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Introductory Team Building Challenges: Riverboat Challenge

This is an excerpt from Team Building Through Physical Challenges-2nd Edition With Web Resource by Leigh Anderson,Daniel Midura & Donald Glover.

Riverboat is an introductory challenge that requires a group to transport itself across a large, open space. This task generally has one basic solution, but groups usually use the better part of a class period to complete the challenge.

Group members transfer themselves from one end of a basketball-court-sized area to the other end without touching the floor with their bodies.

The group uses two tumbling mats (folded) to create a riverboat. The group must move the mats so that they do not come unfolded. The group must also prevent the mats from crashing to the floor.


  • Two standard-size tumbling mats
  • Two small tires (preferably boat trailer tires)
  • Two long jump ropes (or sash cord)


You need a long, open space the length of a standard basketball court. A wide hallway would also provide adequate work space.