Dodge Ball

If there’s ever a game that immediately comes to mind when working with children and youth it’s dodge ball (aka knee ball). This game has always been a favourite with any youth I’ve worked with and there are a number of variations, enough for dodge ball to warrant a category to itself.

Dodge ball is as it says “Dodge the ball”. It’s variation of one of the simplest of all games ‘tag’, ‘tig’ or ‘it’ where one person tags another, i.e. touches through chasing or another chosen method and in the person who was tagged either then becomes the chaser (tagger) or sits out the rest of the game.

Dodge ball is best played in an enclosed large space such as a hall or gym where everybody has the opportunity to move around quickly and freely and when the ball is thrown the chaser doesn’t have to go far to retrieve it. It can be played in an open space, but if there is nothing to enclose the area, the ball when it’s thrown and misses (which happens a lot) has a tendency to go a long way and needs retrieving.

All these games need one or two large/ish (volleyball or football sized) balls. It’s up to you choose the ball’s hardness. At the end of day any largish ball will do, but balls that are soft such as foam balls are slow and easier to dodge, but better when playing with young children. I’ve found that older children prefer playing with a faster, harder ball which requires more skill to dodge, such as a cheap football (UK football/soccer).

HINT:- All versions work best if the ball is constantly kept moving, rather than players taking their time looking for a good shot. This is very good for encouraging team co-operation as in most of these games the person throwing the ball is not able to move and if they delay, those avoiding being tagged have moved well out of the way, so the aim of the game is to throw to another team member who is closest to players trying not to get tagged… that is keep the ball moving around! Even when only one person is throwing, keeping the ball moving keeps the players on their toes with less time to work out where the ball is or move into better position.

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Dodge Ball

AKA

Knee Ball , Killer Ball

How it’s played

One or two players become the ‘taggers’ and using the ball they have to tag the other players by hitting them below the knee with the ball. Depending which variation is being used taggers can either run with the ball or have to stand still once it is in their hands. Any player that gets tagged sits out.
Variations:

– Players that get tagged sit down where they are rather than sitting to the side.

– Players when tagged change places with the tagger and become the tagger instead. (Suggested by Katie26657)

– Instead of throwing or kicking the ball, throwers knee the ball with their knees (use a soft ball or a soccer ball for older players) (Suggested by Kev Porter)

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