Name slapping is a fast icebreaker for new groups. It can be played with any number of players, but works best from around 8 to 20. It is very helpful to learn the names of the people of the group; however, the names should already be known.
Best played with a newspaper, but if necessary it can be played without any equipment.
All players stand in a circle, one player ("A") is in the middle. This player A is holding the newspaper (rolled up).
Another player "B" (or the referee) now says the name of a third person ("C"). A now has to try to slap this person (C) with the newspaper (softly, of course). However, C can say the name of yet another person ("D"). Then, A may not hit C but D. Of course, D can say the name of yet another person ....
If A is fast enough to slap the currently "active" person (first B, then C, ...) before he can say the name of a (valid) person, this person (B, ...) has to take up A's position in the middle, while A may stand in the circle again.
Be sure to agree on the following rules:
- May calls be directly returned, e.g may B say "C" and C reply with "B", or does there have to be at least one (or two, ..) person in between (B -> C -> D -> B).
- For coeducational youth groups it might be useful to introduce the rule "boys may only say girl's names, girls may only say boy's name". This might help to break up (typically same-gender) peer-groups that only call each other's names. Or find another way so that all participant's names are used equally frequent.