A fun game that is becoming more and more popular in my area of the country is Disc Golf. We even have a couple local courses that students and their families can go to on the weekends and throughout the summer to play! A few years ago, we started introducing disc golf to our middle school classes and have had a lot of success with the unit. Our big focus is to improve student fitness levels, including cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and endurance. To do so, we have turned disc golf into “cardio disc golf”.
How to Play Cardio Disc Golf
Cardio Disc Golf is setup exactly like Disc Golf, using as many targets as you can fit in your space.
We set up portable disc targets daily for this unit, which can be a little bit of a pain, but at the same time it allows us to vary the course layout. You can even name the course layouts if you choose so your students can imagine playing at Augusta National one week and Pebble Beach the next!
You should also create score cards, with each hole having a par score indicated. One thing we added to the score cards for Cardio Disc Golf is exercises that must be completed at the beginning and end of each hole.
For example, at hole 1 students must complete 25 seal jacks, at hole 2 they must complete 25 squats, etc. You can add an incentive as well where if students are under par, they take 5 reps off the exercise total at the end of the hole.
The “key ingredient” for turning disc golf into cardio disc golf is by using pedometers. Adding pedometers allows our students to look at and track their Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA). Our students use pedometers almost every day, so they are very familiar with how they work and what they need to do to get the MVPA timer to run.
Pedometers for Grading
We utilize a rubric with time requirements for students to earn points for their grade when wearing pedometers. The students really appreciate knowing what they need to do to earn credit in class. Our bell schedule is a little different on certain days, so we have several of these. I strongly encourage you to do the same in an effort to make your grading fair to all students.
We play Cardio Disc Golf in a couple of formats, similar to golf tournaments. Some days we play a 2-person scramble and others a 4-person scramble. Again, this depends on the size of the class and what we have time for on a particular day. You can also run a multiple-day tournament at the end of the unit to determine your class champion.
Continuing the Conversation
With the rising popularity of disc golf and the ability for families to play this locally, we strongly encourage our students and families to get outside and play! It is a great way to be active and be outside. How do you use discs or disc golf in your classes?