With the Scrum ball game, the participants get to know different elements of Scrum in a playful way:

  • Self-organization
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Inspect and Adapt

A Scrum team should have no more than 9 members (maximum size). For the game we make an exception, more than 9 players may be involved.

The following items are required:

  • Smaller balls in sufficient number, e.g. table tennis or golf balls
  • Stopwatch
  • The rules of the game on a flipchart
  • Estimation / velocity board (flip chart or whiteboard)

 

The aim of the game is to pass as many balls as possible through the team, observing these rules:

  1. A ball must return to its starting point.
  2. The ball must be in the air for a short time and not be touched by any player.
  3. Each player may only touch one ball at a time, and each ball may only be touched by one of the players at the same time.
  4. The ball must be touched once by each player.

Before the first ball is thrown, the team makes a joint estimate of how many balls can be channeled through the team during an Iteration (round of the game). This is noted on the board.

Five rounds, or Iterations (Sprints), of 5 minutes each are played.

The aim is to

  • play for four minutes and
  • consider for one minute what can be improved.

The game is ideal for illustrating the basics of Scrum: common goals, intensive collaboration, continuous improvement through self-organization and reflection. In most cases, the game improves noticeably from Sprint to Sprint. This is documented on the board, which records the estimates and actual results. In the analysis minute of the game, there is often intensive discussion on what can be improved. No one should intervene from outside; the team has to elaborate improvements independently and organize itself.

Have fun trying it out!