna, salmon, squid and shrimp.  Assign each of the groups to a home (a corner of the aquarium) – that’s where they should be at the start of the game.  The shark's home is in the very middle of the rectangle (you can optionally mark this with some tape); the shark starts the game here.

To begin play the coach yells out one of the fish groups, i.e. “Tuna!”  All the tuna should now exit their home and start skating around inside the aquarium (read: skating IN bounds), around the shark who is still standing in the middle, waiting.  After allowing the tuna to skate around for a little while the coach yells out “Shark attack!” at which point all the tuna should try to get back home as quickly as possible because the shark is now allowed to start tagging them.  Any tuna that gets tagged OR commits suicide by leaving the aquarium (read: skating OUT of bounds, purposely or by accident) before making it safely back home becomes an additional shark.  The new sharks will be allowed to tag other fish in the next round.

Once all the non-tagged tuna have made it back home safely the next round can begin.  This time the coach yells out a different fish group, i.e. "Squid!" and all the squid start skating around inside the aquarium, around the sharks who are waiting in the middle.  Again, upon yelling "Shark attack!" the fish all need to make it back home before getting tagged by any of the sharks or skating out of bounds.  The game continues until all of the fish have become sharks.  The coach can also yell out “Sushi platter!” at any time to get all the fish out of their corners at the same time.

An illustration of the Jaws -drill submitted by Awesome Sauce, a referee
for the San Diego Derby Dolls. In this illustration the aquarium is made up
of the track, rather than a traditional square, limiting the space for the fish.

Additional notes: Like Chain Gang, this is based on a children's game.  IMO this is a pretty tame game so I would recommend it for freshmeat who are just learning to control their speed, to get comfortable on their skates, and to move around each other; seasoned skaters may find it boring.

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