Poly Spot PE Activity – Overhand Throwing

overhand throwing PE activityCheck out this great overhand throwing activity from PE teacher Colby Dischinger:

Overhand Throwing Activity – “Spot On”

Over the last few weeks, my primary students have been working on the concept of overhand throwing.  Through various drills and lead up games (i.e. “Angry Birds” and “Spot on”), I’ve been having the students focus on their overhand form.  The game I’ll be sharing with you is called “Spot On”.

During a district Elementary PE In-service, a fellow PE teacher shared a game very similar to the one I will be sharing but his game was connect to basketball.  I really liked his idea and thought that I could piggyback of his idea to make it an overhand throwing activity.

Overhand throwing PE

After teaching and practicing overhand throwing skills correctly, my students UNLOCKED the game Spot On.  Students like to “unlock” games by appropriately showing me that they can complete the skill I gave them to earn a fun game.  It’s something small, but I’ve found it helps kids focus on the drill more.

The objective of Spot On is to complete an overhand throw to your partner that is standing on a poly spot.  If your partner is able to catch the ball while having a foot on a spot, they can pick up the spot and run it back to your team’s home base.  How many spots can your team collect?

“Spot On” Rules:

  • Each team (2 people) starts at their home base (hula hoop) – when the teacher blows whistle, game begins.
  • Thrower must throw the ball from behind the fence (half court line) using an overhand throw
  • A poly spot may be collect IF the catcher receives the ball in the air while keeping at least one foot on the poly spot
  • If a catch is made, pick up the poly spot and run it back to your home base and set it inside
  • Catch or no catch, partners switch jobs after EVERY throw

“Spot On” Equipment:

Overhand throwing PE activity

 The “Magic Spot”:

Another version of Spot On is called “The Magic Spot”.  Same concept but students do not collect spots; rather the goal of the game is to find the magic poly spot.  The teacher picks a magic spot before the game starts.  When a student successfully catches a ball on a poly spot, they raise their hand to ask the teacher if that’s the spot.  If you get the thumbs down, keep looking!  Can your class find the magic spot?

My students really enjoyed Spot On/Magic Spot and thought it was not only great for throwing/catching game, but they were also winded from the running back and forth.

Watch the “Spot On” video:

overhand throwing activityAbout the Author:

Colby Dischinger received his Bachelors Degree from Indiana University and received his Masters Degree from the University of Kansas.  This is his 10th year in the Shawnee Mission School District located in Overland Park, Kansas.  For the first 5 years, Colby taught Special Education and is now currently wrapping up his 5th year teaching Physical Education at Overland Park Elementary.  Colby is also a swim coach at Shawnee Mission East High School. Twitter page: @PhysEdOPE

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10 thoughts on “Poly Spot PE Activity – Overhand Throwing

  1. Hello,

    This is a great game! For ‘spot on” do you have the students throw to the same partner? Also do put the spot in any hula hoop or a specific one for their group? Have you done this with kindergarten? I have 30 kindergarten students that I want to try it with but not sure if it’s too many running at the same time.

    Thank you,

    • Hey Nancy –

      You can have them use the same partner. I did, but I do not see any harm in switching it up maybe after all the spots have been collected. Each team does have a specific hoop dedicated to their team, that way the next round they can try to beat their previous score. I have done this with Kindergarten before – just adjust the depth of the poly spots.

      Take care.


  2. Love the game and plan to incorporate it. I also love the idea of “unlocking a game”. How do you implement this? Is a class ever unsuccessful at unlocking a game? If so, then what do you do?

    • Great Question. Typically I will give them an ASAP game or Warm-Up activity that they complete to “unlock” a game. All those tasks are designed to be unlocked with ease. If I were to give them a difficult task – I would set a timer. Students would be told that the sooner they complete the task, the more time they get on the main event. That way they would never not get to the main event, they may just have less time at it.

      There are classes where I will pull the curtain across my gym, so the students can not see the main event on the other half of the gym (this is typically for K-2 only). That way they can focus on the warm up task, with the mystery of what is on the side hanging right over them. The curtain almost acts as wrapping paper for the main event!

  3. Love the concept. Especially the way you keep the kids focused and engaged (“unlock a game” and “magic spot”). Thank you for sharing.

  4. Great idea. Can’t wait to use it. I’ve been teaching 30 years and I’m always looking for new fun games that incorporate skills.

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