Looking for new, fun ways to play Gaga Ball? Well, look no further because here are 10 new ways to play Gaga Ball. All you need is your Gaga Ball pit and an inflatable rubber ball and you’re ready to go! If you're new to the game of gaga ball, the original rules are at the bottom of the article!
1. Double Touch
Double touch is a simple variation on regular Gaga Ball. Instead of allowing 1 touch before the ball has to hit a pit wall or another player, you get two touches! It’s simple and allows you to set yourself up for a better angle on your opponents!
2. King, Queen, Peasant (Soccer Version)
Split all players into partners. Designate 3 of the panels in the Gaga Ball pit as “Goals”. 3 partnerships enter the pit and are assigned a goal to defend. The first goal is the peasant position, the second the queen position, and the third the king. To get a partnership out, you must hit the ball into their “goal”. That partnership then rotates out, and the remaining partnerships move up from P-Q-K. A new partnership enters the pit, and they start in the P goal. The objective of the game is to stay in the King goal as long as possible. Only hit the ball with your hands, like normal gaga ball. Don’t block the goal with your legs, but you can block the goal with your hands/arms. If the ball ricochets off a player and out of bounds, or a player hits the ball out, they and their partner are out.
2b. K-Q-P Soccer with Points.
Play like the above soccer version with the following exception. When someone gets the peasant team out, they score no points. There is no incentive to get the peasant team out. Getting the queen team out scores 1 point. If a partnership gets the King team out, they score 2 points. Your points stay with you even if you rotate out. The first team to 10 points wins.
2c. Panna Soccer King of the Hill
This version uses an actual soccer ball, as opposed to a kick ball. Only two players enter at a time. They designate and mark two opposite-facing panels to use as “goals”. If the ball is kicked into the other player's panel, it counts as a goal. The first player to 3 goals wins, and the loser switches out. For larger groups, use teams of two or three. We cannot recommend using a soccer ball for traditional gaga ball as they do not bounce well and are quite heavy. However, using a gaga ball pit as a panna soccer cage or for other soccer drills is a great way to do more with your gaga ball pit.
Teams Gaga Ball is a great way to work on a group's communication and teamwork skills. Split the gaga pit evenly in half, and split the players into two teams. Each team gets half of the Gaga Ball pit as their side, and can’t cross the dividing line to get the ball. They must hit it from their side only, to get the other teams players out.
3b. Two Teams & Two Balls
Play with two balls, split into two colors (ex. 1 red ball, 1 green ball). Each team is assigned a ball, and the opposing team cannot touch that ball, only their own. If the ball gets someone out, that person rolls the ball back to the other teams side and leaves the pit. The last team standing wins.
3c. Protect the President
Split everyone into two teams, with an uncrossable line in the middle, like before. This time, choose one player to be the “President” for each team. Each teams job is to protect their “President”. If the “President” gets out, then the game is over and the other team wins.
Assign every player in the group a partner. Split the players so that half of the players are in the pit, and the player's partners are outside of the pit. Play as normal, EXCEPT that when a player in the pit gets out, they go tag their partner, and the partner enters the pit to play. When a partner enters the pit, they hold onto the pit wall for 3 seconds before they start playing. During those three seconds, they can’t get out, and they can’t get other players out.
4b. Play partners as usual, except each partner has a set amount of times they can switch with their partner before both players are permanently out, ex. each partner can switch out only twice, or three times. Last partnership standing wins.
4c. Play for a limited amount of time, like 15 mins. Each set of partners makes a tally of each time they switch. When time runs out, the partnership with the lowest times switched wins, with second place, third place, and so on.
5. P.E. Version
Gameplay starts as normal. When a player gets out, they run a lap, do 5 pushups, do some jumping jacks, or shoot a basketball into a hoop, and then rejoin the game.
5b. Split your group in half. Half of the group starts a game of knockout basketball (also known as speed) and the other half starts a gaga ball game. If a player gets out in one game, they switch to the other game. If a new player is entering the gaga ball pit, they must hold onto the gaga ball pit wall for three seconds. During the three seconds, they can’t get out, and they can’t get other players out. This is to protect them from immediately getting out while trying to enter the pit.
5c. Play with two gaga ball pits, and when a player gets out, they switch to the other pit. If a new player is entering the gaga ball pit, they must hold onto the gaga ball pit wall for three seconds. During the three seconds, they can’t get out, and they can’t get other players out.
6. Two Balls
Play as usual, but with a second ball.
6b. For every player that gets out, add a ball. The longer the game continues, the faster it ends.
7. Ball Tag
Start the games as usual with the exception that the player who serves the ball is “it”. Only they can touch the ball. If they hit another player, then that player is it, and so on.
7b. Set up a rotation. Once the player who is “it” gets another player "it", they rotate out for a new player. This is the perfect variation for larger groups who want to play “Ball Tag”
8. Zombie Ball
Play starts as usual. Each player has two lives. When a player gets hit by the ball, they lose the corresponding arm to the leg that got hit, and continue playing. After the second hit, the player is out.
9.Grab & Roll
This is a much more strategic variation of Gaga Ball. Instead of hitting the ball, you grab the ball, stop in place, and roll it at another player. The longer you wait, however, the better chance they have of dodging it, so act quickly! We don't recommend using a foam ball, as it will be too lightweight to roll - a kick ball will work great!
10. Make your own Gaga Ball Game
Maybe you don't like it when the last player in the pit wins, or you know a better way to play with a permanent pit. Or do you want the game to start on the second bounce, or shrink the diameter with each eliminated player? Whatever it is, use your imagination, and if you'd like - send us an email! We'd love the chance to feature you and your idea in a future newsletter or blog post!
The Original Rules of Gaga ball
Gaga Ball, or "Ga Ga Ball," is a versatile and exciting playground game popular among kids at summer camp, kids in high school, and church youth groups - it's also a great alternative to dodgeball. The game typically takes place in a hexagonal pit, about 20 feet in diameter, though occasionally an octagon pit may be used. This designated playing area creates an enclosed space for the exciting game, ensuring that the lightweight ball stays within bounds. The game can be played in a transportable or permanent pit, ranging from being made with netting to plywood.
The rules are straightforward, allowing kids to engage in this thrilling game. Players start with one hand and one foot touching the pit's wall, and the game kicks off with a gentle toss of the ball into the center. As the ball bounces, kids yell, “Ga-Ga-Ball,” On the first and second bounce, kids keep their hands on the pit wall. After the third bounce, the ball becomes active, and the kids are free to move away from the walls of the pit.
The objective is to eliminate opponents by hitting them below the knee with the ball. Any eliminated player exits the pit, making space for the remaining participants. Using their open hand, kids employ various techniques to interact with the ball, such as rolling, smacking, striking, swatting, or blocking it. However, picking up or catching the ball is strictly prohibited. If a player manages to propel the ball out of the pit, they eliminate themselves from the game, further encouraging kids to keep the ball close to the ground.
Each player is limited to a single touch of the ball, and subsequent contact must involve another participant or the pit's wall. Making two consecutive touches will result in the player's elimination, emphasizing the importance of continuous movement and ball circulation. The last player in the pit wins.
For young kids, such as kindergarten through second or third grade, try using a lightweight foam ball. Older kids can use a kick ball or other inflatable rubber ball. For high school, try using a smaller ball to make a more exciting game! In conclusion, with a kick ball, and a Ga Ga Ball pit, the options for summer camp or PE class fun are endless!