10 Simple RELAY RACES for YOUR Students

Relay Races are be a quick and easy way to promote teamwork, active participation, integrity and fun. One of the keys to a successful relay is group size. Depending on the relay, limit the number of students per team to maximize movement and excitement. Of course, fast-paced relays can have more students than some of the slower relays where students are waiting for a turn.

Throughout any unit, I will sometimes take a quick “relay break,” even if it doesn’t directly relate to the topic. Other times I’ll incorporate a skill related to a unit into a relay race. For example, here’s one called The Hiking Relay I did with my 5th grade students.

Most of our relay races have a time limit, rather than the first team that finishes wins. A time limit allows students to continuously participate no matter how fast they are.

Here are three common ways we challenge our students when participating in a relay race:

  • “How many times can your team pass the ball down and back in two minutes?”
  • “How far can you team travel in one minute?”
  • “How many repetitions can you and your teammates complete in three minutes?”

Overall, relay races are a cost-effective, high energy way to boost the excitement level in PE class. Many relays can be done with large groups in smaller spaces with limited equipment.

Check out some of our favorite relay races. I hope you can use them. Please comment on relay races you use with your students!

The following relay can be adapted for multiple sports.


Thank you to everyone on Twitter who has contributed to our growing list of relay races.

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