Anchor Boy Football Skills

The Anchor Boy Football Skills Competition is on Saturday 2nd November from 2-3.30 pm at Kempston East Methodist Church.  Please inform Rob Ciantar of your attendance or otherwise no later than Friday 1st November.

No footballing ability is required (apparently).

Boys should wear indoor football clothes.



Teams shall consist of between four and seven Anchor Boys with one or more adult helpers who may not participate in games but may return balls to boys in non-dribbling / passing challenges. If companies wish to enter more than seven boys they may enter multiple teams of between four and seven boys. If a company wishes to enter fewer boys, they may be made into a combined team with boys from another company. At a leader's choice, a team of three may be entered as an independent team.

Companies must bring one adult for each team they enter to help with scoring.  Other parents/family members spectating must not interfere with the boys during the games.

Skills Challenges

All skills challenges shall run for 3 minutes per game. Boys shall start and stop on the whistle with the score being the team total within the time. For all games boys shall run in a strict rotation, so no boy shall ever have more than 1 turn more than any other boy.

1.    Speed
Cones 3m apart. Start behind first cone, run up to & tag second cone, back and tag next player. 1 point per completed run

2.    Dribbling straight line
Cones 3m apart. Dribble ball up to and round end cone then back and hand over. 1 point per completed run.

3.    Dribbling in & out
Large cones 3m apart, two low cones equally placed in between. Dribble in and out of cones (S shaped), around end cone and back in between cones then hand over to the next player. 1 point per completed run.

4.    Target shooting - near
Ball placed on a marker, 3m from a series of colour-coded large cones in a target 1m wide. 3 points for hitting the centre cone, 2 for hitting adjacent cones, 1 for end cones. If multiple cones hit, lowest scoring cone counted.

5.    Target shooting - distance
Ball placed on a marker, 6m from a series of colour-coded large cones in a target 1.5m wide. 3 points for hitting the centre cones, 2 for hitting adjacent cones, 1 for end cones. If multiple cones hit, lowest scoring cone counted.

6.    Target shooting - moving ball.
As 'Target shooting – near' but with a leader rolling in the ball from cone 1.5m to one side. Boy must play ball from inside a 1m wide window as marked.

7.    Point passing
First two players lined up 2m apart. First boy must pass ball to second who must return the ball. When 10 passes have been completed (total, not pass and return), first boy shall drop out, second take his place and next boy become the second. Point per completed pass (so 10 per cycle).

8.    Throw-Ins
Boy to line up behind marker and throw a ball with both hands from behind their head with both feet staying on the ground. Target and scoring as per near target shooting above, points awarded no matter how ball hits cone as long as hasn't hit a wall or other person between throw and cone.


10 points shall be awarded for the highest score at the end of the competition in each individual game, then 8 for second, 6 for third, 5 for fourth down to 1 for eight. These scores shall then be added up to determine the winner. In the event of a tie, the team with the most higher places shall be given the position. If a position is still tied, raw points scored from all events shall be totalled and the higher score given the position.

Notes for organiser

*     Set up as many games as possible before the start: some games may share a setup but if too many share it's easy for teams to both need the same one, especially at the end. I find setup takes about 30 minutes for one person.

*     Remember to leave space between the games for boys to line up in their teams, and at the end of games to avoid crashing into walls, where possible.

*     Shooting and passing games in particular tend to have balls flying off in all directions. Try to give them a little more margin if possible to stop interfering with other games.

*     Roughly, the skills challenges should take the first hour leaving the second hour for matches. Ideally give the boys a drinks break between the two which gives time to reset from one layout to the other.

*     All bar one game requires a football. You can either give each team a ball to use for all games, or leave a ball with each game. Foam balls are best indoors. If you need more than you have identical balls, leave balls on games to maintain equality.

*     Ensure all staff understand their games before each game is started. Teams have been found part-way through a game doing passes by throwing, for example.

*     You need a lot of cones! Ideally small marker cones and taller sports cones, like mini traffic cones. 

*     A badminton court is often marked out in halls and should be 6m wide. Ideally you should have a tape measure with you though.

*     Don't forget a stopwatch / countdown alarm and whistle, and paper to keep track of the match list and scores.

*     I've used small skills goals for the games. They work well and provide no doubt as to whether the ball went in, but do move around as they're light and Anchor Boys fiddle... I'd suggest fixing them to the floor with masking tape or they move quite a way across the pitch before you notice.

*     Assuming everything is running to plan, during the skills sessions all you need to do is blow the whistle every three minutes. If you want to get the next bit ready, take photos etc. you should have time.

*     Each team needs their own score sheet, with plenty of space to let them keep tally scores. Some scores get very high. I like to also give each team their own copy of the rules for the games as above, and to leave a large-print copy of the game rules with each game.