Conquer the Flag

This game is just like Capture the Flag. Wait, no it’s not. It’s based on Capture the Flag, with several key improvements:

  1. It’s way more competitive. Teams are having to work hard as a team in order to win. There’s no way one player can win it on their own. [But it is important you balance out the athletic ability of the teams.]
  2. It’s way more cooperative. Not only are you bonding as a team but you’re having to work with other teams to win. [Yes, teams end up ganging up on other teams, but rather than see that as a negative, use it as a teaching point.]
  3. It’s more physical. It’s a great opportunity for your athletic teens to lead and show off their skills. [It does get violent if you don’t ref the action.]
  4. Multiple teams can play at one time. Let your small groups compete against other small groups. There’s no limit to the number of teams that can play at one time. [The most we’ve done is 10, but you could easily play with double that.]

Setup for the Game

You’ll need:

  • A pool noodle for each team (if you can find them or spray paint them in each team’s color, it’ll make your life easier).
  • A roll of duct tape (if you can’t find noodles in each team color, get tape in each color).
  • A strip of fabric in each teams color, 3″ x 36″
  • A big field or gym (the softer the ground the better)

Prep work:

  • Tie 2 big knots (double or triple knot each one) in each flag. One at the end of the flag and one 6 inches from the first. Make the second knot even bigger than the first. [The exact size of the knots or distance between them does not matter, but each flag needs to be the tied the same or people will complain.]
  • Put a stripe of tape around the middle of each nooodle.

The Rules

Each team will be given a flag and a flagpole (a pool noodle) marked with their team color. The object of the game is simple: don’t let your flag touch the ground.

Stick the flag’s first knot inside the hole at the top of the noodle. Don’t push it in past the second knot.

Divide your team into defenders and attackers. Defenders guard your team’s flag. Attackers try to get opposing teams’ flags to touch the ground: simply pull out their flag and throw it on the ground.

The player holding the flagpole must hold below the center tape line. No one may touch or tie down their flag.

Once your team’s flag hits the ground, your ENTIRE team is OUT and must leave the playing field. If a player leaves the playing field at anytime, he is out. If he is holding his team’s flag, the entire team is out.

Last team left wins the round. The team that wins the most rounds wins the challenge.

Important Note

This game requires as many refs as you can wrangle up. Give them whistles and tell them to call everything (especially unnecessary roughness). The game is physical, but penalizing players who use excessive force is essential to keeping the game from getting out of hand.

Play this game at your own risk. I take no responsibility for injuries or damage caused.

Michael Marchand

Michael is a Catholic evangelist, author and speaker.

After spending 11 years as a parish youth minister, Michael left parish ministry to work full-time with ProjectYM (a ministry he cofounded a few years earlier).

Michael's resume also includes preaching gigs at events and conferences around the world, a Catholic theology degree, authoring a book on Catholic evangelization, years of training and consulting with parish/diocesan leaders on technology and social media, countless online projects, and the founding of 2 ProjectYM mission bases: one in Uganda and one in Chattanooga, TN.

Michael is blessed to be part of an amazing missionary family. Michael, his beautiful wife (Crystal) and four kids serve the local Church in Chattanooga, TN.


Michael Marchand


Michael is a Catholic evangelist, author and speaker.

After spending 11 years as a parish youth minister, Michael left parish ministry to work full-time with ProjectYM (a ministry he cofounded a few years earlier).

Michael's resume also includes preaching gigs at events and conferences around the world, a Catholic theology degree, authoring a book on Catholic evangelization, years of training and consulting with parish/diocesan leaders on technology and social media, countless online projects, and the founding of 2 ProjectYM mission bases: one in Uganda and one in Chattanooga, TN.

Michael is blessed to be part of an amazing missionary family. Michael, his beautiful wife (Crystal) and four kids serve the local Church in Chattanooga, TN.



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