The awesome thing about casual games is that if everyone agrees, the rules can be tweaked. After all, games not played for serious trophies should above all, be fun to play! Take soccer for example. It’s a rigorous game, but not if you tweak the rules to allow walking.
That way, everyone isn’t immediately exhausted for example; especially if you expect participants with mobility issues or fragile seniors.
So here are 4 tips for pulling off a fun walking soccer game.
Inclusivity Is Key
You want to make sure everyone can enjoy walking soccer, regardless of their age or physical abilities, and by making sure to accommodate different fitness levels, you avoid hurt feelings and discontent.
You don’t want anyone to miss out on the fun, so having flexible rules lets people with varying mobility levels actively contribute.
Instead of insisting on a fast pace, encourage brisk walking and implement a “no-running” rule. This way, individuals with different walking speeds can comfortably join in!
Adjust Pitch Size for Manageability
You don’t want the game to be overwhelming, especially for older adults or those with limited mobility. Playing on a standard soccer field might be too much for some participants and so you want to create a more intimate setting by adjusting the pitch size; a practical solution.
Plus, this makes it a lot easier for you to regulate the game.
You don’t need an elaborate setup either. Simply use cones or markers to outline a smaller playing area to not only make the game more manageable but also increase the frequency of interactions among players.
Engineer Social Interaction
The appeal of walking soccer isn’t just about the game; it’s also about connecting with others. You want to enhance the overall experience by emphasizing social interaction, turning the activity into a social event that promotes community and camaraderie.
After all, people are likely to attend not only for physical activity but also to meet new people. By consistently talking about and highlighting social interaction, you make the game a more holistic experience.
Try designating breaks or after-game gatherings for players to chat. This could be as simple as having a designated area for refreshments, promoting conversations beyond the field.
Prioritize Safety First
You don’t want injuries to spoil the experience, so prioritizing safety is crucial. Injuries will deter participants and negatively impact the experience and prioritizing safety is how you can create an environment where everyone can enjoy the game confidently.
Imagine trying to have fun if even just one person is injured.
Before each session, remind everyone to wear suitable footwear with good traction and proper clothing with the right fabric. In fact, it’s a good idea to conduct a brief warm-up to reduce the risk of strains or injuries, reinforcing the importance of safety in the game.
Then, designate a knowledgeable person, perhaps a volunteer or a shy member of the team, to be responsible for a basic -but well-stocked- first aid kit during the game at the playing site, and educate participants on its location. This extra precaution adds another layer of safety, signaling to everyone that their well-being is a top priority so they can relax.
Walking soccer is an awesome game to play with others. Just follow these rules so that nothing interrupts the fun!