Adaption of a game originating from a query about games that could be used with audiences in theatres, etc.
This might be useful as a way to loose a bit of early pent up energy excitement.
Four court rally or “Nuke ‘em” (I didn’t invent the name, hence the creation of the other title) is a popular game so this variation is likely to adapt itself well. So if everybody has to remain seated and/or in their place, why not take advantage of this.
In four court rally a relatively hard ball is used (cheap plastic footballs are great). But for this seated version a nice soft foam ball is probably better (a balloon might work for a smaller audience – but you’ll probably need several in case of ‘pops’).
Divide your seated audience into four teams. Typically this would be half horizontally and half vertically. Either place a rope down between the seated children to mark the sections or ask them to shuffle a little in one direction to create the demarcation. Give each team a number of lives (5 is general, but shorten this if you want a quick game). The object is for each team to try and keep the ball out their area, because if the ball is in their area after a set time (eg 20-30 seconds) the team looses a life. It doesn’t matter if a team is not holding the ball, it only has to be in their quadrant for them to loose a life. In four court rally, there are other rules such as no kicking the ball, but as players are all seated this should not be a problem. Alternatively you could allow players to stand up.
The referee does the counting and can either use a proper timer or just silently in their head. Counting down silently helps, as a way of play if you know the timer is about to stop is to hold onto the ball or pass it to other team members waiting for the very last moment to throw it into another teams quadrant where they have no chance of returning it before the clock stops.