In the world of Google, Invasion Games are defined as team games in which the purpose is to enter the opponent’s territory while scoring points and keeping the opposing teams points to a minimum, and all within a certain time period. Invasion games are the most strategic types of games with many transferable skills (Johnson 2009).
Invasion games could include activities where the ball is being carried or thrown or moved in any variation you can think of, your able to use any type of equipment, and your trying to score or hit some type of target. So think about that for a minute…keep thinking…. Now put yourself back in your 5 year-old self.
What did you play? I guaranty you have played an invasion game as you grew up but had an amazing name for it. Maybe it was “Kick the Can” or “Ninja Warrior Take Down” or “Capture the Flag” or “Cars in the Ditch” (That one sounds way worse than it really is. Someday I might explain it.)
What do all these games have in common?
You were moving in space, you were invading your opponent’s territory, you had a target, and you had opportunities to score.
That’s all it is. You’ve played invasion games all your life and didn’t even realize it. The term “invasion” is just a fancy word adults use and look for in titles when purchasing books.
Little did we know these games would rule our lives in the PE world. In my opinion, and take it as you will, I love this. I love making up rules. Who doesn’t? You know you enjoyed this as a kid. Why? Because you wanted to feel successful! Whether that was passing to someone, tagging someone, catching a person, moving to a open space so you could catch something or not get tagged, and/or scoring, And this is why we play invasion games in PE.
Invasion games allow all students to succeed in their own unique way.
They learn basic skills and strategies that transfer from one activity to the next. It may be moving to open space, communicating to a teammate, throwing, kicking, dribbling, dodging, cutting, and so on.
Students are also using their critical thinking skill. You are taking away familiarity from students who may be great at one sport. You are taking them out of their comfort zone and into a new area of growth and excitement. They are learning with a deeper understanding.
There are a ton of invasion games and I’m not going to try to start explaining them all in this post but if you have one that you want to share feel free below. US games have some wonderful ideas to get you started (go to www.openphsed.org/register). As well as PEcentral.
Feel free to email me if you want and I can help you out but don’t over think them. Remember, you have been creating “invasion” games all your life. Just think of your 5 year-old self, make a game, and pull out the skills you want the students to understand.
And as always…