The Complete Guide on How To Properly Play Gaga Ball

The Complete Guide on How To Properly Play Gaga Ball

Posted by Discount Playground Supply on Aug 9th 2022

The Complete Guide on How To Properly Play Gaga Ball

Gaga ball is a game that’s played by every age group and requires no prior experience. This inclusive game is fun to include in the school curriculum next year and play at the end of summer camp. Get everyone involved in playing the game that never ends! Here’s the complete guide on how to properly play gaga ball.

What Exactly Is Gaga Ball?

Gaga ball has a fascinating history. There are many stories of how gaga ball came about, but we’re here to set the facts straight. Gaga ball is a game brought over by Israelian camp counselors at a Jewish summer camp.

This game’s similar to dodge ball in many ways, but it eliminates the harsh throwing and limits the distance you are to an opponent. In other words, players enter an octagon-shaped pit and, with their team, must strategize how to “tap” a player out. You did read that right—aside from throwing the ball, players must tap the ball with one arm at a time and knock someone out.

What’s the Objective?

The game's primary goal is to be the last one standing, just as it is in dodge ball. You also want to ensure that you aim for a player's feet—anywhere below the knees. Also, you should avoid smacking the ball out of bounce because it could sometimes be an automatic out.

Things Needed To Play

You don’t need too much to play the game in terms of equipment. However, the number one thing to have is teamwork. This game requires solid communication between players, as well as sportsmanship. In this game, there’s no room for taunting other players.

Below, you’ll find the common ball types used and what pit styles to use for the game. The other thing you need is a flat surface, as any other uneven place results in players bumping into and falling over each other. Keep the surface level in mind when picking a location.

Types of Balls Used

In most cases, you could use any ball type, but it’s best to use something lightweight. Any ball works, but a ball with some plush that’s light makes it fairer for those who may not be strong enough to tap a heavy ball back the other way.

Ensure the ball you use is lightweight, such as the following:

  • Volleyball
  • Soccer ball
  • Rubber playground ball

Try to avoid balls too small like a tennis or golf ball, and a big ball like a basketball, as it can cause accidents.

The Different Pit Styles

Gaga ball pits come in many styles, like timber, aluminum, and plastic. Sometimes, players use wooden arenas. The best style gaga ball pit kit to buy is one made from plastic. These formed plastic pieces are customizable. Many of them range in different sizes depending on the number of players you have.

The Average Size of a Pit

The average size of a pit ranges between 15 and 25 feet. Each size depends on the number of players you have. Say you have twelve players; a 20-foot-sized pit is ideal since there’s room for everyone to move around.

Rules of Gaga Ball

Gaga ball comes supplied with rules. They’re easy to follow, making the game fun for everyone. The basic rules start as:

  1. One referee is needed. The game won’t start until the referee checks both teams' readiness and places the ball into the middle of the pit.
  2. If starting a new round, the winning team tosses the ball; one player walks to the ball and throws it into the air. On the first bounce, both teams shout, “ga,” and once more on the second bounce. The game commences.
  3. Balls aren’t to be kicked, picked up, or thrown at another player. Every player must tap the ball with one hand. It’s okay to alternate but best to use one hand per round or “tap.”
  4. Once a player’s hit below the waist, they’re out.
  5. No one can hit a ball twice in one tap. For example, it’s called traveling in basketball if you carry the ball down the court. Similar to that, tapping a ball twice results in an out.

How Long Does Each Game Last?

Typically, games last between 1 to 2 minutes, but they could go as long as 5 to 10 minutes. However, if you’re on a time crunch, it’s best to limit the time to 3 minutes, so everyone has a turn to tap and toss the ball in the air.

How Elimination Works

Elimination works slightly differently for gaga ball. When a player’s hit below the waist, the game pauses so the hit player can exit. After that, the ball’s tossed in the air again, and the game starts with a new round. Furthermore, if a player taps the ball twice, carries it, or throws it, they’re out of the game.

The referee needs to watch intently and follow the rules as well. The ref is the moderator and should know when and how a player’s out of the game.

The Best Gaga Ball Play Strategies

As everyone learns and becomes experienced with playing gaga ball, there are strategies to try out. Each tactic helps children learn the best strategies to adapt to their team’s playing approach. These tactics could morph into a simple way of playing gaga ball.

Defensive Play

This mode is suitable for players that aren’t on teams—no one has a partner, and it’s the last-man-standing challenge. All rules apply, but kids need to dodge taps and tap the wall before it hits them. Also, kids can let it bounce off the wall once to make tapping back easier.


This method involves teams. The teamwork model applies the same rules; each team starts at separate pit ends. No one can cross the line, and if they do—like in dodgeball—it’s an out. The last team to stand wins.


Mayhem’s fun—this strategy involves using up to four balls, making it quadruple the fun! If you want to make it simple, use two balls. Using more than one ball tests children’s ability to dodge and swiftly knock balls out of the way before hitting them.


Domination’s a mode played the most in dodge ball. The exact mechanics work in this game. Once a player’s out, a player from the team that struck out an opponent brings one of their teammates back into the game.

Learning how to play gaga ball properly is essential to helping students have fun while building their teamwork skills. Truthfully, anyone has the chance to play this exciting game. Children learn many soft play skills, such as dodging, agility, and strategic thinking.

There’s so much joy to discover with gaga ball. Get set up with the right gaga ball equipment from Discount Playground Supply—we offer everything from the pit to ball packs, and more! Shop with us today, and contact us if you have any questions or want to know more about gaga ball!

The Complete Guide on How To Properly Play Gaga Ball