Games of Low Organization

Brock University

The main purposes of low organizational games are to maximize game play and participation of all players, to create an environment that encourages fair play and emphasizes the importance of fitness, teamwork and fun while developing at least one game skill and body management skill. Low organizational games are characterized by many locomotor and stability skills which are very important because almost all games require these skills. Even everyday things like walking involve these specific skills. Low organizational games also involve the use of many body management concepts like effort, relationships, body awareness and space awareness. Low organizational games are developmentally appropriate for younger kids because they are at the bottom of the hierarchy of games and they can be used to set the stage for more complex games later on in development. These games provide minimal emphasis and little demand on the players in terms of roles, strategies, and rules. There is little resemblance to formal games but low organized games are still a good way to teach games through games because games of low organization are the foundation to more complex games. (Mandigo. Lecture & Lab, 2011)

Fitness is also a very important factor that should be addressed early on in a child’s education and fitness correlates directly with low organizational games because all of these games incorporate a fitness aspect that gets the kids moving around and active.

Life Skills

The main THEME involved with low organized games is life skills. There are 3 LIFE SKILL SETS that low organizational games contribute to:

1. Communication and interpersonal life skills
          examples: interpersonal communication, negotiation/refusal, empathy building, cooperation and teamwork, advocacy

2. Decision-making and critical thinking skills
          examples: gathering information, evaluating possible consequences, analyzing skills, individual and community critical thinking, information sources

3. Coping and self-management skills
          examples: increasing confidence, assuming control, taking responsibility, making a difference, bringing about change, managing feelings and stress

Teaching life skills helps create healthier communities. It has been shown to increase social adjustment, self-esteem, academic performance, and pro-social behavior. It has also shown to reduce violence, delinquent behavior, drug use, high risk of sexual activity, peer rejection and emotional disorders. (Mandgio. Lecture, 2011)

When teaching these life skills to students it is important for the coach to intentionally debrief these life skills during the activity – i.e.: during the game, point out the use of communication, teamwork, problem solving, cooperation, confidence, and creativity.

Principles of Developmental Games

When playing games with children it is very important to remember these key principles when developing a game:

1. Provide for maximum participation, giving everyone many high quality opportunities.

2. Provide a safe play area for everyone.

3. Focus on skills and strategies considered to be “good to learn”.

4. Meet the needs of participants with varying abilities.

5. Support a developmental principle.

6. Encourage efficient and effective movement.

7. Build upon and use skills, concepts, and strategies to help participants become better game players.

8. Enhance social and emotional status, including humane considerations of individuals and their differing abilities.