Fitness Frenzy

Matt Villaescusa
Leo Hsu
Eric Smith

Robert Reyes

Minh Tam Chau

Fitness Frenzy gameboard

Head to Head Challenge Cards - Front and Back
cardfront1.png cardback_HH_1.png

Challenge Cards - Front and Back
cardfront2.png cardback_CH_1.png

Instructional Objective

The learning objectives for this game will be focused on the Middle School Physical Education and Health Standards for California public schools . Fitness Frenzy is a game that will challenge both the body and mind. Playing Fitness Frenzy will reinforce the following topics:
  • 5 components of fitness (cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, body composition, muscular endurance)
  • State required Fitnessgram (fitness test)- rules, standards, testing options
  • Physical performance of a variety of fitness based activities.
  • Cognitive knowledge of fitness concepts, fitness testing standards, and goal setting strategies.

Learners & Context of Use

This game is designed for but not limited to middle school aged students in grades Six-Eight (6-8) ages 12-14 enrolled in physical education and/or health. The subject matter, the five components of fitness and how it relates to the Fitnessgram, is a combination of physical education and health and is designed to challenge the whole learner, which includes cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills. Students will answer questions and make connections to the five components of fitness, and demonstrate activities or exercises that will help to improve a particular fitness component.

The Fitnessgram is an assessment tool used by physical education teachers in the state of California to help gauge a student's fitness level. How a student performs on the Fitnessgram determines where they are in the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ). It is important to note that this game is geared towards having learners not only understand what the five components of fitness are, but also to know how to improve their fitness levels by applying their knowledge.

One of the advantages of the game is that it can be used in a classroom or outdoors. In order to be most efficient with outdoor use, rugged and waterproof materials are needed. The classroom seating would need to be adjusted to form a playing area for eight (8) students. The area would need to be large enough so that a student can perform a "physical fitness challenge" in his or her playing area.

The game can be played several times due to the many challenges it offers. Prior to the game, the teacher would go over the directions and demonstrate examples. The students will be given a brief explanation of the goals of the game as well as the rules, personal conduct, and sportsmanship. This process should not take longer than five minutes. Afterwards, the teacher assigns teams and the students play.

Competing Products

Endurance- The Fitness Game
This game focuses on physical fitness and nutrition. Instead of collecting the goal of 50 points, as in the Fitness Frenzy game, the players try and get rid of pre-dealt cards with specific point values. Depending upon the players actions they can gain or lose cards. The first person to get rid of all their cards wins the game.

The Fitness Challenge
With a partner, a player will be motivated to workout three days a week and create an incentive coupon book to keep motivated and stay on track. This game is very different from the Fitness Frenzy with regard to the length of play (The Fitness Challenge last as long as eight weeks!).

Operation Fitness
This game involves a coach to get four members of their team to be fit according to a scale referred to as the SKI fitness scale. Players move around the board using movement cards and complete action cards. The team who gets 100 points first wins the game (Point totals are recorded on the SKI Fitness Dials).

The Funtastic Fitness Game
Players compete by rolling die and drawing cards to become "fit" in the categories of dieting, physical exercise, and "self awareness".

Xtreme Skillastics
This game is an extremely large board game which is five (5) foot by seven (7) foot. It requires the use of dice and beanbags to mark the location of the player. This game can be used as a competition between players or a way to increase physical activity. There are a total of 26 different drills for the players to complete.

Object of the Game

The goal of the game is to accumulate 50 points through physical competition and displaying the ability to answer fitness questions as related to the five core areas of the Fitnessgram.

Content Analysis

Content Type
Content Elements
Game Elements


-Five components of fitness- definitions and what Fitnessgram
tests are used to assess each part of fitness.
-Fitnessgram standards
-Fitnessgram testing options
-Challenge cards

-Challenge cards
-Challenge cards


-Five components of fitness
-Fitness training principles
-Challenge cards
-Challenge cards


-Goal setting (SMART goals) related to personal fitness
-Challenge cards


-Physical performance of fitness based activities

-Fitnessgram testing procedures (how to)
-Performing Fitnessgram tests
-Challenge and Head-to-Head cards
-Challenge cards
-Challenge cards


-Understanding of Fitnessgram testing procedures
-Self assessment of personal fitness level
-Challenge cards



Vantage Points

Students/players are participating in small teams that are competing against
other teams to demonstrate understanding of the five components of
fitness, Fitnessgram testing procedures and standards, and physical
performance of a variety of fitness based activities.

Game Materials

List each of the physical objects one would find in the box. For example, the board, each type of card, each type of prize or token, etc. After listing the materials, describe each in as much detail as needed. Include illustrations of the board and each type of card.

  • 1 Die- This die will allow the players to move from space to space on the board and determine which team will be first in the start of the game.
  • Gameboard- The gameboard will show different types of fitness activities as graphics. There will be a startline and a finishline for the game.
  • Challenge Cards (65)- Each time a player moves on the board during their turn, the oposite team will draw a card and read a question/physical challenge to the team who moved. Each challenge card will vary in point value from 1-3 based upon the level of difficulty of the question or physical activity.
  • Head to Head Card (16)- The Head to Head card is mixed in the Challenge Card deck and allows the team to steal point tokens from another team if they are able to complete the challenge successfully.
  • Pad of Paper and Pencil- This pad of paper and pencil is used for recording the point values of each team as the game progresses.

Time Required

The time required to set the game up would most likely take the students three to five (3-5) minutes. We are anticipating a single game can be completed within a thirty (30)-minute time period. The game is to be completed within a single class period or will be called on the basis of time, (5 minutes prior to the end of class) at which time the winning group shall be declared--the team which has accumulated the most points.

The Rules

  1. Form four (4) teams with two players on a team.
  2. Teams will begin on the Start marker.
  3. Each team will roll the die once to determine which team will start first (Highest roll (Team #1), lowest number (Team #4)).
  4. Team #1 will roll the die to move on the board. The number on the die represents the number of spaces moved on the board.
  5. Once Team #1 has rolled and moved their game piece, follow the directions located on the board.
  6. If Team #1 lands on a "Challenge" spot, Team #2 will select the "Challenge" card and read it to Team #1. If Team #1 answers the question correctly or performs the physical challenge according to the rules on the card, Team #1 will record the points earned on the point pad. If Team #1 does not answer the question correctly or complete the physical challenge, the card is placed at the bottom of the deck face up.
  7. Once Team #1 has completed their turn, Team #2 will roll and continue the game play.
  8. The first team to accumulate 50 points wins the game.

Head to Head Card
Within the "Fitness Frenzy" card deck there are "Head to Head" Card which allows an opponent to steal a predetermed number of point tokens from another team.
  1. If the "Head to Head" Card is selected, choose the team you want to compete against.
  2. The team not involved will be the judge of the "Head to Head" challenge.
  3. If the team who selected the "Head to Head" Card is successful in the competition, they will record the number of points stated on the card on their point pad.
  4. If the team who selected the "Head to Head" Card is unsuccessful in the competition, they will return the card to the bottom of the deck, face up.

Motivational Issues (ARCS Model)

Attention: The game engages the learner by providing both physical and cognitive challenges. In addition, learners are assigned to groups of two students per team where they will work together throughout the game and attempt to complete the various challenges. The competition seems almost built-in because of the fact that the students are in groups and will be challenging other groups by trying to be the first group to collect the most number of points.
Relevance: The game Fitness Frenzy includes many of the California state physical education standards. The game is based on the five components of fitness, understanding Fitnessgram scores, and setting personal goals. Students are assessed on the physical education standards throughout the year. The Fitnessgram, a state mandated test, is administered in the spring to every fifth, seventh, and ninth grade student in the stae of California.
Confidence: Students work in groups of two as a team to complete both physical and cognitive challenges (perceived control). Some students may not feel as confident in their athletic ability but may excel in the cognitive realm and vice versa. Before the game is played, students will be taught the physical euducation standards and will have practiced the Fitnesssgram assessments several times (perceived competence). In addition, each challenge card has an area on the card with a hint. Teams can ask for a hint to help them answer the question. The trade off is that the team will only earn half the point total on the card.
Satisfaction: Students receive instant feedback from the answers on the back of the challenge cards. By working in teams of two, students receive encouragement and reinforcement throughout the game. Extrinsic rewards are left to the discretion of the teacher. Intrinsic rewards vary from personal satisfaction of knowing the course content, positive feedback from peers, and confidence in passing the Fitnessgram.

Design Process

The design process was truly a collaborative effort. Our first steps were to think of games that we enjoyed playing as kids. We discussed the games that were fun, yet challenging to play. We also discussed what would have made those games even better. Next, we started brainstorming and a lot of good ideas came out of the session. There was a lot of discussion regarding whether to use a linear model or a point system for the game board. In addition, the use of challenge cards and whether they should be cognitive, psychomotor, or both was discussed in depth. The affective domain was also considered. We wanted students to learn the concepts in a positive environment and, although there inevitably would be a competitive atmosphere, we did not want learners to pick on others who may not be as physically fit. The main question we asked ourselves throughout the discussion was, "Will our learners understand what the five components of fitness are, and can they apply it to improve their Fitnessgram scores?"

After the brainstorming session, we decided as as group to write down our individual ideas on a Google document, take the best ideas from the document, and form them into one design. Background information was attained from our content experts who teach middle school physical education and health. Some questions discussed were: What was the plausibility of using this game in a classroom and/or outdoor setting? How many students could comfortably and realistically play on each game board? Since there will be physical challenges, what kinds of equipment will be needed? Can the equipment fit in a game board box or would additional equipment be needed and supplied by the teacher? To see if there were similar games, we did a search on Board Game Geek, The Educational Learning Games Catalog, and Google.

In order to get feedback on our game, we described the game to 36 middle school physical education students (six students actively participating in the game) to see if it would be of interest to them. After we described the game, we played a modified version of the game using cut up strips of paper (with questions and answers printed on them) as challenge cards and a makeshift board made from poster board and markers. The board was shaped as a pentagon. The games pieces used were hardware tools and included a bolt, picture hanger, and drywall anchor. We prefaced the game by letting the students know that the game was still in its infancy and this was a very early prototype. Students were also encouraged to be brutally honest in an effort to receive helpful feedback to improve the game. Here is the feedback from the students after playing the game:

  • Students stated that they could see the game being fun and mentioned that it would be more enjoyable to play than "regular PE class" or learning the concepts in a classroom setting being lectured by the teacher.
  • Students enjoyed the "fun spots" on the board. Some examples of a fun spot are "fighting in PE, move back two spots", "lose a turn" and "not dressed for pe, lose two points."
  • Many of the students felt that the questions were "kinda tough" and suggested having a section on the card where a hint could be given to help them answer the question. In return, the team would earn some points but not all the points possible.
  • Some students felt that the game could act as a study guide for the end of course exam (final exam).
  • Students overwhelmingly felt that the game would be better if only a point system was used (for example, first team to get to 50 points wins.) instead of a point system and a finish line (linear).
  • Students suggested that the game board have more spaces and more "twists" in the game such as some bonus point spaces and penalty spaces.
  • Students suggested that the game pieces resembled miniature sized trophies in various sports poses or sporting equipment.
  • Students suggested that the game cards have drawings of exercises on the challenge cards.
  • Students also suggested adding one more team of two for a total of eight players for gameboard. Although no reason was given, we believe it was because they may have lost interest in the physical challenges because it was with either one of two teams. Another team would add more variety.

Some lessons that were learned from this experience were to:
  • create a more developed prototype for testing
  • write simpler directions that are less wordy and easier to understand
  • test the prototype with a larger segment of students
  • create questions that have hints embedded on the cards.
  • be flexible to changes and suggestions
  • remain focused on the theme/content of the game.