By categorizing games based on the similarities that exist between their components (e.g. skills, tactics, playing area), we can take a thematic approach to teaching PE.
In a thematic approach, students get to explore tactical problems that exist across a variety of games (e.g. getting open in invasion games). This approach promotes the transfer of learning between multiple games and supports the development of competent, confident movers.
Invasion games are games in which two teams compete to outscore their opponents within a certain amount of time. Teams score by invading their opponents side of the field and sending the object (e.g. ball, puck) into a goal or getting the object pass a goal line. Players in invasion games constantly transition between offence and defence based on whether or not their team is in possession of the object.
Net and wall games are games in which players/teams compete to outscore their opponent(s). They do so by sending the object (e.g. ball, shuttlecock) to a space in their opponents’ court so that it cannot be played or returned within the boundaries of the game. Net and wall games are typically played on a net-divided court or in a common space using a shared wall.
Striking and fielding games are games in which teams attempt to outscore their opponents by scoring more runs/ points within a set amount of innings. To score a run, players typically need to run around a certain amount of bases or run between two set bases. Within an inning, teams alternate between being at bat (offence) and fielding the ball (defence).
Target games are games in which players compete to outscore their opponents by placing a projectile (e.g. ball, dart, arrow) closer to a target than their opponent is able to. Some target games are “unopposed” (i.e. a player’s opponent cannot interfere with their play and success depends solely on a player’s accuracy) while others are “opposed” (i.e. a player may interfere with their opponent’s play).