Tic-tac-toe exercise for referees

Tic-tac-toe exercise for referees – or noughts and crosses for the British readers. It’s a really funny exercise I’ve done with the referee association of Leiden

Explanation tic-tac-toe exercise for referees

You all know the traditional game where you have to get three things in a row. But this exercises combines physical training with a playful exercise.

  • You form teams of two or three people. 
  • At 20 metres from the start line is a grid with orange pylons.
  • Every runner can take one small cone with him/her and place it on the orange pylon. If you only have small cones, just place the team coloured cone over the orange cone.
  • The next runner of a team can start when the runner before him high-fives him at the start line. 
  • The team that has three cones of their colour in a row wins

Tic-tac-toe exercise for referees

Give tic-tac-toe an extra dimension

It’s also funny to give the game an extra dimension, because sometimes the previous exercises is too easy or ends in a draw constantly. 

In this version the all the rules are the same, but now you can place a cone of your own colour or remove one of of the cones of your opponent. Now it comes to team tactics, because you need to communicate with your team

Love to hear from you if you have any of these playful exercises during your training sessions.

Playful exercise referees

Team version from Heavy Woollen RA

I personally also liked this idea by the Heavy Woollen RA. Watch it on Facebook.

They let you work with vests and you have to bring them to one of the 9 zones with noughts and crosses. You need coordination and teamwork in the refereeing team.

I can’t embed it, but here’s a screenshot from it.

Heavy Woollen RA refs doing noughts and crosses. Screenshot from video on their Facebook.


  • Alex

    Another good version of this is where each team only has 3 markers and once all three are down can move their own markers around as needed.

    To make it a bit more challenging (especially for referees), introduce two futsal/soccer balls and the referee has to dribble it over to the game area, make their move, and dribble it back to their team for the next person to go to make their move.

  • Lachlan

    We do this but each team only has three cones total. Once your third is down, you have to move one of your team’s cones on each run

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