Sharks and Minnows

Field size: 30 yards by 20 yards; small square or circle

Number of players: full team

Age range: 6-8

Description: This is a classic game where one player tries to be the super defender and knock everyone’s elses ball out of the square. Those who lose their balls then leave the square or become defenders – this depends upon the coach and what rules he or she wants to put in place.  Maybe do one round where players join the defender if they’re ball gets knocked out and then another where it’s just the solo sort of ‘super’ defender.  Stress the idea of a super defender, a player who battles and hustles and wins the ball. Players dribbling the ball should work on shielding, keeping their eyes on the ball and up, and dribbling with both feet. This game is often called wolves and sheep as well. 

This game is great for getting players used to protecting their ball from defenders and using their body to prevent another player from getting it.  One thing players can learn at a young age is to always get your body between the ball and the defender and don’t be afraid of a little bit of pushing or pressure from a defender.  Even at a young age, players can get used to playing in tight spaces and playing while under pressure.

Check out the video below to see a game of sharks and minnows in action.


Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.