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Name of Activity:

Shark Dribble Protector

Purpose of Activity:

To practice the strategies of putting one's back or side between the ball and the defense, as well as switching the ball to the hand away from the defense.


Students should already be able to dribble with correct form (i.e., finger pads, firm wrist, eyes "looking up" while dribbling at a medium level) prior to playing this activity. Students also should have been introduced to and have had some practice using the strategies named.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

One hula hoop for half of the number of students in class; one basketball for each student in remaining half of class; tape or cones to mark playing area (if needed).

Description of Idea

Spread hula hoops out in good personal space in playing area. One student should stand in each hoop "sharks". The other half of the class ("swimmers") begin at the shorter end of the playing area (basketball court). On the "go" signal "swimmers" (dribblers) attempt to cross the ocean as many times back and forth as they can by dribbling around each "shark" without losing control of their ball (stress that each swimmer should visit each shark).

Students should move their back or opposite side to the shark and change the hand they dribble with in order to keep the ball farthest away from the shark (and hence, not lose control of the ball). It is the shark's job to keep both feet inside the hoop and attempt to steal the swimmer's ball by reaching with one's arms. If a swimmer loses control of their ball (for any reason) they dribble in place 15 times before they can continue swimming across the ocean.

To increase difficulty for the swimmers, allow sharks to have only one foot in the hoop at a time which allows them to reach further. Have students switch positions for each new game approximately every minute, so that all students have an equal amount of time as sharks and swimmers.


Modify the ball used for more success.

Make the playing area larger or smaller, depending upon the challenge level wanted.

Students could bounce and catch with two hands instead of dribbling with one hand.

If you notice that some sharks are not being visited, have these sharks stand in hoops in the middle of the area so they are in a higher traffic area.

Assessment Ideas:

As swimmers cross the ocean, observe each of them to see whether they "always", "usually", or "rarely" use good offensive strategies to keep the ball away from the shark (i.e., do they turn their back or side to the shark and/or successfully switch the ball to the hand away from the shark?)

Submitted by Amy Mangels who teaches at Lowes Island Elementary School in Sterling, VA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 5/12/2016.
Viewed 97861 times since 8/24/2001.

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Shark Dribble Protector

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