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t0dd
08-08-2019, 04:12 AM
I'm writing a MG fantasy involving a shape-shifting trickster who's targeting a classmate of the MC (who, in turn, is after the trickster, attempting to catch it).

In an upcoming scene, the trickster pranks the MC's classmate during a games class. Both the MC and her classmate are 11-year-old girls in England, and my initial idea was field hockey practice, but I wasn't certain whether it would fit the surroundings.

There are two definite elements in the context: 1. The story's set in January.
2. The MC's an American girl who's just moved to England with her family. (I mention this for the sake of completeness - if it's unlikely she'd actually be taking part in the practice, I can still have her watching on the sidelines; she's aware at this point that the trickster is after the classmate, and intends to step in and counter it if the trickster shows up.)

If field hockey practice would be wrong for that time of the year in England, what likely PE activity would fit?

Snitchcat
08-08-2019, 04:59 AM
Depending on your environment, you might consider cross country -- school version of marathon runs. Plenty of opportunity to strike there.

But field hockey would work. You might also consider netball. Girl's rugby was offered at my school, so another option.

Old Hack
08-08-2019, 09:14 AM
I live in the Peak District, where we get a lot of snow.

I've seen children out running (both along suburban roads and out here in the countryside) throughout the year, and yes, I've seen them running up here even when there's snow on the ground. (Note that most of the UK doesn't get much snow.)

When I was at school in the 1970s the girls played netball or hockey and the boys played football. Now, it's more common for all pupils to do all sports.

It's not called field hockey here, just hockey. But it's not as common now as it was when I was at school.

mccardey
08-08-2019, 09:19 AM
I live in the Peak District,
I've read Enid Blyton and whatever they do, they do it with - lashings of jam.

Bolero
08-08-2019, 02:02 PM
:D
Lashings is just so fifties and dated, what ho. :)

Yeah, when I was at school it was hockey, netball or cross-country running for the girls in winter plus PE - you had at least two sports sessions a week, one was PE in the gym, the other was usually a double period and was outdoor - and it was very rare for it to be cancelled by bad weather. If they were worried about damage to the hockey pitches because they were so wet, that was when everyone got sent out to do cross country running and damage someone else's land. There was a canal tow path and it was often ankle deep in mud, with the occasional passing horse muck. Cue lots of children squelching along in aertex T shirts and shorts mud splattered up their legs.
These days I think there is more in the way of floodlit sports areas and even fake astroturf rather than real grass and mud. The poor kids might even be allowed to wear tracksuit trousers rather than having to run into sleet wearing shorts with their legs turning mauve.

t0dd
08-08-2019, 04:51 PM
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

I saw the setting as somewhere in the English-Welsh border area (definitely in England, but the part of it close to the edge of Wales like Shropshire - though I never specified which county it was). I don't know if that would help narrow down the most probable activities or not, but in case it does...

Since a couple of posts mentioned the weather - in the book, there is a fairly heavy snow (treated as a rare event) - heavy enough to allow clearly visible animal tracks in the snow (which plays a major role in that part of the story), but which has melted (or almost all melted) by the first school day after the Christmas holidays. (The snow falls during the night between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.) At most, there'd be a bit of slush left over on the first school day.

PeteMC
08-08-2019, 05:36 PM
I went to a boys school in SE England but we played (field) hockey in the winter too. And yes, even in the snow if it wasn't too deep on the pitch.

Note: nobody in England would say "field hockey" - it's just hockey, as opposed to ice hockey, which hardly anyone plays here.

waylander
08-09-2019, 07:49 PM
Is this a fee-paying or state school?

t0dd
08-09-2019, 08:14 PM
Is this a fee-paying or state school?

I don't know. That hasn't come up in the story yet.

neandermagnon
08-10-2019, 10:53 AM
I don't know. That hasn't come up in the story yet.

I was about to ask the same question. You need to know before you start writing about the school because they are very different. Brits will be able to tell it's a private or state school even if the topic of fees/money never comes up, and also will know if the writer has confused the two and is just relying on hearsay and stereotypes.

Also as they're 11, are they at primary or secondary school? If they have only just turned 11 they'll be in year 6 and the oldest kids in primary school. If they're turning 12 later in the school year they'll be in year 7 and at secondary school and the youngest kids in the school. This makes a massive difference to the school as primary and secondary schools are very different.

All my answers are from a state school perspective as I went to state school. And it's based on England (you said your school's definitely in England... Welsh schools are an entirely different kettle of fish. Many of them teach in Welsh, for starters...) And I'm a parent and used to be a teacher so I know how things are in schools now compared to how they used to be.

In primary school they'll have one teacher who teaches all or nearly all their subjects, which may include PE too. They may occasionally have lessons with specialist teachers (this could be PE). They will spend most of the day in the same classroom with their class teacher. PE would be done in the PE hall - or school hall if it's a small school - or on the field. In the hall is much more likely in January as primary school teachers tend to be a bit gentler and kinder about making kids go running around in the rain. Plus they'll be coming back to their classroom soaking wet (as opposed to secondary school where they'll be making some other teacher's classroom soaking wet). Even if it's not raining, the pitch will be very muddy.

In secondary school they will have each lesson in a different classroom (or specialist room like a science lab for science and the school field or sports hall for PE) with a specialist teacher and there will be a school bell (or buzzer or similar) indicating when each lesson ends. As they're year 7s and it's only January (start of the 2nd term), this will be new to them and still feel like quite a big deal, though they should know their way around well enough by January to not get lost.

Your character won't be allowed to not participate in PE. It's compulsory. You'd need a medical reason to not participate and some schools will require a doctors letter to verify this, as there's often a problem with parents allowing kids to skive PE by writing letters asking for them to be excused over trivial things. This is more of a problem in secondary school than primary school.

School PE tries to be inclusive so children with long term medical conditions or disabilities will be included in PE, i.e. expected to participate albeit with modifications to the activities. Many state schools will include children with disabilities right across the curriculum.

Type of activity: any sport or exercise activity would be fine as PE is a lot more varied nowadays compared to how it used to be. Certain things like having "boys" sports and "girls" sports is frowned upon (and against discrimination laws), and it's frowned upon to just offer traditional team sports like rugby and football (soccer). Secondary schools usually can offer a wider range of activities however primary schools with specialist PE teachers may still be able to offer a wide range. The PE curriculum will include exercise activities that aren't sport or competitive, e.g. dance, aerobics, circuit training. Activities like gymnastics are usually done in a non-competitive way. If they've got the equipment they'll also include things like trampolining and table tennis. Athletics is more often done in the summer and rugby is more often done in winter (injuries are more likely when the ground's hard) cricket, tennis, baseball and rounders tend to be summer sports. Football, (field) hockey and netball are more often done in winter. Indoor sports may be done in winter if the weather's really bad. Most schools have an indoor sports hall as well as pitches etc. When I was at school indoor PE and outdoor PE were timetabled separately and you went outdoors regardless of the weather but that depends on the school. Also, unless the PE teacher is specially trained to teach rugby, rugby will be non-contact (tag rugby - instead of tackling you pull a tag off your opponent.) That is the same for primary and secondary schools, though secondary schools are more likely to have at least one PE teacher who can teach full contact rugby. Also England Rugby has rules about what contact can be done at what age so that's another thing to research if you choose for them to be doing rugby in school PE.

If you wanted a scenario where your character was watching from the sidelines while a friend participated in sports, then maybe the friend goes to an after school sports club. If there's a school team, they will train after school. Private schools tend to do much better than state schools at running school teams, though some state schools have good school teams at some sports. After school sports clubs won't just be for the selected team. Inclusion is considered more important than sporting excellence in state schools and often there aren't enough numbers to be that choosy about who's in the school team - it may be a case of having to actively recruit more players just to have enough to make a complete team.

Sonya Heaney
08-10-2019, 11:03 AM
I live in the Peak District, where we get a lot of snow.

It's not called field hockey here, just hockey. But it's not as common now as it was when I was at school.

Firstly: you have no idea how jealous I am. I love the Peak District so, so much.

Secondly: yes. "Field hockey" is an Americanism. For the rest of us there's "ice hockey" and "hockey".

t0dd
08-10-2019, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the information.

The school's a primary school - though I've depicted it as having different teachers for different classes. (That stemmed from my attending a primary school in England for a few years as a boy which *did* have several teachers rather than just one - though it was a Montessori school.)

SciSarahTops
08-10-2019, 06:30 PM
See you've had these answers already but just to reaffirm my experiences

Long distance running
Hockey
Football (soccer)

All the absolute pits in the mud, cold and wet! I used to get my Mum to write me a note to get out of it!

Old Hack
08-10-2019, 08:01 PM
I was about to ask the same question. You need to know before you start writing about the school because they are very different. Brits will be able to tell it's a private or state school even if the topic of fees/money never comes up, and also will know if the writer has confused the two and is just relying on hearsay and stereotypes.

Very true.


Also as they're 11, are they at primary or secondary school? If they have only just turned 11 they'll be in year 6 and the oldest kids in primary school. If they're turning 12 later in the school year they'll be in year 7 and at secondary school and the youngest kids in the school. This makes a massive difference to the school as primary and secondary schools are very different.

My youngest son and I both have summer birthdays, and had our 11th birthdays shortly before starting our first year at secondary school, so Year 7.


Firstly: you have no idea how jealous I am. I love the Peak District so, so much.

You've not seen the state of my house. Building Site. Covered in filth. These moors are dirty. (But it is rather grand in a somewhat decrepit way.)


The school's a primary school - though I've depicted it as having different teachers for different classes. (That stemmed from my attending a primary school in England for a few years as a boy which *did* have several teachers rather than just one - though it was a Montessori school.)

Even in Montessori schools, in primary schools classes tend to have just one teacher for all the various subjects. At least, that was true of the Montessori schools my friends' children went to.

If this is a primary school then a lot of the options we've given you for various sports aren't going to apply. I don't know any primary schools that allow their pupils to do cross country running, for example, or rugby. It's mostly football, netball, gym.

t0dd
08-11-2019, 05:54 PM
Would hockey still work? Or is that too "secondary school"?

I'm now leaning towards making the scene an after-school practice session - which the MC isn't officially part of, but is attending on the sidelines to keep a protective eye on the other girl because she (the other girl) is the trickster's leading target - especially because that approach made much of the story fall into place better; I was going to have the MC intend on that day (Monday) to do something important in gathering more information about the trickster that could help her catch it, but needs of the plot demanded that she'd be delayed until Tuesday - and her attending the practice session (which would be important in providing an "escalation moment" in the trickster's clashing with the other girl) offered an explanation for why she doesn't manage to do that "something important" until the next day.

Old Hack
08-11-2019, 08:48 PM
I didn't play hockey at primary school. Just at secondary. And my children's primary schools didn't have hockey as an option either.

Bolero
08-11-2019, 11:41 PM
I've never heard of hockey at a primary school. The nearest we got to dangerous wooden weapons was rounders. We played lots of rounders. It's a bit like baseball but not played professionally that I'm aware of. There was usually just the one bat and you dropped it once you'd hit the ball and were running round the bases. Usually played with a tennis ball. Played indoors and out. Definitely no throwing the ball to hit a player running round the bases.
Gym would include tag types of games.

Does it have to be sport? Could it be a school orchestra practice? I never stayed behind for any sports, or was aware of any inter-school sports matches that would have needed after school training - but Christmas play (with nativity theme), school choir and school orchestra - or even the dreaded massed plastic recorders - they certainly stayed behind after classes.

Sophia
08-12-2019, 12:39 AM
I don't recall any PE in my junior school (ages 8 - 11) except swimming. It began properly in secondary school (ages 11 - 16), where we had netball, hockey, and gym as the main staples, with cross-country running, and various athletics at different times of the year. Primary school is ages 5 - 8, I thought. That was definitely just running about at playtime; no organised PE.

Edit: Actually, no, there must have been some PE in junior school. I just recalled a memory of a friend getting stitch during an athletics class.

neandermagnon
08-12-2019, 09:59 PM
Primary school is ages 5 - 8, I thought.

These days, primary school is from reception to year 6. Though some are broken down into infant school (or first school) which is usually reception to year 2, then junior school, usually year 3-6. But there are a few places left that still have non-standard systems. Part of Dorset has middle schools, which are from year 4-8, then secondary starts in year 9. Though where I live it's the standard reception to year 6 for primary and year 7 to 11 or 13 for secondary.

Neither of my kids have played hockey at school, including the older one who's at secondary and about to start year 9. Primary school doesn't tend to focus much on traditional sports. They focus more on participation and getting kids to enjoy exercise. Rather than hockey, you're more likely to find sockey (at least I played that a lot at primary school) - using large stuffed socks as "sticks" and a beanbag as a ball. Traditional sports are played more at secondary school, alongside various other forms of exercise.

Plausible sports for primary school after school clubs (and a team if the school's big enough to have the numbers) would be football* or tag rugby. These are likely to be mixed gender at primary school age. They're unlikely to have the numbers to run a girls' club and quite often struggle with numbers for a boys club.

*soccer

Fallen
08-12-2019, 11:18 PM
Nowadays if it's too cold in January, sports will move indoors when it comes to primary school. Jan-Feb can be some of the coldest periods, usually with snow.

I have an 8-year-old in year 4; year 6 = 11-12.

Girls and boys sports stay mixed until they go up to secondary school: year 7. Outside they'll be doing football, rounders, basic tennis outside, along with ball skills. If it's moved into the hall because of the weather, it's gymnastics, fitness class, handball, yoga exercises etc.

Cath
08-19-2019, 07:06 PM
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

I saw the setting as somewhere in the English-Welsh border area (definitely in England, but the part of it close to the edge of Wales like Shropshire - though I never specified which county it was). I don't know if that would help narrow down the most probable activities or not, but in case it does...

Since a couple of posts mentioned the weather - in the book, there is a fairly heavy snow (treated as a rare event) - heavy enough to allow clearly visible animal tracks in the snow (which plays a major role in that part of the story), but which has melted (or almost all melted) by the first school day after the Christmas holidays. (The snow falls during the night between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.) At most, there'd be a bit of slush left over on the first school day.

I grew up in North Malvern in Worcestershire, just a little south of Shropshire. It’s hilly enough there that we’d often go out walking on the hills for our exercise. I don’t remember playing organized sports until secondary school, but my primary school was tiny (maybe 100 students in all) and didn’t have a sports field. I do remember snow being treacherous because of the hill. If you slipped walking across the playground (which was a very steep, tarmac’d slope) you’d find yourself in the fence at the bottom of the hill.

(My mum did grow up in Shropshire and her experience was very similar to mine, except without the ridiculous school playground).

If you haven’t read it yet, check out Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingman for a feel of the countryside in that part of the world (it’s set further to the north, but much rings true to my experiences).

mistri
08-20-2019, 02:16 AM
We only did netball in my primary school. And I've only heard of one teacher per year group (with knowledge of schools in the north west and south east but not much in between).

t0dd
08-20-2019, 03:58 AM
If you haven’t read it yet, check out Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingman for a feel of the countryside in that part of the world (it’s set further to the north, but much rings true to my experiences).

Thanks for mentioning it. I enjoyed "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" a lot, and thought earlier today (before reading your post) that I really should reread it soon.

t0dd
09-22-2019, 04:55 AM
I made some changes to my plans, but wound up needing such a scene, if a bit different than how I'd first intended. I'd like the right details to make certain that I'll be writing it correctly.

In the current version: the PE scene takes place indoors due to bad weather. The Bogle (the book's antagonist, a magical shape-shifting creature who's got a vendetta against a classmate of the MC's) is lurking invisibly in the room where it's taking place. When the children are playing some sort of ball game, the Bogle keeps arranging (through a bit of its magic) for the ball to head regularly for the classmate it's targeting (making it look as if it's some freak "bouncing off various objects" that, by coincidence, always heads for that particular girl) - until the MC notes this and steps in to drive the Bogle off.

What sort of ball game would best fit these conditions? (And if a ball game would be inappropriate for that setting, what kind of activity in that setting would best fit the Bogle's scheme as described above?)

frimble3
09-22-2019, 06:26 AM
Do they play 'Dodgeball' in Britain? Two teams try to hit each other with balls, while avoiding being hit by the opponents shots?
Or volleyball? No intention to hit people, but with a ball flying over the net, things happen.

talktidy
09-22-2019, 06:33 AM
Oh, God, this topic is bringing back horrible memories.

I live in S Wales, any outdoor sport comes with lashing of rain and sodden earth. I loathed hockey, because the bloody ball would get caught on divots and never go where you directed it. I still shudder, when I catch a whiff of the right combination of mud and trampled grass.

A teacher in my primary school took us to a field - not a proper grass covered field, mind you, but one full of a sort of cinder material - dished out hockey sticks and a ball, but gave us no instructions on how to play the game. 'Twas a wonder no one emerged with a black eye.

I also loathed netball. All those rules about where you as a particular player were and weren't allowed to move on a court.

The only game I had any time for, mostly because we played it indoors, was dodgeball. This was in a state school. An all girls school, with an intake from 13 onwards. I don't know how other schools played it, but ours fashioned an impromptu court out of gym benches, with a bench divider in the middle. The class was split between the courts, and our gym teacher chucked in a ball into each court and left us to get on with it. We're talking about a period back in the dawn of time, but I seem to remember that there were nominated players given the job of hitting the opposing team in their court. They occupied the bench in the middle and were fed the ball, when the opposing team missed. Those who got hit were out. After a while our teacher stopped our fun, by banning headshots and insisting we hit below hip height.

I seem to remember the more tactically astute waited until their team had both balls and then double-teamed their prey. I'm actually a bit hazy on the rules, but I think that is because our teacher would change things up to keep us on our toes.

As I said a long time ago, so I don't know whether kids play the same sort of game today. Obsessions with health and safety makes me think maybe not.

Roxxsmom
09-22-2019, 06:49 AM
My impression is that they are far less inclined to be weather wusses in the UK than in many parts of the US. The times I've been there, I've seen people out playing football, rugby, running, riding horses etc. in weather that would have US school kids inside (in the gym) playing dodge ball, volleyball or basketball. I grew up in CA, and our riding instructor would blanch and have us and pull the saddles off the horses, then cancel our lessons when it rained more than a few drops, because "water ruins leather." It doesn't appear to ruin saddle leather in the UK--maybe they make more liberal use of saddle soap there. Nor does playing soccer in the rain "ruin" the grass in the UK as everyone seems to think it will do here in CA.

Actually, come to think of it, I don't even know what indoor sports they play (in gymnasiums) across the pond. Basketball and volleyball are popular in the US. Do they play basketball and volleyball much in the UK?

Maybe that's why they move kids' PE classes inside in the winter in the US. Because we have popular games that can be played indoors. It's al;so true that in some parts of the US the winters do a lot more than rain or snow lightly--they have persistent drifts of snow that partially melt then refreeze to make a horrible crust on top.

frimble3
09-22-2019, 11:32 AM
Nor does playing soccer in the rain "ruin" the grass in the UK as everyone seems to think it will do here in CA.

All I know about soccer I learned from the guys at work, British and European guys, one an amateur ref. Vancouver is probably a lot wetter than most of California, but the guys same things about rain and soccer fields. Apparently it's not that the rain is bad for the grass, grass likes rain. It's when you get a heavy rain and it soaks the ground, making mud and loosening roots - grass does not like being mashed.
Then when the players run across it, the ground gets muddier, the grass gets looser, and when the players skid, they make long grooves in the turf, in addition to the general trampling of the grass into the mud.
The field has to have the mud smoothed out and the grass re-grown before the field can be used safely again.
There is nothing sadder than two lines of gloomy men, in their shorts and long socks, after their game has been cancelled.
To make themselves feel better requires a lot of beer and some grousing about the shortcomings of artificial turf.

Bolero
09-22-2019, 10:58 PM
Indoor games - depends if the school has a gym or a full on sports centre - the latter being larger with courts
In wet weather/PE lesson have variously done:

Tag - where one person starts out chasing and touching the others - or pulling a band off them (usually tucked into shorts) and you gradually build a team and wipe out the other other side - one way chasing. Can avoid by climbing bars up the wall etc.

Movement to music - not for the artistically challenged and bloody annoying as far as I am concerned

Doing proper gym - as in somersaults on mats, jumping over vaulting horses

Circuit training - short sprints, jumping on and off gym benches, squat thrusts, star jumps, jogging on the spot

Or if you have a sports centre, playing badminton, or sprinting the length, or even five a side football on small pitches - but games like 5 a side, or badminton, take up more space so can only be done with smaller classes.

Not ever encountered basketball in the UK. I've once played volleyball, I think it was at school and hated it for the way it jarred my wrists. Wasn't commonly played way back when.

All the gyms I encountered had ropes from the ceiling that you had to set up by pulling them across - on a very strong curtain rail up at the ceiling. Bars on the walls - that could be climbed fixed to the wall, or pulled out from the wall like opening a door and parquet floors.
More modern school buildings probably have something different and some sort of different floor.

waylander
09-23-2019, 01:22 AM
I agree, depends on how much space they've got but 5-a-side soccer would be my first call.

neandermagnon
09-23-2019, 09:52 AM
Dodgeball question:

My 9 year old plays dodgeball in school PE and also they sometimes run a dodgeball club during the half term holiday (one week off mid term) which my kid's gone along to before. They play indoors in the hall* with a foam ball and school PE benches. There are several different games they play with the same equipment, not just dodgeball. I watched my kid at dodgeball club, one of the games involved a prison area where kids are captured and put in the "prison" and they have to be released by kids on their other teams throwing balls. I couldn't follow the rules.

I've heard of a game similar to dodgeball being played in secondary schools too but it was run as part of a lesson on netball so specifically geared to improving netball skills - it wasn't so much that you try to hit players with the ball - you have to throw the ball so it can be caught by one of your own players not one of the other team's players. It was played with netballs not foam balls.

*in most primary schools they'll have one school hall that's for assembly, PE and lunches with furniture/equipment that can easily be put out and put away.

neandermagnon
09-23-2019, 09:59 AM
Not ever encountered basketball in the UK. I've once played volleyball, I think it was at school and hated it for the way it jarred my wrists. Wasn't commonly played way back when.

PE's changed a fair bit in recent decades. When I was a kid it was just football, rugby and cricket for the boys and netball, hockey and rounders for the girls. I hated it (though hockey was okay) and wanted to be playing rugby with the boys. Indoor PE I did pretty similar stuff to what you described.

These days both boys and girls play all the sports and they also include sports like basketball quite often. My oldest plays basketball at secondary school.



All the gyms I encountered had ropes from the ceiling that you had to set up by pulling them across - on a very strong curtain rail up at the ceiling. Bars on the walls - that could be climbed fixed to the wall, or pulled out from the wall like opening a door and parquet floors.
More modern school buildings probably have something different and some sort of different floor.

I was thinking of the same thing - wasn't sure how to describe it. The schools I went to and my kids' primary school (can't remember about the secondary school I think they have a dedicated PE hall) had bars like this on the wall that got pulled out for PE if we were doing actual gym and left where they were for other types of PE lessons or when the hall was being used for lunch, assembly etc. I also remember when we had to sit on benches by the bars in PE (e.g. while waiting your turn to do the activity) some of the kids used to climb up the bars and get shouted at by the PE teacher, lol.

neandermagnon
09-23-2019, 10:10 AM
My impression is that they are far less inclined to be weather wusses in the UK than in many parts of the US. The times I've been there, I've seen people out playing football, rugby, running, riding horses etc. in weather that would have US school kids inside (in the gym) playing dodge ball, volleyball or basketball. I grew up in CA, and our riding instructor would blanch and have us and pull the saddles off the horses, then cancel our lessons when it rained more than a few drops, because "water ruins leather." It doesn't appear to ruin saddle leather in the UK--maybe they make more liberal use of saddle soap there. Nor does playing soccer in the rain "ruin" the grass in the UK as everyone seems to think it will do here in CA.

Actually, come to think of it, I don't even know what indoor sports they play (in gymnasiums) across the pond. Basketball and volleyball are popular in the US. Do they play basketball and volleyball much in the UK?

Maybe that's why they move kids' PE classes inside in the winter in the US. Because we have popular games that can be played indoors. It's al;so true that in some parts of the US the winters do a lot more than rain or snow lightly--they have persistent drifts of snow that partially melt then refreeze to make a horrible crust on top.

It depends on a lot of things. In secondary school it will depend on timetabling, i.e. it may not be possible to change the location of an outdoor PE class to indoors if there's already another class in the hall. Though if there's gale force winds they will reschedule. A little bit of rain isn't much of a health and safety hazard but strong winds are. Also, there are legal issues with showers (stricter child protection and showers involve being naked) so they won't want kids getting too wet/muddy. I just asked my kid who's at secondary school - they don't even have showers any more ("there used to be but now it's a PE cupboard"). Also, temperature isn't a factor - rain or snow would be the issue, albeit snow shuts down the whole country so it's likely if it's snowing that much they won't be at school. Note: snow that doesn't settle won't close places down.

There's quite a big difference between school PE and activities that people choose to do of their own accord - I've done rugby training at my local club during a storm that was strong enough to have a name* (I've forgotten the name of the storm) but we were all there because we chose to be. School PE is compulsory so not all the kids will want to be there in the first place, never mind outdoors in horrible weather.

*they're named the way hurricanes are named but they're just called "storm Barry" or whatever, rather than hurricane

In primary schools they usually do change outdoor PE to indoor PE due to bad weather because they don't have the same facilities for changing and they won't want wet, muddy children in the classroom for the rest of the day.

Regarding pitches and rain damage, it depends on the soil type and also how high up the pitch is. Drainage is a major factor in some places.

Bolero
09-23-2019, 06:10 PM
Good point on moving outdoor classes indoors. I remember one occasion (just the one) where we finished up sitting in a class room and were handed pen and paper and told to write out the rules of various sports from memory.

t0dd
09-24-2019, 03:48 AM
Thanks for the comments. I've decided to use some sort of dodgeball-type game, since it fits the needs of the scene the best.