To play the original version of the game, choose one person who will be the shark – this can be accomplished by drawing straws, or any other method you see fit. Once the shark has been chosen, this person will need to swim off to one extreme end of the pool, while the minnows line up at the other end. The shark needs to be facing away from the minnows, with his back to them.
Now, proceed to select a category – the easiest is colours. The minnows will all choose one colour each, and the complete list of colours available needs to be shouted out to the shark. The shark will then shout out a random colour, and the minnow that chose this colour will need to swim towards the shark’s end, touch the edge of the pool, and then swim back.
All this while, the shark must keep his back towards the minnows, and listen closely as the minnows whose colour he called out attempt to quietly swim over to his side. Just by listening to their movements, the shark will need to attempt to tag a minnow. If he succeeds, the tagged minnow becomes the shark for the next round. However, if he fails, and the minnow manages to swim back to the safe side, the shark will need to call out another colour, and continue until he manages to tag someone.
Another version of the sharks and minnows game requires around 10 people the gather in the pool, and for one of them to be chosen to play as the shark. The shark swims out to the middle of the pool, while the minnows all move to one side of the pool. The shark will then close his eyes, and spread his arms out on either side.
The object of the game will now be for the minnows to cross to the other side, all the while avoiding the touch of the shark that is lurking in the middle of the pool. The shark, meanwhile, will be listening for the sound of moving minnows passing by, and attempting to tag any that he can.
The minnows that are tagged will join the shark in the middle as prisoners, while the others continue to move back and forth, from one end of the pool to another, all the while avoiding the shark’s touch. At the end, the one minnow that remains untagged is the winner.