Run a square


For this task, you’ll need 4 pylons (each 3 metres apart in a square formation)


 “I want you to run a square around the pylons. I want you to run a square as best you can. Ready? Run now.”

Rating System



Presence of numerous major gaps in execution

  • Mature running form not present
  • Person is substantially overshooting or undershooting pylon placements
  • Slipping, tripping and/or stumbling is present  


Limited number of major gaps, but able to execute basic sequencing of the task

  • Rounds corners with numerous steps
  • While changing direction, shuffle or stutter-steps are present
  • Mature running form present



     Basic level of execution with minor     sequencing errors

  • May partially round corners, taking one extra step to change direction
  • Most of the corners are consistent in lateral shifts in body direction
  • Speed is at a jogging rate or faster


     Overall proficiency is depicted by the     quality of the movements

  • Accelerates rapidly
  • Performs a controlled lateral shift at each pylon with minimal footwork
  • All four corners exhibit controlled and powerful changes of direction and speed
  • Speed is maximal

Assessment Example

Josephine is a 10-year-old girl learning to play basketball. Her coach, Sylvain, wants to know how physically literate Josephine is, so he decides to use the PLAYfun Tool to assess her fundamental skills. Sylvain asks Josephine to do the first running task: Run a Square. As Josephine performs the task, Sylvain notices some weaknesses in her technique, and some gaps in her development.

The first thing Sylvain notices is Josephine’s acceleration. When Josephine accelerates, she moves with her head down and body leaning forward. She’s not able to get off to a quick start because of her undeveloped starting technique. He also notices how her arms flap out to the sides.

By the time Josephine has reached the first pylon, her body has straightened up and she has picked up speed. Her speed causes her to overshoot the pylon, and as she comes back around to the next pylon, she overshoots that one as well. It is clear that Josephine lacks the control to round each cone with measured steps. The inconsistency in her pace, from a slow, staggered acceleration to a more lumbering run also takes away from her control and technique.

These signs are indications that Josephine’s accelerating, running and turning abilities are at an “Initial” stage. Sylvain believes Josephine will show smoother technique when running in straight lines for a longer distance, as she does have the tendency to straighten out as she picks up speed, but for this activity Sylvain places a mark a little below the halfway mark under “Initial”.