Spirit games are a key ingredient in the recipe for play that is both Spirited and competitive. They can bridge the gap between star-crossed lovers players, and give you an opportunity to celebrate your ultimate friendships by clowning around with your favorite people. This is our list of the ultimate spirit games for your next tournament, practice or party.
One player starts by saying "wah" and holding both hands pressed together above her head. She sends the "wah" to someone else in the circle by saying "wah" again and pointing with both hands at another circle-member. The recipient throws up his hands like the original wah-holder and says "wah" to catch it. The two people on the other side of the wah-receiver put their hands together toward the wah receiver and say "wah" a beat after he receives it. The wah-receiver then sends it to someone else in the circle with a "wah" and a point with both hands together. When someone screws up, they're out! Play till two left. Then you can have two winners or play a tiebreaker!
2. Bunny Bunny / Pika Pika
Wah with a twist! The rhythm starts with everyone saying "dahnguen dahnguen" (pronounced don-gen) together to get the rhythm. One person starts with the bunny by saying "bunny bunny" and passes it to someone else in the circle by again saying "bunny bunny" toward that person. That person receives it with a "bunny bunny" and passes it to someone else with another "bunny bunny". As that's happening, the people on either side of the bunny are saying "toki toki" (pronounced tookie). The cycle continues until someone messes up and is out. See below for a demonstration and to figure out the arm motions that we've deemed too difficult to explain in text.
Another variation is to say "pika pika" instead of "bunny bunny" and "tonga tonga" instead of "toki toki".
3. Who's Sexy?
One person starts by pointing to someone in the circle and saying "You're sexy!" The two people on either side of the sexy person have to slap that person's butt as fast as they can. The spankee must judge which of the two spankers was second to slap, and that person is out. The winning slapper gets to choose the next sexy, sexy person. It comes to a head when the game whittles down to just three people. The person who loses in the three-person round must select someone anywhere on the entire field for the two remaining contenders to chase down and slap to determine the victor! Bonus points if the "chosen one" is on the other side of the field and the finalists have to footrace to get him or her first.
4. Look Down, Look Up
Everyone huddles close in this circle with arms around one another. One chosen facilitator says "look down" and everyone looks at the ground; the facilitator says "look up!" and everyone looks up at a specific person. If that person is looking back, both eye-lockers are out. Keep playing until there are two people left!
5. Kissing Game
Everyone is given a number, including the one lucky person in the middle of the circle. That person calls out two numbers. The first number called is trying to kiss the cheek (face or butt) of the person in the middle, while the second number called out is trying to kiss the cheek of the first number. Whoever does it first wins and the loser is in the middle next. Play till your lips and cheeks are satisfied!
6. Zip Bong
Players keep their teeth covered with their lips the whole time! One player starts by saying "zip" to the person to her right. To continue in the same direction, that person says "zip" to the next person to the right. To change the direction, she says "bongggg!" and it passes back to the last zipper. Anyone who messes up or shows her teeth is out!
7. Lap Tag
Partner up! Everyone sits in a circle with one partner on the inside facing the partner on the outer bounds of the circle. The partner on the outside facing into the circle is trying to reach the middle of the circle. The partner who starts on the inside, faced away from the middle of the circle, is trying to prevent that from happening. The facilitator, standing in the middle of the circle, will point to a few of the partners, who will race to touch the facilitator. The first one to do it wins!
8. Ali Baba
It's a dancing game! Everyone chants "Ali Baba and the forty thieves". The person who starts better have lots of original dance moves at the ready! She will create all the dance moves for the game. Each dance move lasts for one "Ali Baba and the forty thieves". The person to the left copies the first person's moves on the next verse, but simultaneously that person is making up new dance moves. The dance moves along the circle with each verse, each person copying the dance of the person to her left.
Stand arm's length apart with one facilitator in the middle that starts by pointing to one person and saying "splat!". That person ducks and the two on either side draw finger pistols and "bang!" each other. If the person is too slow to get down, that person's out and takes a seat. Otherwise, whoever gets the "bang!" off first stays alive (along with the person who ducked). Bullets don't travel in a circle, so if there are a lot of people in between who are out, aim your finger pistol directly at the person you're dueling with, not in the direction of the person ducking.
10. Big Booty
It's a rhythm game, kept by alternating thigh slaps and claps. Everyone is assigned a number based on where she's standing in the circle. One person is "Big Booty" and the person next to her is #1, then #2, etc. To start, everyone says together "Big booty, Big Booty, Big Booty, awww yeahhh Big Booty!" Then Big Booty starts by first saying their title then passing it to someone else in the circle, so something like "Big Booty, Number 2". In rhythm, #2 would say their title, then pass it to someone else, so maybe "Number 2, Number 5". Play continues until someone messes up the rhythm. Two variations here: 1) the person who screws up goes to the end of the line, and anyone who was behind her shifts to a lower number or 2) that person is out and that number is no longer usable. If it was #5 who messed up and is now out and that number gets called later on, whoever used that number is now out too.
Start with a ninja/karate pose. Players take turns clockwise from their original position. On her turn, a player can make one motion, aiming to hit someone else's hand, and that player can make one motion to move out of the way. If a player's hand is slapped, she's out! Remember the starting order and keep that throughout the game, even if it means stretching across some fallen ninjas. Last ninja standing wins!
12. Street Fighter
One player starts by yelling "Hadouken" and sending an invisible orb of energy to the person to her right with her palms open in that direction. That person has a few choices: 1) she can continue in the same direction by yelling "Hadouken" and sending the orb to the next person, 2) she can change direction by stretching an arm over her head pointing back at the person who sent her the orb and yelling "Tiger Uppercut", 3) she can put her palms together over her head and put one foot on the other knee and yell "Yoga Flame" to have the orb skip the next person in line, OR 4) she can yell "Sonic Boom!", with arms out straight, wrists crossed pointing to someone across the circle (must make eye contact)! Upon being sent a Sonic Boom, a player can deflect by holding the forearms up in a shielded position and making the sound of a sword hitting a shield, which sends the orb back to the person who sent the Sonic Boom, or she can continue the game with one of the afore mentioned 4 moves. If someone messes up or stalls, she sits down and is out. Play continues around her.
13. No Look
Props needed: eggs, yogurt pods, or tomatoes.
The game starts with everyone standing shoulder to shoulder looking down at the ground. Your chosen prop is held by the person who suggested the game, and it is thrown up into the air above the circle of players. After the object lands on the ground or another person, it's the next person's turn to throw (clockwise or counter-clockwise, doesn't matter). There are some rules to follow though:
Rule 1 - No looking. If any of the players 'look' up at the falling food they must be punished.
Rule 2 - No defense. If a player tries to defend themselves from getting splattered, they must be punished.
Rule 3 - No cleaning. Players cannot wipe away the smashed object from their person. If they do, they must be punished.
Rule 4 - Good throws only. If the thrower's throw is deemed to be unacceptable by the circle (i.e. not high enough, thrown too far from the circle, etc.) they must be punished.
Punishment involves an egg, yogurt pod, or tomato being smashed on your head. The game is over when you run out of food and is best played at beach tournaments where you can jump into the water at the end.
Eco-tip: If you'd rather not waste good food, substitute the food with something else (mud, sea weed, or rotten food).
Choose a facilitator and three poses (requiring some combination of 2, 3, or 4 people for each pose). Walk aimlessly around with the other team chanting "mingle, mingle, mingle" until the facilitator calls out a pose. Quickly find other people to do the pose with you. If you have no group or you're the last group to form, the facilitator will call you out! The last two either win, or can play a tiebreaker!
15. Slackjaw Contest
With music blaring, dance your craziest dance moves with a completely straight face. If you smile, you're out! Personal space does not exist in this game.
16. Shorts sliding
Everyone pulls down their shorts down to their ankles and on go, must get them back on, over the booty, without using their hands. Twerks, stanky legs, stretches, and handstands are popular strategies. First to do it wins!
A variation is to do it in teams and the first complete team to finish wins.
17. Zombie Tag
Everyone's in an endzone and person starts as the only zombie. The zombie tries to tag someone, either by throwing the disc or touching someone with the disc. Once the zombie tags someone, that person turns into a zombie as well and helps tag non-zombies until there's no one left. Zombie's can't run with the disc; they have to pass the disc among the zombies.
18. Mini Tanks
Everyone becomes a small military vehicle on elbows and knees, starting from multiple different places or at least the two sidelines. Chanting "mini tanks", everyone charges forward. The goal is to get to the other side by any means necessary. Crawl over, under, or crash into other tanks. Players win if they get to the other side without going belly up!
19. Entourage / Biggest Fan
Everyone finds a partner and plays Rock, Paper, Scissors (otherwise known as ro-sham-bo) with them. The loser of the match-up follows around the winner cheering and rooting for her, becoming her entourage. The winner finds another winner to play with a cheering fan base. When there are only two left, everyone's involved cheering for their candidate.
20. Egg > Chicken > Monster > Rockstar
Similar to Entourage, players match-up for multiple ro-sham-bo battles, but with levels in action. Everyone starts as an egg, curled up and rolling around on the ground. The winning egg gets to squat and make chicken sounds, looking for other chickens to battle. The winning chicken in that match-up becomes a monster, using whatever monster-interpretation she chooses, while the losing chicken devolves into an egg. The winner in a monster-vs-monster match-up becomes a rockstar as she cheers for all others playing, but the loser goes back to being a chicken. Players can only play others at their level! Play until everyone is a rockstar or until you get bored and want to go play more ultimate!
21. Rock rock rock
Another Rock, Paper, Scissors variation! According to redditor /u/Cheesy_Arachnid, "it's exactly what it sounds like, and no one wins or loses, since your only option is rock". Boom!
As a group, count up to 21. Nobody can say anything but a number and no number can be said by more than one person. If more than one person says any number, the count starts over. You'll win together or waste a lot of time together, guaranteed!
23. Cookie Face Race
Props needed: cookies!
Each participant puts a cookie on her forehead and tilts her head backward. She's trying to get the cookie into her mouth by only using her face muscles. Enjoy the taste of victory, skilled face contortionists!
Props needed: empty gallon jug
This one's more of a sideline game but could be played post-game with the other team too! Toss the jug into the air and mack it around. Players are trying to get a finger either through the handle for one point or through the spout for an automatic win. Play to a certain number of points or until someone makes it through the spout.
Players put on Five Hydro shorts and their hands on top of their heads. On go, players dive through one leg of the shorts and shimmy them off so they come off the other leg. First to get the shorts off wins! (This could easily turn into a relay spelunking event.)
Having trouble imagining this? Check out the first ~8 seconds of the video below.
26. Lick It Good
Props needed: saran wrap and peanut butter/nutella/pudding/frosting
This is a race between teams of two. Take a sheet of saran wrap and cover both sides of it with your choice of spreading. Partners are on opposite sides of the saran wrap and race to clean the tasty treat off their saran warp first without using their hands! Players have to lick it clean using teammate's face or mouth as a backboard.
27. Booty Balloon
Props needed: balloons!
Make two teams with as many people as you want (or have balloons for). The race consists of players filling up their balloons and popping them without using hands, feet, or teeth!
28. Telephone Squeeze
Split everyone up into two teams, and line up parallel to each other, each line holding hands. On a countdown, the first person in each line holds a disc in her free hand, and with everyone's eyes now shut, squeezes the hand of the next person in line. The squeeze travels down the line one after the other, and when it reaches the last person, that person yells "got it!" and sprints down the center of the two lines and lays out for a disc which the first person gently tosses for them. Huzzah!
29. Human Twister
Choose two "callers", then divide everyone else into groups of 4ish. It doesn't really matter, as long as it's even. At the same time, the two callers yell the name of a body part. In each group, two players must touch the two body parts together. For example, if "hand, shoulder" are called, one person will put a hand on the shoulder of another person on her team. They must hold this touch throughout the game. A team is out if the players lose contact or fail to match up the called out body parts. Keep playing until one team prevails!
30. Delta Crab Race
It's a three-person, six-footed race. Players link up by locking arms and resting their backs on each other's legs with only feet touching the ground. Make it to the other side before the other team!
31. The Great Switcheroo
It's a relay race with teams of 3! The first racer sprints to the opposite sideline, strips, leaves her jersey, shorts, and cleats (or costume entirety), and runs back to tag the second racer. The second racer sprints to the pile and trades her items for the ones on the sideline before running back to tag the third racer. The third racer runs to the pile, trades her uniform for the second racer's, leaving her uniform, and runs back to tag the first runner back in. The first racer runs down again, puts on the third racer's uniform, and runs back. First team back on the line in their teammate's gear wins!
32. Human rodeo
The smallest person on Team 1 climbs aboard the back of the largest person on Team 2, who is on all fours, and the same thing for the smallest person on Team 2 and the largest person on Team 1. On go, the large human's bucks wildly trying to toss the small people off each of their respective backs. The small human that hangs on the longest wins! Warning: you should probably make sure there's a team safety officer or at least a trainer at the tournament if you play this game.
Divide into two teams of seven. Six of the seven make two lines facing each other, and link arms with the teammate they find themselves across from, creating a platform. The seventh teammate jumps on top of the platform stomach-down. The two "tanks" face each other, with the player lying down throwing and catching with the player on the other team. For each completed throw and catch, the tanks take a step back. If one team messes up, for a bad throw or incomplete on a good throw, that team loses one of the holders. Continue until one of the throwers can't be held up any longer!
One lucky Participant
34. Get Down, Mr. President!
The element of surprise is necessary for this game, so it's not really best for post-game. One person puts two fingers to her ear like a secret service agent and keeps them there, as others take notice and do the same thing. When there is one person left who hasn't noticed, that person is deemed the President. Someone screams "There's an attack! Protect the President!" And everyone tackles that person.
One spirit winner leaves the group and the rest decide on ~3 actions to be performed IN ORDER. The spirit winner comes back and tries to perform the actions, with the only feedback from the group as "yes" when they perform the correct action. It is essentially a game of hot/cold but with only positive feedback.
Expert level: Both a male and female spirit winner are chosen with different actions for each of them. When the chosen ones come back to the group, the female spirit winner must listen to the lady group members for her actions, and vice versa for the guy spirit winner. Bonus points if you can get the two to interact!
1-on-1 / Tiebreakers
36. Veggie Off
Two people stand back-to-back and take three steps out as someone counts to three. After that someone yells out a vegetable, the two contenders have to act and sound like that vegetable. The crowd decides on a winner.
37. Pokie / Finger Jousting
Opponents face off by standing across from one another and grabbing hands while extending the pointer finger. Each player is trying to poke her opponent with her finger while avoiding getting poked.
38. Booty Boxing
Opponents face off in the middle of a ring. Each person holds her ankles and attempts to knock the other person over. The last one standing wins!
39. Marshmallow Oscars
Props needed: marshmallows!
Two nominees give an Oscars acceptance speech while shoving marshmallows into their respective mouths. The person with the most moving speech, as determined by the crows, and most marshmallows in her mouth wins!
40. Guess the Booty
Blindfold two spirit winners and line up two sets of ~5 players from their own team. The two blindfolded players have to guess who each player in the line is based solely on the booty! The player who correctly identifies all the booties the fastest is the winner!
41. Joust/ Knights of the Round Table
One player from each team gets a disc and a water bottle. The player balances the disc on her fingers upside down on one hand while holding the water bottle in the other hand. The players are trying to use their water bottle to dislodge the disc from their opponent's hand (you can only use the hand holding the disc to save the disc).
42. Target Practice
Two friendly targets walk out about 20 yards and get on their hands and knees facing away, with water bottles on their backsides. Two participants must race to knock off the water bottle with their disc finesse!
43. Bear Ninja Cowboy
A gentleman's/ladies' duel! The two facing off stand back to back, count 5 steps, and turn around as quick as they can, impersonating either a Bear, a Ninja, or a Cowboy. The Bear eats the ninja, the Ninja stealthily disarms the cowboy, and the Cowboy shoots the bear.
You could also check the tag of your Five Electro Jersey and use that to determine the winner!
*A darker variation is Cat-Tin Foil Ball-Microwave, where you might get in trouble for animal cruelty.
44. Booty Shakes
Props needed: 2 rectangle Kleenex boxes, a bunch of ping pong balls, string
Put about half of the ping pong balls in each Kleenex box. Strap a box around the waist of two selected spirit winners. The first person to shake the ping pong balls out of the box wins! Twerking encouraged!