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Have a game of Lape!

This is a fun game learned from our Samoan tamariki and community. It's similar to softball, but using any ball you like and your hand instead of a bat. It's la great way to develop teamwork, exercise and make our Samoan tamariki feel cool (because they are!).

Firstly, the science...

There are loads of benefits of learning a familiar cultural game such as Lape - it's all about cultural appreciation and that engaging in cultural games helps us connect with our local community and establish a sense of belonging. Not to mention a shared, fun experience with lots of physical activity. So much hauora goodness!

Why this activity?

Lape is a game that many NZ Samoan tamariki will know. Introducing this to tamariki who may not be so familiar with it is a great way to demonstrate that traditional games are important and valued. This acknowledgement, coupled with exercise and fun, are all great for tamariki hauora. 

You'll need

  •  Your tamariki and be sure to eventually invite whānau in to play too!

  •  The field

  •  3 cones or hoops to mark bases

  •  A ball – anything from a tennis ball to a soccer ball - volley balls are our faves!

What to do

If you’re not familiar with Lape, the best way to describe it might be as baseball or softball, where you use your hand as a bat and any ball you have available. 


We found the best description of how to play here. Check out how far that ball flies!


The aim of the game is to get as many runs without a player getting ‘out’. The way a player is ‘out’ is by the offending team either catching the ball on the full, or tagging them out with the ball between bases. Once this happens the teams switch from batting to fielding. Their aim now is to beat the amount of runs the other team scored before getting ‘out’.


Count your lape in Samoan just to add to the fun! And perhaps use Samoan for the important calls like “i fafo” (out).

Kaiako card

To make things easier, refer to or print the kaiako card for this activity.

Whānau engagement

Lape is the perfect game to invite your whānau in to play too or cheer on their favourite team. Somehow Lape, while competitive is hugely fun. 

While learning be sure to video some of the play for whānau. For Samoan Language weeks or other events - let Lape be part of your festivities.

And to add to this...

If you'd like to try another awesome movement based game try Ki o rahi! Ki o rahi is great because not only is it a game to get everyone moving but a game that creates learning of Māori traditions and culture

Curriculum Links

 Health and PE Curriculum 

  • Personal Health and physical development: A2, A4 - Regular physical activity, personal identity.

  • Movement concepts and motor skills: B1, B2, B4 - Movement skills, positive attitudes, challenges and social and cultural factors.

  • Relationships with other people: C1, C3 - relationships, interpersonal skills.

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