How to pick teams fairly


No one wants to be the last kid picked for a team and for those of us who have experienced the stress of lining up and saying a silent prayer; it’s not a lot of fun especially if you’re the very last one.  They won’t even call your name.  All they do is point and you slowly walk over.  But there are a number of ways to pick teams without anyone feeling left out. 

For most sports you can divide up the teams by shoes.  Everyone removes a shoe and places it in a pile.  One person then hold’s their breath and starts dividing the shoes into two other piles, one at a time.  Once the piles are made, everyone searches for their shoe and that’s the side their on.

If you’re playing ice hockey then it doesn’t make any sense to have everyone remove a skate so a great alternative would be to use hockey sticks instead.  Throw them in a pile and then divide them up as well.

If you have a large group you can have everyone line up and start going down the line telling each person either A or B or you can use the numbers 1 or 2.  If you have an older group of kids who want to stay on the same team and start spacing themselves out strategically, you can throw them a curve by numbering everyone 1,2,3 or 4.  Then announce that all the ones and twos are on one side while all the threes and fours are on the other.  

If you’re sorting kids at a party for teams, you might want to make it a little more fun and mysterious.

First you need an item that you have enough of for everyone.  If you have twelve kids at the party then you can use 6 blue and 6 red Lego pieces of the same size.  You can also use 6 ten dollar bills of Monopoly money bunched up, along with 6 one hundred dollar bills.  Checkers work very well. 

Place all the pieces in a durable bag or box and let everyone pick, one at a time.  Don’t let them show anyone until all the pieces have been picked.  Everyone reveals their pick and teams are made.

If you have an odd number of kids and depending on the game, you may want to have the birthday boy or girl be on the team with the fewer number and have him or her participate twice.

If the teams are one sided or on those rare occasions where nobody likes the team selection, have them play one game with that team and then have them pick again for the next.  There is no guarantee that you won’t run into the same problem but the odds are with you.  If the kids still complain then you may want to mention to them that it’s about having fun and not winning a championship. 

Of course there is no guarantee that the teams will be even but at least no one will feel left out before the game even starts.

 

 

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