Group Juggle

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Identification
Intent or purpose: 
This process can be used so as to learn each others' names and develop some sense of interconnectedness or to release stress.
Used as component of: 
This process is used as an opening for meetings, or other get-togethers where participants are not familiar with each other and the facilitator. Another option is to use this game in a break in order to release stress.
Types of Participants: 
Any types of participants can be involved in this process.
Recommended size of group: 
unknown
Remarks about group size: 
The group can be of any size. The more participants are involved, the more time it gets to memorize all the names.
Optimal amount of time needed: 
The estimated time is around 15 minutes.
Howto
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
The outcome is a group, that hopefully now remembers each others' names, but in any case is now more familiar with one another.
Level of participation: 
The level of participacion is normal, however the people involved should be focused in order to remember other people's names.
Ideal Conditions: 
The participants should feel comfortable in the enviroment.
How is success evaluated: 
The process is successful when the people are now more comfortable with one another.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
A special Facilitator-Client Relationship is not neccesary.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Not set
Setting and Materials: 
The room needs to be big enough for all the participants to fit in, standing in a circle. Furthermore several soft balls, or other throwable objects.
Procedures: 

1. The facilitator instructs the participants to stand in a circle, not too close, and not too far from each other, and then includes him-/herself in the round.

2. What should follow is an explanation of the game: Someone will be asked for his/her name. Then, the first person says: "Hi Freddy, my name is James...here you go!" and throws the ball to him/her. Freddy then says "Thank you James", picks someone and the dialogue starts over again.
( If this process is used to reduce stress only, the name-part can be simply skipped, and the ball can just be thrown to each other.)

3. Everyone should have the ball once, and then it should be thrown back to the facilitator.

4. In the same manner the process can be started all over again, so as to give people the oportunity to remember each others' names.

5. In later rounds the facilitator can ask the participants to throw the ball faster, and then introduce multiple balls. A group of 12 to 15 people can handle between 4 and 6 balls.

6. The game can be ended when the facilitator gets the impression that people are comfortable with each other and know more and more names. Another fun way to end this activity to throw in more balls, so as they become unmanageable, in order to end in a hilarious shamble.

How flexible is the process?: 
The process is flexible, as it can serve as an introduction, but also as a little break to release stress.
Follow-Up Required: 
There is no follow-up requiered.
Background
Developer: 
Wilderdom - October 2009
References: 
1. http://www.firststepstraining.com/resources/activities/archive/activity_juggle.htm 2. http://www.teambuildingusa.com/team-building-exercise-group-juggle.asp 3. http://kirkweisler.com/images/stories/pdfs/activities/Group_Juggle.pdf
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