Although the school year is coming to a close, you’re probably already thinking of ideas for next year’s PE classes. If you’re trying to come up with exciting games for your students, consider gaga ball. We put together the ultimate guide to playing gaga ball in your PE class.
What is Gaga Ball?
Known as a less intense version of dodgeball, gaga ball is a fast-paced game played in a special court. Once kids understand the rules, the game is easy to play. Games typically last no longer than five minutes at a time, so they’re not just exciting—they’re addictive. The best part is that children don’t have to be athletic to play. Anybody can play, and anybody can win!
Gaga Ball Prep
Before your class plays gaga ball, you’ll need to invest in a pit. Keep in mind that pit sizes vary depending on the number of players. Usually, pits for eight to 12 players have a diameter of 20 feet, while pits for more than 12 players should have a diameter of at least 25 feet. Don’t forget to purchase plenty of playground balls—you never know where they’ll end up.
Instructions for Play
Once they enter the pit, players must keep their hands on the walls until the ball enters play. As the referee, you’ll stand outside the play area and toss the ball into the pit. The players must scream “GA!” on the first two bounces and “GO!” on the final bounce. Once the ball bounces three times, players can break free from the wall and either attempt to gently strike the ball at another player or keep moving.
The game has a few important rules. First, if the ball touches a player anywhere below their knee, the player is out. However, if the ball touches a player anywhere above their shoulders, the player who hit the ball is out, and gameplay continues for the player who was hit. Finally, if the ball leaves the pit, the last player to hit the ball is out, and the game restarts for the remaining players. Players cannot hold the ball unless they catch it in the air. In this case, the player who hit the ball into the air is out.
The main objective of the game is to be the last player in the gaga ball pit.
Tips for a Successful Game
- When two players are left in the game, they can hit the ball up to three times in a row.
- Players should keep the ball low to the ground to increase their chances of removing another player from the game.
- Players should use an open hand to hit the ball instead of a closed fist to prevent injuries.
- Feel free to play music while your students play gaga ball for a more fun atmosphere.
- Need to speed up the game? Add a second ball to the pit.
- You can always modify the rules to suit your classes. As with most games, there are several variations of the instructions we outlined.