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Focus Ring

Resume / Brief description

Goal of this team exercise is to transport a ball from point A to point B and then set the ball on top of the pedestal. Team members must cooperate while being very focused and organized during moving the ball. Exercise checks if the team has strong leader among its members. Challenge should be performed in room which is as big as possible.

Target group

Students, entrepreneurs, colleagues of the same company or work team, professionals of different areas


Work in team Collaborate with short time


Plastic ping-pong ball Metal ring (e.g., bolt pad) Cylindrical pedestal Scissors Stopwatch Video projector and sound system Prize

Implementation - Overview

Start with creating teams and showing start and destination point. Define and describe the rules. Remind that this is time-limited contest with a prize. Ask for the possible questions. Perform challenge using stopwatch. Do not disturb the team during competition. Other teams should keep the distance from performing team. When the time counts down or team achieves success in ball transportation, write down the time results in visible place (e.g., black board, projector). Prepare the prize for winning team. Do the summary, draw the conclusions to show that this challenge is related to having good leader who will be the warranty of success. Time needed to finish this exercise is about 6 minutes for each team. Additional time is needed for summary (ca. 15 min).

Implementation - Guidelines

Assemble sets of materials for teams Prepare at least one set of materials. If you are time-limited, exercise can be done in parallel, but it demands additional supervisors (one for each team). Set includes plastic ping-pong ball, metal ring (e.g., bolt pad) with internal diameter ca. 40% smaller than diameter of ball, cylindrical pedestal with diameter few millimetres smaller than internal diameter of metal ring and strings . Make sure the path they take is clear of obstacles. Other important tools needed for exercise are: - scissors – to cut the string on equal pieces, - countdown application or stopwatch – there are plenty on the web or the one in the smartphone can be used, - video projector and sound system – projector for rules presentation and showing stopwatch. Sound system for good communication with the audience, especially during challenge, - prize – can be a ticket, a book or small amount of cash. Create teams. Interesting results are for both situations: when teams are assembled randomly or when teams are created by people who know each other. Size of the team should be 4 to 6 members. Present everyone the rules Following rules apply for the contest: – each participant gets one string to operate, – participants must hold only the end of the string, – participants must stay at a distance of a length of stretched out string (very important), – if the ball falls off the steel ring, the group must start again, – if the ball falls three times, the team end the competition, – if the pedestal falls over, the group must start again, – the team is successful when the ball is balanced on the pedestal and the ring is freely resting on the ground with no one holding or stretching a string, – challenge time is 4 minutes for the distance of about twenty meters from point A to B, – ask for the questions before the start of each team. Start the challenge Set up the team members in the positions and ensure that every string is stretched. Answer the questions if there are any. Let them balance the ring in horizontal position, then place the ball in the steel ring. Loudly specify start of counting the time. Remind the teams about time (e.g. every 30 seconds). Finish the challenge All results must be written down in well seen place. Identify the winning team – ensure they get a standing ovation and a give them a prize. Draw conclusions Discuss the teams their feelings related to contest – what was easy, what was hard. Focus on leadership, cooperation, strategies, surprises, etc. Draw conclusions after the competition and discuss them with the group: - when a group works together to complete a task, the impact each person has can be profound. In this activity, the ball can be caused to drop if even one person doesn’t do their job well, - team working on given solution, especially in case of time-limited tasks, must rely on each other. - team must have well defined leader – this person will tell other members of team what to do, especially during last phase of transportation – putting ball on pedestal.

Example of application:

Templates, Graphics for download

Additional format/ references