MODULE 1: Health & Safety
The basics for running a safe Rabble session.
Check Equipment and Location (Play)
Make sure all of the equipment is in good shape and wont cause any harm to players during the games. As well as ensure that the pitch is well prepared and clear of any debris.Warm Up (Play)
To prevent injuries in players, a proper warm up is required.Aggressive Play (Play)
We need to make sure players aren't playing too fiercely, and injuring other players or themselves.
MODULE 2: Game Rules
The games are the structure behind the fun in the Rabble games. It's critical that you understand and are able to explain the rules precisely and clearly. Otherwise your games will move slowly and there will be confusion amongst players.
Understanding the Rules (Play)
Understanding the rules doesn't mean that you can explain the rules to others clearly. Players can feel uncomfortable or uneasy if they don't understand the rules. So you need to understand them yourselves.
We recommend you practice explaining the games before running the session.Have you explained well? (Play)
A good explanation is concise and precise, and delivered logically.
A waffling or slow explanation shows a lack of clarity from the instructor.Rabble rule explanation structure - KEY POINT. (Play)
Use the Rabble explanation structure in every game that you explain.
- Aim of the Game
- How you win
- How you defend
- When the game ends
If you follow this structure in every game you explain you should keep your explanations concise and clear.Position (Play)
Position is important, a good position can save time and effort.
- you can be see and heard by all players
- position players so they can see the pitch from their perspective
- whilst scoring stand near controversial areas (scoring areas, balls)
With new or nervous players, they might need a little more time and a bit more explanation to begin playing.
Likewise, a core group of regular players might pick up on familiar rules faster and need less explanation.Game Structure (Play)
Never have more than 3 primary rules in a game.
We've designed the games in a specific way to ensure a balance of fun, fairness, and fitness, so it's best to stick to the format. We have a set of standard rabble rules that are the same in every game that helps players pick up those rules quickly.
MODULE 3: Fitness
Making sure players get a good workout is key to running a successful session. Rabble has designed the format of games to ensure the intensity is kept high whilst masking the effort as much as possible.
Are Players Getting a Workout? (Play)
One of the best ways to ensure players are getting a workout is that they're out of breath and need some time to recover between games.Managing deadtime (Play)
Deadtime is any point during a session where players aren't doing anything. This can occur at multiple points (such when you're explaining games, at reset points, water breaks, counting the score or whilst you're setting up new games).
They key to an effective workout is to minimise this deadtime as much as possible.Reducing Deadtime (Play)
- • Make sure your session is planned in advance
- • Concise game explanations - move from game to game as quickly as possible
- • Don't end a game until you're sure you can start the next game
- • Layout pitches in advance
Don't stop or hold up a game for latecomers, make sure the current players are playing whilst you intro the late player to keep everyone else playing.Reduce Deadtime With Scoring (Play)
Some of our games allow you to keep score during the game itself (e.g. players score by high fiving you), which allows you to minimise downtime.
If you're running a game where the score is calculated at the end (e.g. by counting cones collected), then get players to run and grab these and bring them to you to keep the intensity high.
Swap teams/sides as soon as possible.Long Explanations (Play)
If your explanation goes on longer than you hoped, play that game for a little longer, and perhaps add in an extra rule change to keep it going. This helps keep the deadtime proportional to the game.Fitness Aims (Play)
There's a number of different ways in Rabble to deliver different fitness outcomes.
• Endurance - endurance sessions can be good for building up stamina, but can sometimes demotivate players who can't score.
• Speed - can make the pitches smaller, but make sure that you run shorter games a few times with some minor rule tweaks to minimise deadtime.
• Speed/Endurance - most Rabble games deliver a mixture of the two, but to encourage this further, swap teams from attack to defence immediately to drive endurance.
• Strength - introduce squats, jumps, pushups etc at reset points to keep players working out when there'd otherwise be deadtime.
Agility & Co-ordination - players will improve these skills throughout the ball games
Reaction time - some of the warm up games are designed to improve reaction time, you can also incorporate reactions at game starts
A good way to check if players are enjoying themselves is to see whether they're moving in the way you'd expect them.
If they're not just tired, it might be they're not clear on the rules, or they might not be feeling successful (e.g. not scoring points or feeling like they're not contributing to the team).
This is why it's crucial to explain the rules clearly, as well as laying out the pitches and structuring the games to make sure everyone has a chance of scoring and contributing.
Making the scoring areas larger or introducing a rule that is inclusive (such as needing a team to pass to each player before scoring) should help players to be successful.
Players might also think that the teams and scoring are unfair - so make sure you keep things balanced, and are consistent in your scoring decisions.
If players feel like it's too easy, they might also give up - so if you do have players that are finding it easy, it might be worth introducing more fitness elements (such as extra strength training at reset/tagging points) to keep their intensity high.Progression (Play)
Players want to feel like they're progressing fitness-wise when coming to Rabble, so make sure that each player is getting a workout, and if some are finding it too easy, trying tweaking the rules to make them work that little bit harder to push themselves.
MODULE 4: Game Mechanics
There are several different elements that go into a Rabble game that will be under your control. The way in which you manage these will impact how the game runs. Learn how to effectively use these during a session to ensure all players get a workout and have fun!
Score is the motivation for people to play. If you don't keep score, players will lose interest - so make sure you know how points are scored, and how you're going to keep track of it during the game.How You're Going To Score (Play)
Managing the score:
- Plan how you're going to keep score
- Make sure everyone can contribute to scoring, if not adapt
- Score consistently and fairly
- Don't engage in disputes on score
- Incentivise people correctly using Rabble suggesting scoring
How to utilise the pitch layouts to emphasise the game rules, and ensure the players are successful.
• Make sure it's possible for everyone to score
• Plan out your pitch before each session
• Make sure your defenders are moving, rather than statically guarding
• Make sure the pitch isn't too crowded - use tagging points to rotate people on/off the pitch
• Use the natural features of the park - hills, trees, bushes
• Make sure all of the features on the pitch are clear the features of
See examples of some scoring lines, and learn how best to size different pitch elements.Selecting Teams (Play)
Learn how to balance teams to ensure a mix of abilities, personality traits, and new to returning players.
If you move players from one team to another, ensure you do it sensitively and discreetly, ideally whilst a game is going on, so as not to draw attention to it.Game Timing (Play)
Time has a massive influence on the game, and can be used as a motivation tool, as well as for keeping structure to the session.
Most games will last about 3 minutes per round, to ensure a mixture of high intensity, and to minimise explanation and dead time.Adaptations and Set Up (Play)
You may need to adapt your game plan based on a number of factors:
- Ability level
- Pitch space
- Indoor / Outdoor
Your adaptations should be thought about in advance but may need to change during the game based on what you see.
MODULE 5: Communications
Effective communications during a session are key to make sure players get a proper workout, stay motivated and have fun.
Why Communication Is Important (Play)
You set the tone in the Rabble sessions so communications to players should be energetic, positive, inclusive and fun - this is crucial for player enjoyment and retention.How Do We Deliver Comms (Play)
It's important that we make sure players feel comfortable and welcome, but also keeping them motivated and at a high intensity.
- Positive, lighthearted and fun. People come to have a great time
- Personal, friendly & inclusive - Rabble should feel like a family, make people feel welcome
- High energy 7 intensity, inspire people to work hard
- Be concise & clear. Plan what you're going to say and don't waffle.
- Be Authoritative. Make decisions quickly and move on but remember players aren't at school
- Tell stories.
Also, ensure you're building communities - make communications personal and make it fun!Motivate (Play)
The instructor is pivotal in getting players to enjoy themselves in Rabble games.
You should be:
- Creating the positive atmosphere in the session
- Keeping an eye on new players, check they are moving & enjoying session
- Intro new people to existing players
- Give LOTS of personal specific praise. Its the best way to motivate people.
- Use score to motivate. This is the key incentive for players to work.
- Use time to motivate. Update players regularly on how much time is left to create urgency.
- Do not allow any players to put down any other players.
Welcome all players before the game starts, and chat to any new players to make them feel comfortable before starting.
Learn a little bit about your players, let them know about what Rabble is, and highlight health and safety points.In Game Communications (Play)
During the game, keep talking throughout, offering praise, updating on score and time, creating the energy and urgency in the session.Post Game Communications (Play)
After the game, again, offer praise to all players and ensure all players high five each other to keep a friendly atmosphere.
During the warm-down stretch let players know about upcoming games and socials, and invite them for a drink after the session to help build that community.
A real world demo of Stagstalker in action!