Description

This is a team building game that that challenges teams solve a problem very collaboratively. The team need to discover a path through a labyrinth, the path is hidden.The labyrinth is represented by a grid on the floor. The path is a series connected squares travelling from one end of the grid to the other. When a team member steps off the path, they will need to start again. To make this suitability challenging, the labyrinth is solved in silence. It requires the team to support each other in order to succeed. Ultimately it will create feelings of euphoric success demonstrating what the team can achieve when they work together. The game can be scaled by having multiple teams play simultaneously, creating a competition.

Preparation

  • Make a maze for the team(s) to complete.

Materials

  • LOTS of masking tape - 3-4 reels per team.

Safety

Hard
This game can be made to be rather hard, and thus potentially very frustrating. It’s important to be conscious of the team’s stress level. Should the team become overly frustrated pause the game, and allow them additional time to rethink their plan.
Mistakes
It’s possible to make mistakes which will prevent the team from progressing. This can lead to a situation where the team feel they’ve tried all available options are are stuck. If frustration and stress is high, and they believe they’ve exhausted all options, give them a hint to unblock them.

HOW TO PLAY

SETUP

Space: You will need a large, empty space to play.

Maze Plan:

  • Draw a grid that is 5 squares, by (team’s size - 2). E.G. for a team of 9, that would be a 5x7 grid.
  • Plot a path by numbering consecutive connected squares from one end of the grid to another. This is an example grid for a team of 9-12 people. Note how it snakes forwards and backwards to increase complexity. Maze design

Recreate the grid on the floor with masking tape (squares only). Make each square about 50cm by 50 cm (big enough for a person to stand in).
Position a chair at the finishing end of the labyrinth for the facilitator to stand on.

RULES

The team will have time before starting to solve the labyrinth to collaborate and produce a strategy.
When the team begin to solve the labyrinth, no further talking is allowed.
The team may not use any tools or implements to solve the maze (E.G. no breadcrumbs).
While the labyrinth is being solved, only one team member may enter at a time.
When a team member steps on an incorrect square, they must return to the beginning by FOLLOWING THE PATH that they have discovered so far. Should they go wrong, they must stop and try again to retrace their steps to the beginning.
When a team member exits the grid at the beginning (following stepping on an incorrect square) they are not allowed to be the next person to enter grid.
When a team member successfully completes the labyrinth, there is no longer a restriction of how many team members can be on the grid at once.

GOAL

The game is won when EVERY team member completes the hidden path.

FACILITATION

Position the team at the start end of the grid.
Read out the rules of the game.
Give the team 10 minutes to discuss and collaborate on a plan to solve the labyrinth.
When this time up, remind the team that game will now be played in silence.
Stand on a chair at the finishing end of the grid, facing the grid and the team.
Tell the team they may begin to solve it.
When a team member steps on a correct square, state: “CONTINUE”.
When a team member steps on an incorrect square, state: “STOP, GO BACK”.
When a team member is going back and steps on an incorrect square, state: “STOP, GO BACK”.
When a team member attempts to enter the grid two times in a row state: “STOP, GO BACK”.

FACILITATION - MULTIPLE TEAM VARIANTS

Break the group into even teams of 8-15 people.
You will need several copies of the same grid plan. The grid size must work for the smallest team.
You will need one “Grid Master” (additional facilitator) per grid.

The game will play out the same as above, other than:

  • Everyone will begin at the same time
  • The time needed for the discussion before solving is now flexible, they team can choose to start when they are ready. (This is now a race competition, so there’s an interesting pressure to begin)
  • Record the times of each team.
  • When a team has completed, invite them to watch how other teams are doing.

REFLECTION

What was your strategy and how did you create it?
How did it feed when you were told to stop and to go back?
What was it like working in silence?
What was it like to be in the labyrinth?
How supported did you feel from the team?
What did it feel like to complete the labyrinth?

MAKING THE GAME EASIER

A team of adults should be able to complete this game, but if you feel the need to make it easier, you can try:

  • Simplify the path
  • Reduce the grid size
  • Allow talking

VIDEOS

Luxembourg 2015

London 2016