NFE in sport


Duration: 45 minutes
Target Group: Over 13 years old – applicable to all sports
Group size: Minimum 10 people
Human resources: Two facilitators
Space requirements: Open space (court, large room or opendoors)
Materials required:

  • 2 balls
  • Duct tape (optional)
  • 2 whistles

 Session Objectives:
• To acknowledge the importance of team work and cooperation
• To appreciate sports officials and referees
• To acknowledge the opposition as a necessary component of democracy


Step 1 (10 minutes):
Explain the game:
• Create two big circles in the court using the duct tape. They should be big enough to offer some space to the participants to play with the ball (The size of the circles should be adjusted to the requirements of each sport. Alternatively, you can use the squares/lines already created on the court for the regular playing of the sport).
• Participants are equally divided in 2 groups – Team A and Team B, who are going to compete against each other.
• Choose one volunteer from each group and assign them the role of the referee. Give one whistle to each referee.
• The referees should switch places (the referee chosen from team A should judge Team B and the referee chosen from team B should judge Team A).
• The facilitators set the rules of the game: the ball should keep rolling inside the circle (ex. volley: the ball should be played only with full hands, basketball: you can pass the ball only after it hits the ground at least once, football: you can pass the ball only with the left leg etc.).
• The referees should ensure that the team members follow the general rules in order to score one point. Every time they fail, one point is out. The facilitators are keeping the score according to the referees’ decisions.
• The team that gets the higher score wins.

Step 2 (25 minutes):
Start the activity:
• Before the activity starts, the facilitators speak to the referees in private. They have a secret role! Every time the facilitators make a certain gesture (ex. touch their hair, cough etc.) the referees should find a way to ruin the game. They should also agree on the signal that means “go back to normal”. However, the players must not know this secret! For instance, they can:
– Whistle and stop the game for no reason.
– Leave the circle and not observe the game.
– Distract some players.
– Throw away the ball etc.

These suggestions are only indicatory – you can change them, add or eliminate some, as you wish.
• While the teams are playing, the referees in secret cooperation with the facilitators (one facilitator for each team), perform their role.

Debriefing: (10 minutes)
After the activity is over, the group should start the debriefing process:
• How did they feel about competing with the other team? Was it fun, entertaining and exciting?
• Would it be equally enjoyable if they didn’t have anyone to compete with?
• How did they feel about the performance of the referees? Did they notice anything weird or unusual?
• How did they feel about cooperating with their team members? Would it be possible to reach their goal as a team if they didn’t cooperate? Was their teamwork successful?
These questions are only indicatory – you can change them, add or eliminate some, as you wish.