Touch Football Game

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There are as many versions of this fall classic as there are families who love to play it.

What you'll need

  • Football
  • Four chairs
  • 1 bandana or dish towel for each player
Helpful Tip:

To overcome differences in skill levels, you can make general handicap rules based on age (this way, you will avoid singling out specific players). For instance, in sports, such as football, where a few players can dominate, you might rule that everyone has to touch the ball once before any player gets to touch it again. Alternatively, you can require that the fastest runners run backwards, or that no player may score twice in a row or score more than five touchdowns. If you decide to play with special rules, choose your modifications at the beginning of the game. Otherwise, players may call foul play or you risk embarrassing those for whom the special rules were designed.

How to play

  1. Set up a goal line on each end of the field, using the chairs as markers. Equally divide the players into two teams and give each player a bandanna to tuck into a back pocket or waistband (it must be visible and easy to grab). Flip a coin to determine which team will kick off first and agree upon a time limit for the game.

  2. After each team lines up across its goal line, one player begins the game by kicking the football as far down the field as possible. Someone on the receiving team must either catch or pick up the ball and then try to run it back to the opponent's goal line to score a touchdown. If an opposing player grabs the runner's bandanna, then the runner is "tackled" and must stop. After that, the receiving team has four tries, or downs, to get the ball to the goal line. (Before each down, you can huddle to discuss the next play -- who will pass off, who will run and so on.)

  3. Each play begins with teams lining up at the position where the last team member with the ball was tackled. If a team fails to score a touchdown (worth six points) in four tries, it must turn the ball over to the other team, which begins play at the position where it gained possession of the ball. A team also can gain possession when the other team fumbles or if it intercepts a pass.

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