Filed under: Active Games

This is a fun update to dodge ball that has grown quite popular. It's fast paced and high energy - great for wearing kids out! While dodge ball favors aggressive, athletic players, gaga ball adds enough randomness that even weaker players can often win. This is best played with a bouncy kickball, but a foam ball can be used for younger kids.

Traditionally played in an octagonal pit, it's easy to setup a course using standard fold up tables. Lay them on their side, table top inward, and pull the legs out to prop them up.

  1. Everyone jumps into the pit to start, with a hand on the wall.
  2. A leader or referee throws the ball up in the air in the middle.
  3. If it's a bouncy ball, everyone yells GA on the first two bounces, and GO on the third bounce, at which time they can leave the wall and game play begins.
  4. If using a foam ball that doesn't bounce, the referee can yell GA-GA-GO to time the start.
  5. It's every man for himself. Hit the ball, but don't catch it, don't throw it, and don't kick it.
  6. If the ball touches you below the knees, you're out! Leave the course immediately.
  7. Any hit above the knees or below the face is fair.
  8. Use the walls wisely, and don't be afraid to leap over the ball!
  9. If the player leaves the arena, the player who hit it is out.

Some variations on the rules:

  • If the ball is a pop fly, another player can catch it to get the hitter out. We've found this leads to too much debate over what is a pop fly and what is not, so we leave it out.
  • A player cannot 'double hit' the ball. After hitting it, another person must touch the ball before the first player can hit it again.
  • Throw a second or even a third ball in the pit. This is a great way to speed up a game if it's coming to a standstill.

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