Field Day is annually one of the most exciting events for elementary school students. It’s often a culminating activity where the entire school community comes together to celebrate the completion of the school year. I’ve grown to enjoy getting a glimpse of field day throughout the world via social media. It’s evident that every school has its own personal touch. Throughout my career, I’ve worked at several different schools, each with a different take on this extravaganza. The one common factor in every field day is fun! I’d like to share with you a 26 year field day formula with proven success from my current school. It’s a well-oiled machine, too good not to share (see videos of our field day in action below).
How do we make teams?
- Three days prior to the event, our PE team divides the school into two teams. To make it easy, one side of the hallway is white and the other side of the hallway is blue. Each grade has 4 classes so two classes are white and two are blue.
- Two days prior to the event we notify the students of their color. This gives students plenty of time to put together their uniform for the event.
What is our field day format?
Our field day is structured around a variety of eight different relay races. As you can see below, races start out dry, then eventually turn into water events as the students get hot. In my experience, water is a must! Each race lasts three minutes (except water events, which last until a team’s bucket is filled with water).
- Two classrooms from each grade level (2nd-5th) will compete at a time.
- The other two classes will cheer from the bleachers, which are divided into blue and white sections (blue on the left side and white on the right).
- Groups rotate on and off the field following each of the two events per rotation. This lessens the number of students on the field, increasing the number of repetitions per student competing. It also gives you a built in cheering section. If you could only hear the excitement and encouragement coming from the bleachers during each race!
How do we mark the field?
- The day before the event, my team and I paint ten lanes on our field. We keep the distance short to increase repetitions.
- Each lane is again divided by hash marks to allow space for blue and white to compete. (example: blue from one classroom will compete white from another classroom.
- Two buckets of water are placed on the hash marks in each lane for the water events. During the water events each bucket is placed in the center of each blue and white lane. (Notice the back-up buckets in the background.)
- There are 10 separate competitions (same event) taking place during each relay race.
How do we keep score?
- Each Blue/White lane has a parent score keeper tallying up the score for blue and white.
- Each time a student touches the end line, they team receives one tally.
- After each full rotation, a master scorekeeper receives all the scores from the parents, adds up the points, and gives a score updated to the crowd.
- Water events are scored differently. Each team is trying to be the first to fill their 1 1/2 quart pail with water.
- The winning team receives 10 points and the losing team receives 5 points.
Our Field Day in Action
After completing our relay races, we finish with the tug-o-war as a grand finale. Each grade takes takes turns competing in their blue/white teams. The winner of each round receives 50 points while the losing team receives 40. Following each round, the blue/white teams shake hands, get a popsicle, and return to the bleachers to cheer on the rest of the groups.
Each school has its own unique formula for field day. Our school has kept field day competitive yet fun, with all grades from 2nd-6th sharing the same field and same events. We find it’s a great way to end the year as a community.
Thanks to my PE teammates Brian, Jedd and Laura for another fantastic day of fun and excitement! Kudos to our parents volunteers, teachers, and staff for making the day run so smoothly!
We would enjoy learning about YOUR field day! What works for you and your school?
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