Coaching Association of Canada

Upstream, Downstream

Stage of Activity 



100 grid boards 

3-4 “S” shapes (salmon)

3-4 “W” shapes (waterfalls)

3-4 dice

16-20 saucer cones


10-20 minutes

Number of People


How it Works

Coach places “S” and “W” shapes on the board in different positions like snakes and ladders.

*If boards are laminated, then the “S”s and “W”s can be drawn on with dry-erase markers and erased after the game.

Set up 3 to 4 short parallel lines of cones 5-15m long and the lines spaced 3-4m apart.

Athletes pair up and roll a die. The number they land on is the number of lines they run. E.g. if they land on 4 they would run up and down a line two times (1 way = 1 rep).

If they land on the bottom of an “S” (salmon) they go upstream to the higher number. If they land on a “W” (waterfall) they fall back to a lower number.

The goal is to be the first team to get to, or past, 100 in a designated time.


Endurance, speed, agility, teamwork, adapting to unpredictable outcomes


Use running up to 50 then use a core exercise (e.g. push-ups, side plank, etc.) for 51-100 to speed up the game. Alternatively, use sport-specific skills.

Create different exercises for each number and athletes must complete the activity for the number they land on.