Cooperative Skills Challenge for Physical Education

PE cooperative fitness challenge

The PE Central Cooperative Skills Challenge has been one of the most popular physical education programs ever. We estimate that over 1.2 million children have participated in the Skills Challenge since its’ debut in 1999. The program is unique in that it is one of the few Challenges that have focused primarily on motivating children to practice motor skills such as throwing, catching, volleying and striking. The best part – it’s FREE!

The Challenge is composed of a series of six motor skill challenges. Four of the challenges involve kids working with partners while the other two are individual challenges. The Challenge combines fun motor skills (e.g., throwing and catching), fun equipment (4 of the challenges require balls of kids choice to be manipulated) and the most important aspect is that a majority of the challenges can only be completed by working successfully with a partner.

Teachers are encouraged to provide children many chances to complete each of the challenges, whether it is in class, at lunch, before or after school. Students have the potential to earn pins and certificates for completing the challenges. See the Resources & Incentives section below for more details.

The Six Challenges

Use this scoresheet to track progress!

Balance Shuffle: This is for two children. One child stands on one end of the board and the other on the opposite end of an eight-foot long 2″ x 4″ board placed on the ground (the 4″ side goes on the ground or floor). The board is marked with lines twelve inches from each end. Children start and finish behind the lines at opposite ends. When they switch they travel to the mark on the opposite end of the board before starting back to their original positions. Each child travels to the opposite end of the board and then back, without falling off or touching any body part to the ground.

cooperative fitness challenge

Partner Throw and Catch: Throw and catch an object with your hands with a partner, 30 times in a row without a miss from a distance of 25 feet. Both catches and throws must be made behind the line. If the throw or catch is not made past the line or a throw is dropped the task must be started again. Each youngster will complete 15 throws and 15 catches for a total of 30.

Volley Up: Three youngsters stand in a triangle formation, three giant steps from each other. The challenge is to volley a ball (not a beach ball or a balloon) 10 times in a row without the ball hitting the ground. Each youngster must contact (volley) the ball at least twice but may not strike it twice in a row.

Jump That Rope: Jump a single rope continuously (rope must remain in a constant turning motion) for 90 seconds without a miss.

Paddle Strike: Strike a ball with a short or long-handled paddle or racket in the air continuously for 60 seconds to yourself while remaining in a 3-4 foot diameter space, e.g. hoop, jump rope formed into a circle. The circle must remain stationary for the entire 60 seconds.

Hula Hoop: Hula hoop for 20 seconds with the hoop starting around the waist and remaining off the ground (floor) the entire time.


Resources and Incentives

Students can earn pins based on the challenges they complete. They will earn a bronze pin if they complete 4 out of 6 challenges successfully, a silver pin for 5 out of 6, or a gold pin for completing all challenges.

pe central cooperative skills challenge

All youngsters who participate can also earn a downloadable participation certificate.

Video from PE Teacher Mike Graham

This is a great video showing how to set up this challenge in your PE program!

How Do I Get Started?

Registration is now FREE! Click the “Register Now” button on the front page of the Cooperative Skills Challenge Web site to become a member.

After you become a registered member, you can start the challenge any time you wish with your kids. Typically, the Challenge lasts from September/October to the end of May/June the following year so you have 5-7 months to test your kids.

Upon completion of the program, you can order Challenge award pins from the S&S Discount Sports website and receive 15% off plus free shipping on orders over $25. Use offer code B4260.

Learn more about the benefits you will receive at


“This has been wonderful for my students. The highly skilled came in and passed with flying colors; but those less skilled worked, and worked, and never gave up. I was thrilled by their determination and continuous practice. I was glad to give every spare moment I had, for in return I shared the joy and elation of the children who finally succeeded in something practiced so long. Thank you PE Central for providing this opportunity for our students.”

“The PE Central Challenge was a great opportunity for the students in our school to learn to work and help each other. The encouragement that they gave one another was absolutely wonderful. It was something that they were excited with and look forward to doing again another year. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to present this program in our school.”

Submitted by Mark Manross, Executive Director, PE Central

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