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No Man's Land

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Game that also demonstrates the futility of trench warfare


Quantity of small soft balls, Whistle, Chalk or Rope (to mark lines)


1. The section is split into two groups - 'attackers' and 'defenders'. They can be equal in number, but it can be more instructive if there are more attackers.

2.The groups are lined up facing each other a number of paces apart (10-20), and behind their lines.

3. On the whistle, the attackers can advance one pace towards the defenders. They then stop while the defenders throw one ball each at the attackers.

4. If an attacker is hit by a ball, he/she must lie down - they are out (dead or injured). The balls are then collected up (by leaders) and given back to the defenders.

5. The process is then repeated (attackers advance one pace, defenders throw the balls) until either the attackers get to the defenders' trench, or all the attackers have fallen.

It is usual for all attackers to fall before getting to the defender's trench, even if they outnumber the defenders. You can try varying the ratios and see how many attackers are needed.

You can follow the game up with a discussion about how this represents war - how the different groups felt? did it make sense?

Taken from Programmes Online with due credit to David Cain


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