Field Day season is one of the most exciting times of the year for students, faculty, and even parents. However, it can also be extremely stressful for physical education teachers. Introducing a theme, constantly checking the weather radar, gathering equipment, making teams, and of course, organizing age-appropriate activities that are fun and engaging are a few of the many logistical considerations that can wreak havoc on a PE teacher’s psyche. Below are three exciting relays that we incorporate each year that are always student and faculty favorites. Hopefully, they can alleviate a bit of your stress. All three relays can be done outside and/or inside, which makes them perfect for a rain plan.

To learn how we run our field day and to see a few of our other exciting relays click A FIELD DAY FORMULA FOR ALL!


Prior to the relay, we have a flash mob-style CHICKEN DANCE. Picture the whole school on the field dancing away. “I don’t wanna be a chicken, I don’t wanna be a duck, so I shake my back (Clap Clap Clap).”

Then the relay begins with students still pretending to be chickens.

  • Place a laundry basket at the far end of the relay.
  • The first chicken stands at the start line with a football (egg) between his/her legs. We use 6-inch gator balls for our younger students.
  • Students then attempt to jump to the basket in order to lay an egg in it.
  • If the egg goes in the basket, the team earns a point. The chicken picks up the egg and runs it back to the next chicken who repeats the process.


We kick off the cattle roundup relay with another flash mob. This time it’s the COTTON EYE JOE. Again the entire school joins in on the dance. The Cotton Eye Joe is one of the dances we teach in PE during the school year.

All you need for the cattle roundup is a hula hoop, a large cone, and a vivid imagination. We set the scene by telling students we on a ranch and each of us are cowboys and cowgirls. “Can I get a YEE HAW?” We need to hop on our horses to round up the cattle with our lassos.

  • Place a cone about 5 feet from the end line.
  • The first rancher gallops down to the end line. For style points, students can spin the hoop on their wrists as they gallop.
  • Once they get to the end line, they turn and throw their lasso trying to rope the steer (cone).
  • The team receives a point for each hula hoop that successfully lands around the cone.
  • Ranchers pick up the lasso and run it back to the next rancher.


A plunger and a small ball are all you’ll need for this relay. We use a 6-inch gator ball.

  • How many times can your team carry the torch down and back?
  • The torch (plunger) is held at the bottom and the flame (ball) must remain over the student’s head.
  • If the flame falls, the student stops and places it back on the torch. There is no penalty.

Unlike typical relay races where the relay ends when the last person completes the particular challenge, our relays last about 3 minutes. This gives each student plenty of repetitions. There is a teacher or parent at the end of each lane with a clipboard to tally each repetition or point earned.

To learn how we run our field day and to see a few of our other exciting relays click A FIELD DAY FORMULA FOR ALL.
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  1. Pingback: 3 FIELD DAY RELAY RACES OUR STUDENTS LOVE! – Audit Student

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