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The Ultimate Gym Game: Gym Games for Kids

Updated on March 15, 2014

Looking for the ultimate gym game?

You've come to the right place! I'm always looking for better gym games and feel like I've searched everywhere to find the "perfect" one. This is certainly my favorite thus far. I stumbled across this particular game several years ago, and since then, the kids beg to play it every chance they get. It's a form of a dodgeball that is much more fast pace and entertaining. I call it, "Chinese War Ball," but I suppose you can refer to it however you'd like. For the most part, we play this game in a gymnasium (standard basketball court size); although, I have had luck with this game outdoors in a coned-off playing field. There is also a version I created where they play in a racquetball room, but I will touch on that later. This game works really well for smaller groups. I particularly enjoy this game, not only for it's fast-paced and exciting nature, but for the fact that it can keep a group of kids engaged and having fun.

What will you need?

I've played this game with as few as five students, and as many as twenty, but prefer to have right around twelve players. You can, of course, have as many as you'd like. You'll need three dodge balls and a playing field. Like I said earlier, a gymnasium is perfect, but if you don't have access to one, coning off an area outside will work well too. I like to use Gatorskin brand dodge balls for this game. They are much softer than your standard kickball, but can still be thrown the length of the gym if necessary. In any game of dodgeball someone is bound to get hit in the face —despite best efforts — and these balls tend to reduce injuries.

How do you play?

In this game, the players are allowed to go anywhere in the gym and are not limited to one side of the playing field or the other, as is the case in a regular game of dodgeball. The goal of the game is simple, hit everyone with the dodgeball to win. This, however, isn't an easy task. For starters, there are no teams. Everyone is playing as an individual and has to hit everyone else to win the game. Before beginning each game, I always have the kids sit down and listen to the rules.

1. You can go anywhere in the gym, but once you are in possession of one of the three balls in play, you can only take three steps. Three steps is the maximum number of steps! This is an important rule.

2. When you are hit with a ball, you must sit down immediately. That's right, you don't go off to the side or stand against the wall, you sit where you were hit.

3. Be sure to keep track of the person who hit you. They are the key to you rejoining the game. The only way for you to get back in the game is for the person who hit you to get out. When they sit down, you stand back up and rejoin the game.

4. You may only have one ball at a time. You cannot pick up two balls and can never have more than three steps.

5. To keep the dodge balls in constant motion, I invoke the 10 second rule. No one can hold a dodge ball for longer than 10 seconds. If I see players hold onto the dodge balls for too long, I give a verbal warning of "10 seconds!"

6. If someone catches a ball you throw, you're out.

7. When you are out (sitting on the floor), other players, NOT including the person that got you out, may ask for more steps. In this case, they will throw the ball to you. This allows them to get closer to their target. You will toss the ball back to them again. This is the only way around the three step rule.

8. While seated on the ground, the ONLY player you may attempt to throw the dodgeball at is the person who got you out.

9. If you have a dodgeball in your hand and are hit with a dodgeball by another player, you MUST completely sit down before throwing a dodgeball at the person who just got you out.

10. Be honest and fair! If the ball hits you, sit down. And remember, don't take more than three steps!

What's racquetball court style?

In some cases, I play the same game in a racquetball court when I have less kids. I do, however, change some of the rules. First, because the court is so much smaller, the person with the dodgeball can't take any steps. Also, I often only include two dodgeballs instead of the three. This version is very fast paced because the kids have so much less space to get away from one another.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to comment and I will be sure to get back to you. Enjoy, and have some fun!


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We have done this the last 2 years all of my students K-8 love it! I also allow for the ball to hit off the wall to get them out to keep them away from the walls. Of course I always play and they go after me!

    • Mritzert1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Canton, OH

      Thanks! I have to admit, I join in on the game more often than not.

    • Bob Ferreira profile image

      Bob Ferreira 

      7 years ago

      Sounds awesome! I have always loved all forms of dodgeball and this sounds like a fast-paced, intense version.

      Voted up and awesome!


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