A reliable and short energyzer for large groups

Introduction to this short energyzer

The Energyzer for Large Groups

If I had to pick a favorite amongst energyzer games, it would be this one! No other energyzer game will make a large group more comfortable so quickly, than chasing each other around the room.  Everyone playing this for the first time usually ends up smiling or laughing. I have played it with groups of students as well as boards of directors, and it’s never let me down. This energyzer is also my “emergency game” for large groups: For example, I typically use it when I’m not prepared and end up with a large group of people at a seminar. The enerygzer works well, even if the participants don’t know each other – and the game never takes too long either. It can establish a sense of community quickly, even with large groups. 

How it works:

Players put their left hand flat onto their back. Then each player tries to tag the other players by slapping the left hand they’re holding on their back with their own (free) right hand. If you get tagged, nothing happens – you just continue playing. Players don’t need to count how often they tag someone or get tagged themselves.

There is a variation of the game where you are “out” as soon as you get tagged. I haven’t tried it simply because I enjoy the non-competitive nature of the version above. The group quickly cultivates a group spirit. If you’d like to play a more competitive warm-up, I recommend Bullfighting with Pens.

Pay attention to:

This energyzer includes a fair amount of running around but you can play it just as well if you move a little slower. I will often say this in the beginning, so people who are slower or are restricted in their movement feel included too. Usually the game will end on its own after 2-4 minutes. 

How to start the energyzer for large groups:

The intro is very short. Even though the rules are simple, you still have to give extra caution to clarify them, especially with large groups. This warm-up game is only fun if all players hold their left hand flat on their lower back because otherwise it’s difficult to tag them. When I explain this, I make sure to demonstrate this briefly. The rest is pretty straightforward and doesn’t need much explanation.