Focus Ring

Type of strategy: CollaborationGamesMovementOpeners & Get to Know You

It's called the "Focus Ring" because a team must focus their attention to succeed in this teambuilding exercise. The goal is to transport a ball from point A to point B and then set the ball on a pipe.


 How To Make the Focus Ring (pdf)   

Set Up/Preparation:  Each person in the group holds on to at least one string (depending on the size of the group, some will have more than one string).  The participants spread out like spokes of a wheel, holding on to the end of their string.  A tennis ball is then placed on top of the steel ring.


  1. Each participant gets to operate at least one string.
  2. Participants must hold onto the end of the string and no other place.
  3. Participants must stay at a distance of at least the length of a stretched out string (very important).
  4. If the ball falls off the steel ring the group must start again.
  5. If the pedestal falls over the group must start again.
  6. The group is successful when the ball is balanced on the pedestal and the ring is resting on the ground with no one holding onto a string.
  7. Do not allow the participants to tie the string around their fingers or hands. 


  1. Have the group transport the ball over, under or around chairs, trees, desks, doors, etc.
  2. Use a bigger ball such as softball to make this activity harder.
  3. Attach a marker to the center of the Focus Ring to allow the group to draw on a piece of paper as a team or take a multiple-choice test as a team (or draw a picture, etc.).  I call this variation “Robot Writer”. 
  4. Have two separate groups work together by placing their respective tennis balls on to a “dual pedestal” or candelabra.  For a really hard version, you can have four groups work together to place four balls on a four position candelabra.  Refer to the How To Make document for details on constructing these candelabras. 
  5. Rotate who can communicate verbally by announcing that only the people holding a certain color string can talk (orange for example). Allow them to talk for 1 minute and then change the color/people.  This variation allows everyone to talk and take a leadership role.


How to make it directions (pdf)

  • String, enough on each ring for each person in the group
  • Ring (2 inch)
  • I inch PVC pipe
  • 1 inch PVC coppling attached as the base of the pipe
  • Tennis ball


Original Source and Video Example

Submitted by: Kim Buchanan