Great Games to Play in High School PE


High school physical education is a difficult class to teach. It can be a seemingly torturous series of intimidating exercises and monotonous drills. But it can also be a fun and healthy way to spark your students' interest in a variety of sports and teach them skills they will use throughout their lives.

Ultimate Frisbee

  • Your students may already be familiar with Ultimate Frisbee, and if they aren't, they will be when they go to college because it is played often on colleges across the country. Ultimate Frisbee combines the passing skills of football and the nonstop motion of soccer. Like football, the goal is to catch a pass in the other team's end zone. And like soccer, possession of the ball (or the disc, in this case) changes rapidly. There are three basic rules: Players can advance the disc down the field only by passing; they must stop upon catching a pass; and they must throw the disc within 10 seconds of catching it. Possession changes when passes are dropped or intercepted, when the disc is thrown out of bounds, or when a player holds it for more than 10 seconds.

    Teaching Ultimate Frisbee at high school is easy because it requires only an open field and a flying disc.


  • Golf is a popular leisure activity with a practical application. It is very popular as a business social outing, so familiarizing your students with golf will give them opportunities to advance their careers (or at least feel comfortable and competent when golfing with business associates).

    You will more than likely have to go off-campus to teach golf effectively. Get the students to develop their long game at a driving range, and have them work on their short game at a miniature golf course, or with at-home putting equipment. Recommend a public golf course and offer extra credit to students who play a round there in their free time.


  • Softball is a fun and familiar sport that is easy to teach at the high school level because most schools have softball fields and equipment. The game requires strength and agility, and, like golf, it has a practical application as a social or business activity for later in life. Many businesses, pubs, restaurants and other organizations have teams, so getting your students into softball may lead them to valuable networking opportunities.


  • Badminton is a racquet sport with a fun twist: instead of a ball, as in tennis, there's a birdie--a cone-shaped object with a rubber head that flies off the racquet. Because most of your students will not have played badminton previously, they'll all be at a similar skill level and will enjoy learning the game together. Badminton is commonly played in doubles, so it also teaches and promotes teamwork.

    Badminton is ideal for high school PE because it is played co-ed, it involves plenty of exercise and it is easy to set up in a gymnasium. Even in a small gym, you should be able to run at least four games simultaneously (courts are 20 feet wide and 44 feet long), so most or all the students can play at once.


  • Bowling is a fun and physically nondemanding sport. It is a sport enjoyed by many.

    For teaching purposes, you'll need to rent out several lanes at a local bowling alley (a reservation is best, as many bowling alleys have daytime senior leagues, and you'll have a better shot at getting a special group rate.) Also, keep the students focused because you'll probably have no more than an hour per session, minus transportation time. This should be time enough for each student to bowl two games.


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