HANDS-ON Spontaneous Problem:  BASKET BALL

 JUDGES ONLY:  When the team members enter the room, tell them, “This is a hands-on problem.  You will have one minute to select the five team members who will compete.  The others may leave the room or stay to watch, but may not assist and must sit in these seats” (indicate seats for non-performing tem members.)  Allow one minute for team selection.



1.  This is a two-part problem.  You will have three minutes planning time during Part 1, and three minutes to perform your solution during Part 2.  You may talk during your planning time in Part 1, but no spoken language may be used during Part 2.  You may make noises to signal, but may not use any spoken language.


2.  In front of you is a container with various objects.  Your goal is to get those objects across the room.  All team members except one will remain behind the foul line with the objects during Part 2.  The last team member will stand in the designated area on the far side of the room.  The team members behind the foul line will transport the objects across the room to the individual team member on the far side of the room.  You may also use the various objects as communication devices.  You may NOT use the container in any way except to hold the objects until Part 2 begins.


3.  The team member who stands alone on the  far side of the room will be blindfolded, and will be responsible for getting objects transported to him (or her)  into the provided basket.  Only the designated receiver may use the blindfold during Part 1 and Part 2.


4.  When an object reaches the far side of the room, it must be placed in the basket in order to be scored.  Each object is worth 5 points.


5.      Penalties will be assessed as follows:


Spoken language during performance time:                                             -10

Crossing the foul line during performance time (except receiver):          -10

Striking the body of the receiver at any time with an object:                    -20

6.  Objects which are not put in the  basket will not be scored, but will also not be penalized, except as stated above.





You are to transport the given objects across the room into the provided basket, with the senders on this side of the room and one receiver, who is blindfolded, on the far side.  You have three minutes to plan your solution during Part 1 and three minutes to perform your solution during Part 2.  (Repeat “Your Problem Is …”)

Begin Part 1.  (Give the team three minutes planning and practicing time.)



PART 2:  You now have three minutes to perform your solution.  All team members except the receiver must be behind the foul line.  (Make certain the receiver is blindfolded and that all other team members are behind the foul line and have the objects in a container.)  You may begin Part 2.




Place a large basket or trash can 12 feet from the foul line.  Make sure you are in an area where no damage from flying objects can occur!!!  (A yard, a garage, an empty basement)


Give the team a container (paper bag will work)  with the following objects:

1 ping pong ball                                                        

6 pasta noodles

1 8 ½” x 11” piece of paper 2 unsharpened pencils        

1 empty film canister

1 rubber band                                                                       

1 orange

3 paper clips                                                                         

4 plastic cups

1 ball of yarn                                                                         

3 pennies

1 envelope                                                                

1 comb

3 birthday candles

6 toothpicks

2 balloons
1 scarf

2 paper plates

You may use an actual blindfold, or use goggles which have had the lenses covered.  Be certain that the item is clean and sanitary, and do not allow team members to share it during practice time.


Mark the foul line with masking tape, and make sure team members stay behind it while sending the “goods” to the basket.  Also, note that the team may transport several items at once, but DO NOT TELL THEM that unless they ask.


Be certain the team understands that they will receive penalty points for any object which strikes the receiver in any way.   Be certain the team does not use the container to transport the objects, nor for any other purpose.


Ó1999 L.Love