Leadership Inspirations Activities

Cupside Down

Rightside up or upside down, only one team can win


10 minutes

Team Stage

Any Stage

Type Of Activity

Game, Energizer


Plastic cups



In this high energy competitive game, teams try to best their opponents by flipping over as many cups as they can.



  • You will need an open playing area large enough for your group to move around comfortably.
  • Set up the space with cups – half upside down and half the right way up
  • The larger the group the more cups you will need – you will want 3-5 cups per person.
  • Split your group up into two teams
  • Safety: This is a high energy physical activity – remind participants to be careful and not run, push, etc. 


  • The object of the activity is for teams to have the most cups set up “their way”
    • One team will be trying to set the cups the right way up
    • One team will be trying to turn the cups upside down
  • Everyone must be moving at all times – no “hovering” or “guarding” cups
  • Cups must remain intact and in the playing area – no smashing, hiding, or collecting
  • Give the group a time limit of 2-3 minutes to try to flip as many cups as possible
  • At the end of the time, the team with the most cups set up their way wins
  • Reset and play as many rounds as you’d like


  • Before going into another round – give teams time to strategize. Remind them that they still must follow the rules.
  • If you want to play with more than two teams, buy as many different colored cups as you’d like teams. Start the game with all cups turned upside down. The team with the most of their colored cups set rightside up at the end of time wins. Teams can turn any colored cup rightside up or upside down in this version of the activity.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Project Planning

  • What has worked in other projects you have done? How have you dealt with setbacks?
  • How do you connect with the process of planning? Do you like it/not like it? How does this impact you/your group?
  • How do we manage our time? How does that affect our ability to complete our projects?


  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?


Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?