Judges Decision | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
September 2017

Judges Decision

By Sharon Cook

How can you go wrong with a game that features a room full of teenagers making animal noises, rolling dice, doing cartwheels, and figuring out what time it is in france? Short answer: You can’t. Here are the instructions for the hilarious Judges Decision game (don’t worry, there’s a supply list at the end).

Ahead of time, group leaders create a list of tasks. Each task is placed in an envelope, numbered, and hidden around a specified area. This is done well before the arrival of the students.

Split the group into no more than 4 equal teams of 4-7 people. Each team then picks a barnyard animal. For the rest of the game, in order to communicate with one another, team members can use only noises their animal would make.

Each team rolls a die. They must then find the envelope that corresponds to that number. LEAVING THE ENVELOPE WHERE THEY FOUND IT, they prepare to perform the stunt/task inside the envelope. When they are ready to share, they must get the attention of the judges. They may do this only by impersonating their animal (actions may help!). If more than one group is trying to get the judges’ attention, the judges’ decision is final.

The team not chosen must wait quietly until the judges are no longer occupied. [Judges may work as a team or as solo individuals. The more teams of students, the more teams of judges are required. Four teams of students should be able to appeal to two teams of judges.] The team which is chosen must perform their task TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE JUDGE. Participation is key. Unless all members participate in the task, the judge will fail them. If the judge turns them down, they must re-claim the judges’ attention and re-perform their task.

Once a group successfully completes their task, they roll the die again. This number is added to their previous rolls. The resulting sum is the number of the next envelope they must find. All groups must perform the final envelope. [Depending on your time constraints, this may be 25 envelopes, 50, 100, etc.] The first group to finish the final task wins!

Of course you can come up with your own tasks, but here’s a list to get you started:

  1. Create a human pyramid
  2. Perform a cheer
  3. Write a commercial for God
  4. Gargle a song (judge must be able to identify)
  5. Act out a Bible story
  6. Enact a battle from Star Wars, complete with sound effects
  7. Do a country line dance
  8. Do a cartwheel
  9. Act out a current TV show
  10. Lead a mini aerobics session
  11. Eat three saltines and then whistle a song
  12. What time is it in France? (+7 hours)
  13. Keep 10 balloons in the air for 30 seconds
  14. Find the longest Psalm (119)
  15. Find the shortest Bible verse (John 11:35 – Jesus wept)
  16. Create a fort out of couch cushions
  17. Use the word ‘fall’ in a sentence (a different sentence for each team member)
  18. Each person on your team must unwrap a Starburst using only your teeth/tongue
  19. Form a kick line (chorus girl style)
  20. Make a log cabin out of toothpicks
  21. Draw a picture of Steve
  22. Create a human sculpture using yourselves and one roll of toilet paper
  23. Create a human machine (must have a real purpose)
  24. Write John 3:16 with your non-dominant hand (i.e. if you’re right-handed, use your left)
  25. Create a village out of playdough
  26. Identify five objects while blindfolded (judge has these objects)
  27. Make funny faces
  28. Tell a joke (We strongly suggest it be clean and funny)
  29. Do the bunny hop
  30. Name 10 states and their capitals -or- name 5 countries and their capitals
  31. Draw and decorate turkeys, kindergarten style (trace your hands and color)
  32. Make a leaf rubbing
  33. Tell one of Aesop’s fables
  34. Sing a religious Christmas song
  35. Count the number of chairs in the fellowship hall
  36. Say a prayer
  37. Each team member must give a word that starts with the letter K
  38. Pantomime a baseball game
  39. Perform a contemporary song as a live band
  40. Spell out a word with your bodies
  41. Say the alphabet backward (i.e. from z to a)
  42. Unscramble this word: AAIMQRUU (aquarium)
  43. Come see the judges for a prop. Each member must give a creative use for the item.
  44. How many pages of Smiths are in the 2003 SBC White Pages? (~1,014)
  45. How many clipboards are in the narthex? (8)
  46. Sing a hymn from today’s service
  47. List 10 foods of the same color
  48. Deliver a one-minute sermon (everyone must participate equally)
  49. Everyone must balance on one foot – each in a different pose
  50. Each person on the team gets a piece of frozen gum. When everyone has blown a bubble, your team is done!

Supplies List:

  • Water
  • Cups
  • Saltines
  • Balloons
  • Couch Cushions
  • Starbursts
  • Toothpicks
  • Markers
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Playdough
  • Blindfolds
  • 5 Random Objects
  • Crayons
  • Prop
  • Phone Book
  • Frozen Gum
  • Toilet Paper
  • Dice
After 10 years of serving as pastor in local churches, Sharon now works on Conference Staff in Wisconsin. Her primary areas are camps, young people, and Safe Sanctuaries.