Barley Break

Barley Break was a common game played in the cornfields during harvest time in Germany.

Age: 9+

No. of players: 20 or more

Equipment: None

Time: 5+ minutes

Aim: To avoid being caught by the guard.

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1. Before the game is played, mark out the playing area into three squares with each measuring approximately 3 metres (10 feet) or larger depending on how many players there are. The centre square is called the barley field.

2. Choose two players to be the guards. They stand in the barley field, linking arms and facing opposite directions. One faces the square on one side of the barley field and the other faces the square on the other side of the barley field. The guards must not leave the barley field at any time.

3. Divide the remaining players into two teams. One team stands in one square and the other team in the other square. The players form into couples and link arms. They face towards the barley fields.

4. The players enter the barley field and begin trampling the barley. They can either enter as a couple with their arms linked or singly. The guards have to try and catch them without letting go of their linked arms.

5. If a player is caught he must stay in the barley field until his partner is caught too. Once both partners are caught, they become the new guards while the first guards join in the game.

Source: Adapted from Games Around the World 4H LAL 90 edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/4H/4H05500.pdf


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