Everyone in the group has an imaginary ball. Each ball has its own special movement pattern, and its own sound which the participant decides. The participants practice “throwing” or “bouncing” the invisible balls by themselves, while simultaneously making the sounds (“boi-oi-oing,” “zip-zap,” “wheeeee”). After everyone has the movements and sounds finalised, they start walking around the space. The leader calls out, “freeze,” and then instructs everyone to trade balls with someone. There is no talking allowed, only demonstrating the sounds and movements of the balls.
Once everyone has traded, everyone continues walking around the space again, this time with their new balls. The leader again calls out, “freeze” again, and instructs everyone to trade with another person. After four to six trades have been made (depending on the size of the group), the leader instructs everyone to find their original balls. Everyone must then move about, demonstrating the balls they are holding, while searching for the ball they originally created. If a participant finds their ball, they trade with the person who has it, and then takes their ball to the side out of the playing space.
It is rare for everyone to find their original balls in this game. If someone can’t find them, use this during the review and ask the participants why. This is a great way to start talking about mis-communications at work, how to give specific instructions, or communicating without words.