The group must work together using cardboard or plastic “half-pipes” to transport a marble or small ball from a starting point to the finishing point (a cup). If they accomplish this task easily at first then they are asked to do it again within a specific time frame. The course length will vary depending on size and ability of the group.

Each participant gets a piping section. The participants must line up their sections of piping so the marble is rolled through each piece. Participants must run to the front of the line to catch the marble and continue transporting it until it is dropped into the cup at the finishing point. The marble cannot stop moving or roll backward during the process. If the ball stops, rolls backwards or is dropped, it is brought back to the starting line and the group must start over.

There is no “trick” to successfully complete this task. The team must work together to get all individuals to execute perfectly. Many ideas will arise and different techniques used but the key is practise, communication and flawless implementation.

Debriefing questions

  • How did you feel?
  • What strengths did you bring to this group activity?
  • What was the key to your group success?
  • How did each participant contribute?
  • What were the different behaviours the people showed?
  • Why group members might see their own behaviours differently from each other?

Material needed

  • Cardboard or plastic “half-pipes”
  • 1 marble or small ball
  • 1 cup