A fast-action, high-energy target-shooting competition for doubles teams; recommended as a one-touch teamwork drill for soccer; works well with any athletically conditioned group; approximately three minutes per round.
This contest is a race around the course to the peg for two doubles teams starting at the Center Stake in the middle of an eight-wicket (or larger) course. The course can be laid out in two identical rows of four wickets each, up to 20 yards apart, with the two rows separated by up to 20 yards and the stake in the center of the course.
Wickets 4 3 2 1 Stake Wickets 5 6 7 8
All players start from within two yards of the center stake. Both teams start simultaneously at the starting signal. Both teams run the course counter-clockwise. One team runs the course in the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 sequence and the other team runs the course in the 5, 6, 7, 8, 1, 2, 3, 4 sequence. The first team to hit the stake wins. In Topgun Toequet, the balls are struck with the feet: in Topgun Malletball, the balls are hit with mallets. In doubles play the opening stroke is made by one team member, the second stroke must be made by the other team member, and play must alternate stricktly between the team members. One cautionary note: Be aware of the possibility of injury if mallets are used, and definitely don't use mallets for teams of more than two.
Three and four-person teams: If you want to play with larger teams, allow extra time for the teams to practice coordinated moves, as Topgun with larger teams becomes a demanding, concentrated exercise in fast-action teamwork. If possible, expand the course to allow more space between the wickets. In One-Touch Topgun for three or four persons on a team, strict rotation is not required, but no player may touch the ball twice in succession.
Topgun Massacre - If one team catches up to the other team (determined by having the same target wicket) the fast team is immediately declared the winner.
Fouls & Penalties - In a tightly regulated competition, on-court referees stationed near the center stake may penalize offending teams for fouls or infractions of the rules by adding five seconds to the time of the offending player(s) for each foul committed.
Disqualification - If a player touches the opponent team's ball the touching player's team is disqualified; disqualification also occurs if a player or team skips a wicket or plays the wickets out of order.
These contests are typically very fast - no more than two or three minutes - so a soccer team or other sizeable group can play an elimination Topgun Tournament within a one-hour time span, including a quarter hour of practice and coaching. Allowing a liberal three minutes per round and using only one equipment set, an elimination tournament for 32 players (or 16 doubles teams) requires only 45 minutes for the 15 three-minute rounds.