Sharks And Minnows

This game was usually played in the pool, a person would get out of the pool and stand on the side with his/her back facing the other players (usually 2 or more players were needed) the players would all be lined up on one side of the pool, like a race.  A category was then picked, like kinds of dogs, colors, kinds of trees, etc.  Each player would pick a kind of dog, or whatever the category was.  When everyone was ready the person outside of the pool would start saying different kinds of trees, or dogs, or whatever.  Like if the category was colors I'd start saying orange, red, green, etc.

When the color that the player picked was said, he/she would go to the other side of the pool as quietly as they could (more than one person would pick the same color sometimes).  If the person outside of the pool would hear the player(s) swimming he/she would dive or jump into the pool and try to tag(touch) the person before he/she got to the other side.  If the player was not tagged the original person outside of the pool would go back out and continue saying colors.  If the player was tagged, he/she would then take the original person's place and start the game over or continue saying different colors.  Once all the players got to the other side, the game would start over.
Another way to play is by having the person be in the middle of the pool, facing the players, with his/her eyes closed.

Contributed by Ana - Thank you!


The way we play is that 1 person would be the shark and the rest of the people were minnows { the shark should wear goggles} the shark would stand in the middle of the pool and turn around and count to five while the minnows would start moving around the pool as soon as the shark was down counting it would go under water and start to try to tag the other players. the trick is the shark has to keep eyes open under but when they came up for air they had ten sec. and has to keep eyes closed out of water or vise/versa.  

Who ever got tagged was the shark.  The object is NOT to be the shark.

Contributed by Heather - Thank you!


[This version adds a twist where the players try to trick the shark, if they are successful, the shark has to stay farther away from the water (and the minnows!)]


The person who is the shark is up on the diving board, on the end over the pool facing away from the pool. With at least two other people playing, who were the minnows, in the pool against the wall with the diving board. The minnows would pick a number (usually between 0 and 5). We usually would hold up that number of fingers under the board so the person who was the shark would not hear. The shark would be quiet and look when he/she thought the minnows had started swimming for the other side. If the minnows were still touching the wall (feet count) the shark had to take a step down the diving board away from the pool. The minnows would try and trick the shark the as many times as the number they had picked. Each trick counted (taking a deep breath, splashing, kicking) if the shark looked or not. Once the specified number of tricks was done all of the minnows would swim for their lives to the other side. Who ever got caught was eaten and came back as the next shark.

Contributed by Noreen - Thank you!



First, make bases at each side of the pool (the wall). Choose 1 shark and 2-10 players.


The idea is to get from one side of the pool to the other. One person would stand at the edge of the pool (in the middle) and count to 60 (that would be the shark). He would have to close his eyes and turn around so that the other players (minnows) could not see him.


The other players (minnows) have to stay touching the base and can't come off until the shark starts counting.  If they come off they can not go back on.  Then they would try to get to the other side without being heard by the shark.


If one person was heard by the shark, the shark would jump in and get him. Then he would be it. If the shark hears a splash but the minnows are still touching the base and the shark turns around, he has to take 2 steps away from the pool.


The minnows can also get out of the water (stay along the edge) and run and jump to the other base. But if the shark yells "fish out of water" and the person is not all the way in the water the person who tried to make it to the other side is now it.  After the shark counts to 60, the people who have not gone to the other side at least once have to make it there before the shark catches them. The shark can run around the pool.


It is a good idea to have a judge during this game.

Contributed by Chris - Thank you!

Related Games: Marco Polo, Pom Pon

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