Official Rules for Games Arena


In the Games Arena, each team showcases their creativity and game strategy by making a board game based on one of the battle books.

Team members will:

• Select one battle book as the focus of their team’s board game

• Plan and make a board game in accordance with the rules

• Bring the team’s board game to the Tournament ready to play

• Play the board games of at least two other teams at the Tournament

• Earn points based on adherence to the rules, presentation, game strategy, and creative use of book details

Games Arena - Rules

Each Battle of the Books team must bring a board game to the Tournament that is created in accordance with the rules stated below.

1. Each board game must include a flat game board (to be played on a table) that is at least 9 x 12 inches and no larger than 30 x 40 inches.

2. Each game board must include a path for game play with clearly marked “start” and “finish” spaces /areas.

3. Each board game must include player pieces/pawns for at least six players. Teams may use player pieces/pawns from commercial board games (such as Parcheesi or Monopoly) or create their own pieces.

4. In order to advance player pieces / pawns, each board game must include dice or a spinner. Teams may use dice or spinners from commercial board games or create their own.

5. Written rules of play should be included with each game and provided on a separate sheet of paper. Rules of play should be legible and written clearly for anyone to follow. Rules of play can be typed by the coach or another adult.

6. A box, resealable plastic bag, or other container should be included to hold all pieces or parts of the game. The game board can be separate and does not have to fit in the box/bag.

7. Cards that include questions or cause player actions are allowed but are not required. If your team chooses to use cards, it should be stated clearly in the rules when a card is drawn (such as on every turn or only when a player lands on a certain space).

8. The board game should be planned, designed, and made by the team members. The coach can support the team by helping them brainstorm, finding poster board or colored markers, etc., but the team should do the work of creating the game. The coach or another adult may type the written rules of play for the game.

9. Each board game should have a name. The name of the game and the team name should be labeled on the game board, the box/bag used for game parts, and on the written rules of play.

Games Arena Scoring

Followed Rules - 10 points
Presentation - 15 points
Creative Use of Book Details - 15 points
Game Strategy (Fun to Play) - 5 points
Best in Group - 5 points

10. At the Tournament, two separate judges will observe each board game as it is being played and evaluate it. Judges will award points for how well each game follows the stated rules (10 points). Judges will look at the game’s visual presentation considering factors such as an organized layout and colorful/interesting (15 points). Judges will see if/how the board game includes details from the book (events that occur in the story, places or scenes, etc.) (15 points). Judges will evaluate the game strategy -- whether it seems fun to play (5 points). Judges will have “best of” points to award to only one game in their group (5 points).

11. The scores provided by each of the two judges will be added together to calculate the team’s total points for Games Arena out of a possible 100 points.

Official Rules for Games Arena updated 2/11/24 for the 2024 Battle of the Books Tournament.

See also Board Game Tips