Ultimate Battleship

Game prep and Set up:
Lots of cardboard boxes, several basketballs, tennis balls etc) duct tape, and a razor knife (for the adult ONLY) OR even better is if you have the 24″x 24″ puzzle mats instead of the card board. 3 LARGE paper bags – must be paper not plastic.

Cut all the boxes into approx 2’x 2′ squares, (or just use the puzzle mats) smaller is ok too, OR you can make all different sizes.

Scatter them all around the “Theater of Operations” i.e. the church lawn/parking lot etc. You need a lot of pieces (Approx 40 pieces for 10 to 12 kids, more for larger groups) along with a few rolls of the tape.

Tell the Kids “You need to build a Navy Ship; you can build an Aircraft Carrier, a battle ship, or a Submarine.”

Aircraft Carrier – Crew of 5 (3 crew and 2 aircraft)
Battle Ship – Crew of 4
Submarine – Crew of 3

Explain that their “ship” can have no bottom and no back. They have to be able to move it across the “ocean” during battle.

Once all Ships are built and manned with their crews. Explain the rules as follows.

Aircraft Carriers – (5 kids) 3 remain on the ship as crew – 2 can “fly” off the ship and bomb other ships by dropping (NOT THROWING) a ball on an “enemy” ship. (Airplanes must hold out their arms like wings and make flying sounds while they are off the Ship.) Can only launch/land planes when stationary. Can move after planes are launched. Planes can run.

Battle Ship – Designate a person to be the “main gun”, put a blind fold on that person. He/She is given firing orders from the remaining crew. I.e. what direction to throw in and how hard to throw, but cannot be touched by another crew member. This ship is the only ship in which the kids are allowed to run with. All others must walk at all times. Can only fire when stationary.
Can have an un-blindfolded crew member serve as “anti aircraft gunner” – this person can throw at air planes ONLY.
Must YELL – Full Speed A-Head” Before Moving.

Submarine – 3 kids must walk on their knees and can only roll the ball at another ship BUT can throw at airplanes. Place a LARGE PAPER BAG (NOT PLASTIC) on the heads of 2 of the kids so their visibility is limited. The 3rd is the captain and has no bag on his head. All 3 must stay in a line with one hand on the shoulder of the other. They must stop and stand up BEFORE they roll or throw their ball. ONLY when they are standing can they be attacked by other ships / Planes. Must say – “PING”
As they are moving and looking for other ships to attack, they will be crawling around saying “ Ping……..Ping……..Ping” like the sound of a sonar. May NOT move while standing.

Game Play – All three types of ships move about the “Theater of Operations” bombing, shooting and torpedoing one another. As a ship is hit, it loses one crew member. If a plain is hit, it is “down” and must sit out the remainder of the game. A crew member may run out of a ship to get a ball but cannot throw it unless he/she is in the ship and following the rules for that ship.

I know it sounds like a lot and it is but after a run through or two, you will have a blast. We have morphed this into all kinds of similar games like Castle defense and an every man for himself version. Have fun with this one.