Home Age - Adult Noughts and Crosses Rally
(Also known as: Tic Tac Toe Rally)


Something to marking out on the floor (or an outdoor surface) a large 3×3 open grid (using two vertical and two horizontal lines). Size of the grid squares need to be large enough to comfortably allow the objects you are using for the counters (noughts and crosses) to fit within them.

Suggestions of materials that can be used to mark the playing area out include rope, masking tape, chalk, long garden canes, etc are all worth considering depending on the playing surface. Ie. a grid that will not move or change shape during play if touched, nudged, accidentally kicked, etc.

You will need 6 or 7 counters of each symbol. Eg paper plates with either a nought or a cross on it, or two sets of different coloured balls (tennis ball size or bigger), two different coloured rubber ducks, coloured bean bags, etc.

It’s also possible to consider playing this using a swimming pool. Perhaps using something like 8 pool noodles or equivalent that will float and bound together in a 3 x 3 grid (8 noodles as you will need to have the outside edges of the grid blocked to stop anything in those squares from floating away!).

Whatever you use for your noughts and crosses counters would also have to float.



Break into two teams. Each team gets 6 or 7 of their counters. One team with noughts the other crosses (or equivalent eg different coloured balls, different coloured rubber ducks, etc).

Play as normal game of noughts and crosses, but as a team relay race. The first team member from each team runs to the grid, placing their marker in the square they think best and running back to tag the next player who promptly runs to the grid and places theirs. The first team to create a line wins. If no winner that round, remove all the counters and repeat.

You can also play this using just 3 counters per team. If all three counters have been placed on the grid and no team has won by creating a line of their counters, then the next team player can run to the grid and reposition one of their team’s counters. Counters keep being repositioned one at a time by players until there is a winning team or they run out of a predetermined set amount of time (eg 5 minutes).

Water-based (Swimming pool version)

Caution icon Any water-based version (of any game) needs your planning to take the situation and safety (eg can everybody swim or be safe in the water. How slippy is the poolside when wet? etc) much more into consideration.

As the grid is floating in the water it is not likely players will be able to place their counters into the grid squares and running to the poolside is usually not recommended. So the suggestion is to have team members line up and stand at or near the pool edge and rather than place the counters, throw their counters and try to get them into the square they want. Players take turn within their team to throw and try to create a line (or block a line) as in a normal noughts and crosses game.

An inherent problem here is that there is always the possibility a thrown counter always ends up in the same square as one already occupied by a counter or completely misses, so somebody would need to be in the pool (or have a long net) to remove the misthrown counter.

An alternative is that players have to get into the water and go to the grid to place their counter.

If you have good swimmers able to dive, what about placing a noughts and crosses grid at the bottom of the pool and players take turns diving to place their markers in the squares?

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