Miscellaneous Physical Play Extremo
- Elimination Game, Physical Play and Play with Equipment/Props
Extremo is a game involving teams and balancing on ring shaped features on the playgound. The aim of the game is to push everyone off the rings except the people on your own team, and without touching the ground yourself.
At School 05
The boys only began to play this game recently, and they have spent some time refining the rules. The boy who was named as the person who made up the game says that it was around last year, and he just started it up again.
There are three team leaders and each leader chooses the people to be in his team, or sometimes there is a vote on it.
Each team chooses one ring and begins by standing around balancing on top of their ring. When the game starts, the players move around and jump across the gap from ring to ring, using three metal drain covers as 'safe' places.
The aim of the game is to push everyone off the rings except the people on your own team, and without touching the ground yourself. Anyone who touches the ground is out (although when I was watching some people waited for a while then hopped back onto a ring and continued to play). Some people grab one of the veranda poles to get their balance if they're pushed.
- You're not allowed to touch the 'rubber floor' (ground).
- You can push someone from the front or from behind (I saw one boy pushed from behind, and he wasn't happy about it).
- You can 'betray' your team if you want to, by pushing a member of your own team off the rings, but this is not a good idea unless there are only a couple of people left in your team.
- A new game can be started by a team leader shouting: '4, 3, 2, 1 - New game!' and then everyone goes back to their team's ring and starts again.
- The last round is 'extreme rules' ('extremo'), where there are no teams. Someone shouts "Extremo!" and everyone can run around on the 'doughnuts' and randomly push anyone off.
COMMENTS BY PLAYERS:
- This is a boys' game. I was told that one girl has played it, but only once.
- Played mainly by boys in Years 4-6 (mostly Years 5 and 6). "Sometimes little kids like to come and play here, so we go a little bit easy when there are little kids around - they mainly use the yellow ring." (There are two blue oval shapes and one circular yellow ring.)
- "The game is probably better the taller you are and the wider you are".
This is a very active, noisy, rough game with lots of yelling - the boys are moving around on the top of the rings, balancing, jostling and pushing each other off, and sometimes someone slips and falls down, but there is a remarkable level of tolerance and acceptance shown by the teachers who are on yard duty. They only get involved if the game looks (and sounds) like it's getting out of control, or if someone loses his temper at being pushed too hard and tries to retaliate (doesn't happen very often).
While I was observing, no adult intervened in the game and no-one was told off for playing too roughly, although there were teachers in the immediate area keeping an eye on things.
One of the male teachers drew my attention to the activity on the rings as an interesting game that the boys have only been playing for a short while. He said they have been gradually refining it each time they play.
The boys really like playing this game, and while I was observing they didn't let the game get out of control - every now and again someone would shout, '4, 3, 2, 1 - new game!' and everyone would run back to their own ring to start all over again.
They played this game every day, during lunch play and afternoon recess, for the whole week. It would be interesting to see if the game continues after the school holidays (this is the last week of term).
The game was around last year and was revived this year by one boy in Year 6 (everybody said this boy had made up the game).
At first it was hard to understand exactly what was happening because of the large number of boys playing in the area and the seemingly unrelated activity on each of the rings. There seemed to be no structure or pattern to the activity, just boys walking around on top of the rings, jumping onto drain covers and sometimes pushing each other off with a lot of yelling. It was only after talking with some of the boys that the game became clear.