© Copyright 1990 - G.M. Clark & E. Dixon; reproduced here by kind permission


Racing Games - Sack Race
Racing Games - Wheelbarrow Race

Types of racing games played
Wheelbarrow Race Obstacle Race
Beanbags Egg and Spoon Race
Tunnel Ball Sack Race
Overhead Ball General Post
Three-legged race

Wheelbarrow Races

This game was played by pairs of children and often involved a race between pairs.

Wheelbarrow Race

One child held the ankles and feet of her partner. This member of the pair walked on her hands as fast as possible. A short distance was often enough, and then the partners changed over and make the return journey. In a race, the first pair back were the winners.


Small beanbags often took the place of balls and the same games were played with them, e.g. passing round a ring and overhead passing down a column.

Tunnel Ball & Passing the Ball Overhead

This was played with a large ball. A group of children divided into teams of 4 or 6 and stood in lines with feet apart. The first member passed the ball down the tunnel made by the legs. The last child caught the ball and ran round to the front, This was repeated until the leader was back at the front, when the first leader back won the game for the team. This game was varied by passing the ball overhead to the child behind. Again, when the ball reached the last one, she ran to the front and repeated the procedure until the first child was back at the front of the line,

Three Legged Race

Children paired off and tied the inner ankles together, forming three legs, A scarf or handkerchief was the usual tie.

They then raced against other couples for a set distance. It was always great fun for the children trying to run too fast, and ending up in a heap of arms and legs,

Obstacle Races

As the name implies, various obstacles were placed at given distances and the competitors had to negotiate these to complete the race. The obstacles could be chosen from: under or over ropes, skipping or jumping a number of times, crawling under a canvas or some other floor covering. Lots of ingenious obstacles were devised.

Egg & Spoon Race

Again, this was often part of Sports Day, but children often practiced on their own,

A china egg (of the type used to encourage hens to lay) was placed on a dessert or tablespoon. One was not allowed to hold the egg in place with the other hand, and the competitor could be disqualified for that.

Each child holding the egg and spoon in one hand raced against her opponents. If the egg fell off one had to stop and scoop it up using only the spoon. To arrive at the end of the course without the egg was useless,

The Sack Race

Sack RaceMost children enjoyed the sack race, Each child stepped into a sack which he held up as he jumped along. Too big a jump often ended in a tumble,.

Again, the first to reach the tape was the winner.

Occasionally, someone would cheat by making a hole for the feet, They were usually found out.

General Post

This game was often played at parties and school games period in junior classes, Children were seated in two columns, They were given either numbers, names of towns or animals, The leader at the front called the name or number, e, g, 3 - Luton - bear and the pair with that name raced to the front down to the end of the column and back to their places, A point was given to{ first one seated back in his place, The leader could call 'General Post', and then all would run to the front, down to the bottom of the column and back, The team seated first gained a point.