Dodge Ball Games-Kids
- Rules: You must have game rules in place that your campers/students are aware before you start your first game/tournament.
- New Games: I have a few games that I created and some modifications to other popular dodge ball games to make your life easier.
- Tournament rules: How to run a tournament and seed the teams.
- Dodge balls: My Favorite ball to use.
- Before we start with all of the different games, here is a list of rules that I use for the majority of my dodge ball games. As a instructor it will make your life easier. TRUST ME!
Dodge Ball Out Rules
- If hit by a ball from the other team. Doesn’t matter if it skims your shirt, hair or little pinky toe, you’re still out!
- When your thrown ball is caught by the other team. Also, the first player in line waiting to come back in the game, may re-enter for the caught ball.
- A player re-entering the game, may receive 5 seconds before being hit. Remember these are kids were talking about.
- Players are allowed to use a ball to block other balls from hitting them, but if that ball is knocked out of their hand then they’re out.
- Note: If a player purposely drops a ball they’re holding to catch a thrown ball, that it not considered to be a ball hit out of their hand. (dropped ball)
- If you tell someone they’re out, than you’re out for saying it. Games can get out of control with kids yelling at each other, if a hit player doesn’t go out. It seems like a harsh rule, but I speak from experience. If a player is already out and they tell someone from the other team they’re out, than they will start the next game out.
- Can’t reach over or cross the center line that separates the two teams.
- If a player is hit with a ball and a teammate catches the ball before it hits the ground, they’re not out and the thrower must go out for a caught ball.
- If a ball rolls or bounces into a player they will not be out.
- If a ball is caught off the ball, the thrower is still out.
- If a thrown ball hits multiple players before hitting the ground, both players hit will be out.
- If you hit someone in the head you’re both out. The thrower and the person that was hit. In the past the thrower would complain that the person they hit in the head was ducking down low. I made a rule that if you’re ducking and you get hit in the head, you’re out. This created a lot of disagreements whether it was a duck or not. TRUST ME when I tell you to make both players out. It seems cruel, but it will make your life as a counselor/coach much easier.
Dodge Ball Warm-up
- This game is played with 4 teams.
- Place a beach ball in the center of your gym.
- All four teams on placed behind a designated line on all 4 sides of the ball.
- You can use lines on the floor, tape, cones or poly spots for the teams.
- TIP: Designate a separate line a few feet closer to the ball.
- Each team will use foam dodge balls to hit the beach ball. Every time the ball goes over the designated line of another team, they receive a point.
- The team with the lowest score, will win the game.
1. Lead Up Dodge Ball Game (Bowling Pin Dodge Ball)
CLICK HERE to see a lead up dodge ball video.
- Place each team on one side of the court with the half court line separating them.
- Each player has bowling or small pin that they must prevent from getting hit and knocked over.
- A player can stay near their pin or help another teammate. They can play aggressive and leave their pin while trying to hit pins of the other team.
- Note: If a players pin is hit with a ball, they’re not allowed to catch the pin before it falls, but they’re allowed to block the balls before they hit the pin.
- If a players pin is knocked over they’re not out. They must go to the side of the other team and knock a pin down with a ball, but they have to stay of the basketball court or designated area of the other team. If they accomplish a hit, they may return to their side and stand their pin back up.
- When you stop the game every 5-7 minutes, whichever team has the most pins up at that time, wins!
- Tip: Allow campers/students to pick a new location for their pin at the start of each new game.
2 Traditional Dodge Ball
- This the basic and well known style of dodge ball with one team on each side of the court. There is a center line that the players can’t pass a back line that the players must be on at the start of the game.
- All the rules above apply to traditional dodge ball.
- Tip: When playing with kids I advise not to place the balls on the center line at the start of the game. It’s an easy way for players to get out fast. I have a separate line on each side of the mid line approximately 10 feet back.
3.Medic Dodge Ball
- All Traditional Dodge ball rules apply.
- Each team is separated and set up just like Traditional Dodge Ball.
- One player is designated as a Medic by wearing a pinnie or wrist bands.
- When a player is hit, instead of going out to the wall, they sit where they were hit with their hand in the air and yell “MEDIC!!!” If the medic can give them a high five they’re allowed to re-join the game.
- No guarding the Medic. The Medic may run in out and behind players, but they’re not allowed to have a guard.
- If a Medic is hit, their teams has 1 minute to hit the medic of the other team. If they accomplish this in less than 1 minute, everyone stands up and play continues. This includes both medics. If they don’t hit the other medic the game is over and you need to pick a new medic for each team.
4.Trench Dodge Ball
- All Traditional Dodge Ball rules apply
- Each team is separated just like the two previous games.
- When a player gets out, they must go behind the other team into the designated trench. If you can place them behind the base line of a basketball court that would be ideal. If not, then you can use dome cones to make your line.
- Once you have all of the other team in your trench you win, but its not that easy, because trench players can hit the other team with a ball that comes into the trench. Players not in the trench, must have eyes in the back of their head.
- You can use 1 or 2 ways to allow players to be set free from the trench. First way would be to catch a ball thrown over the heads of the other team into your trench by a teammate. If you want to give the kids a second chance to be set free, you can have players stuck in the trench, throw a ball to a teammate still on the court. If they catch the trench players thrown ball, it will set them free.
- Variation: Designate an area in the center of the gym approximately 15 feet wide, sideline to sideline. Both teams are allowed in this area and they can pick up balls, throw and be hit.
5. American Gladiator Dodge Ball ( Fort Nite) (Obstacle Course DB)
- Use whatever name you prefer, but Fortnite might be the way to go with it’s popularity at this time.
- In this game you have one team going thru an obstacle course, while trying not to be hit by the other teams that are behind the designated line. You can have 3 or 4 teams behind the designated throwing line and 1 team going thru the course.
- You could have as many as 4 or 5 teams with 5-10 players on each team. As they go thru the course, make sure they have lots of barriers to hide behind. Tip: You want a high success rate of players that make it thru the course.
- Each team receives 1 point for every player that makes it thru the course without being hit by a ball. (NO HEAD SHOTS IN THIS GAME)
- Make sure you have a designated area for kids to sit when they make it thru the course and a separate area to sit when hit.
- My campers/students start the course all the way in the far left corner in the picture above. They work their way to the opposite right corner and than back to the original corner.
Variation: To add a fornite spin on things, I allow kids to use a imaginary med kit to revive when hit for the first time. They get down on one knee an motion their hands like a false start in football for 10 seconds and then continue on thru the course. This gives them a second life.
- Note: The throwing teams will probably run out of balls before the team finishes the course. Allow the throwing teams to enter the course to gather balls, but they must return to the throwing area before they throw another ball.
- Tip: If you notice in the picture above I have a counselor on the left side making sure the throwing teams are staying behind the designated line. I have another counselor on the right side by the table keeping an eye on the players going thru the course and another counselor from the view of the picture watching everyone.
- Tip: Be creative! I have an area where the kids must ride a scooter. There’s a tug of war rope tied to the basketball basket, so they can swing over the moat of killer chickens. A tug of war rope on the ground can become a snake. A painted shark on the floor that you must jump over with the man made bridge of aerobic steps. Another words use whatever you have in your storage room.
6. Attack The Fort
- Traditional Dodge Ball rules apply.
- Build a big fort at one end of the gym, with whatever equipment you can find.
- Place 1 or more teams in the other areas of the gym. I find that this game works better when you play with 4 teams instead of 2.
- Give the other 3 teams barriers to hide behind, but only 1 team gets the fort.
- The team in the fort is allowed to come out of the fort if they want, but the other 3 teams can’t enter the fort.
- Rotate the teams, so everyone has a chance to be the team in the fort.
7. Barrier Ball
- This dodge ball game, is set up just like traditional dodge ball, except each team has barriers spread out throughout the gym to hide behind.
- Put them all over the place.
- If you don’t have barriers, use anything you can find such as crates and ball carts.
- The barriers just adds another dimension to the game and the kids love it.
8. Bowling Dodge Ball
- Divide the class into two teams. One team on each side of the gym.
- The game will start and be played just like traditional dodge ball, but the players must roll the ball.
- If a player is hit above the knee, they’re not out.
9. Free For All
- All Traditional Dodge Ball Rules apply with some additional rules.
- In this game there are no teams. It’s everyone for themselves.
- Additional rule: If a player has a ball in their hand, they may only take 3 steps with it, but they’re allowed to dribble the ball with their feet as much as they want.
- Make sure you have a designated area for out players.
- Tip: I always advise my campers/students to hold their hand up when they’re out. This avoids players getting hit when their guard is down especially in this game where players can be hit at close range.
- Tip: I don’t like my campers/students to sit out for more than 1 or 2 minutes, so it’s not necessary to play until one kid is left in the game.
10. Bowling Free For All
- This game is played just like the free for all style mentioned above, but with the bowling rules mentioned above.
11. Four Corner Dodge Ball
- All Traditional Dodge ball rules apply.
- 4 teams
- Divide the gym/playing area into for sections with one team in each section.
- If a player is hit, they must join the team that hit them.
- The team that has the most players in their section wins the games.
- Be aware that each team is playing against 3 other teams at the same time.
12. Hot Foot
CLICK HERE to check out a video on how to play Hot Foot.
- Place the entire group/class in a designated circle in the center of the gym/playing area. Approximately 20 ft diameter.
- One player begins in the outside of the playing area and their job is is to kick balls only at the players in the circle.
- When a player is hit by a ball, they must join the player/players on the outside of the circle.
- Last player standing, wins and will be allowed to start the next game.
- Note: If a ball bounces or rolls into a player in the circle they’re still out.
13. Run For It
- This is a timed game.
- One team stands behind a designated throwing area while the other team runs from one end of the gym to the other.
- The throwing team will have half of their team behind one sideline and the other half behind the opposite sideline.
- The running team must run from base line to base line of the basketball court until all players are out.
- The team that takes the longest to get out all of their players out, wins the game.
- Note: This game is very tiring so I advise to only play 1 round.
- Variation: If you’re worried about fatigue, you can set a certain amount of attempts by each team, such as 5 and the team with more players left after 5 attempts crossing, would win the game.
- Variation: Instead of having players sit off to the side when out, they can sit where they were hit. If a teammate that is not out, can give them a high five as they’re running past, then the out player can re-join the game. THIS VERSION IS FAVORED MORE BY MUST STUDENTS AND CAMPERS.
14. Soccer Dodge Ball
- The first week of my camp is only soccer, so I came up with this idea.
- The balls must be kicked at the other team. (Foam Soccer Balls)
- Only allowed to have a ball in your hand, if you catch a kicked ball.
- If a kicked ball is caught, that player is allowed to do a legal soccer throw-in to hit the other team.
- All other rules are the same as Traditional Dodge ball.
- Variation: Same idea, except the students/campers will play a free for all version as in #9. Players may only dribble the ball with their feet and kick. No hands!
15. Around The World
- You’ll need two mats, one placed on diagonal corners of the basketball court.
- When a player is on a mat, they’re not out if hit.
- One player starts the game in the center circle of the gym with all of the dodge balls.
- The other players walk, jog or run on the outside of the basketball court.
- If the center player hits a player moving around the court, that player will join the thrower in the center of the gym.
- Throwers are allowed to come out of the circle to get a ball, but they must get back to the circle to throw.
- Variation: If a player on the outside of the court gets a ball, they’re allowed to hit the center throwers when out of the circle. If this occurs the players will switch locations.
- All traditional dodge ball rules apply.
- One team spreads out anywhere on the outside of your basketball court.
- The other team spreads out anywhere inside of your volleyball court.
- If your gym doesn’t have a volleyball court, you can simply make a smaller rectangle with cones.
- Each team has an advantage and disadvantage. The perimeter team on the outside of the basketball court can’t back up that much, buy they can surround the center team in the volleyball court.
- The center team’s advantage are just the opposite.
- If a player is hit, they sit where they were hit.
- If a player catches a ball, they may choose one teammate to come back in.
- There is an area between both courts that both teams are allowed to go inside of.
- When a team is inside this neutral zone, they can be hit, but not throw.
- Rotate perimeter team to center and center team to perimeter every other game.
17. Bean Bag Dodge Ball
- Place each team on one half of the gym.
- The game starts out just like traditional dodge ball.
- Players are only out if they’re hit in the feet with a bean bag.
- Students are told to slide the bean bags to hit someone.
- On occasion they may catch some air and hit an opponents feet on the fly and that’s within the rules.
Option: Mix bean bags and dodge balls in the same game. Slide bean bags to hit the feet and throw dodge balls to hit the body.
18. Tornado Dodge Ball
- 4 throwers are placed in the center circle of the gym. If you need a larger circle, use poly spots.
- The rest of the class are moving counter clockwise on the lines of the basketball court.
- Players can only be hit when they’re under one of your basketball hoops. Hopefully you have 6. If not you can use mats.
- Only 3 players at a time can be under a basketball hoop.
- Players can NOT be hit when they’re under a basketball hoop.
19. Mine Field Dodge Ball
- Play a game of traditional dodge ball with bean bags spread all over the gym floor as mines.
- If a player steps on a bean bag during the course of the game, they’re out.
- Players will also be out, if hit with a ball as in traditional dodge ball rules.
- Option: Place poly spots on the side of each team. Allow players to throw only red bean bags. If a bean bag lands on a poly spot it will act as land mine.
- The player that threw the red bean bag onto the poly spot is allowed to either choose any player from the other team to go out or choose any one of their teammates to come in.
20. Smack It
- You’ll need a ball that has a good bounce to it.
- Kick balls or Trainer volleyballs are ideal for this game. Trainer volleyballs will have less of a sting.
- No teams. In a free for all version, everyone is on their own team.
- Players may dribble the ball with their hands and smack it into another player.
- Note: Players are never allowed to hold the ball.
- Option: The ball must bounce once on the ground before it hits another player. I can NOT be a direct hit.
21. Shoot & Peg
- This is a free for all dodge ball version with no teams.
- Players are allowed to go anywhere in the gym with a ball.
- Players are only allowed 3 steps when holding a ball, but they’re allowed to dribble the ball like a soccer ball as much as they want.
- NOTE: Players are not allowed to bounce the ball with their hands to move around the gym.
- Before a player can hit someone with a ball they must throw the ball off a wall and catch it. This will give them 1 throw.
- If a player makes a basket in one of the basketball hoops they will get 2 throws. I have 2 low baskets and 4 high baskets, so my students receive 2 throws for making a shot in a low basket and 3 throws for a high basket.
- If a player makes a 3 point shot they have unlimited throws.
- If a player makes a half court shot, they have unlimited throws and unlimited steps.
- OPTION: Players are not allowed to be hit, when they’re shooting a basket.
22. Run For Your Life
- Divide your class into 3 teams.
- Team “A” get’s set up on a side line with dodge balls.
- Team “B” will set up on the opposite side line with dodge balls.
- Team “C” Lines up behind a cone on the base line.
- Team C players will attempt to run to the opposite side of the gym and back to their team without getting hit with a dodge ball.
- Set up 4 cones. A player that will receive 1 point for every cone they pass on the way to the far end of the gym and 2 points for every cone they pass on their return back.
- Rotate the teams and keep track of the score.
23. Body Guard Dodge ball.
- This is a free for all version, where players may go anywhere in the gym.
- Set your class up in pairs.
- One player is the body guard and their job is to block their partner from getting hit with a ball.
- The body guard may block with another ball, their hands and body.
- If the partner is hit with a ball, they will sit out until the next round.
- Each round will last around 2 minutes.
- NOTE: Players may only take 3 steps when holding a ball.
- All traditional dodge ball rules apply.
- This is a free for all version of dodge ball.
- In this style, you’re allowed to swat a ball away with your hands. NO blocking with a ball.
- If you’re hit anywhere except head or hands you’re out.
- Players may only take 3 steps with a ball in their hand, but they may dribble with their feet as much as they wish.
25. Steal The Bacon
CLICK HERE to see a video of the game.
- Divide your class into two teams.
- Place each team on opposite side lines of the gym.
- Put 2 deck rings near the center of the gym with a foam dodge ball on each deck ring.
- Place 1 cone on each baseline of the basketball court.
- Give each player a number.
- When a player’s number is called they will run to the center of the gym and retrieve a dodge ball.
- The object is to peg your opponent before they peg you.
- If you think your opponent is going to get to the ball before you, then you may attempt to touch your cone on the base line before they peg you.
- 2 points for a successful peg and 1 point if you reach the cone before pegged.
- 3 points if you touch the cone and peg your opponent.
- Players are allowed no more then 2 throws per round.
26. Follow The Leader
- This game starts as a free for all version.
- Players may only take 3 steps with the ball.
- Unlimited steps when dribbling a ball with your feet.
- When a player is hit, they join the team of the player that hit them. They must go where they go, but they’re allowed to hit other players.
- Last team standing will win the game.
- Note: Advise players not to get out on purpose just to join a specific team. If a player does this, then they’ll be taken out of the game until the next round.
- Variation: Divide the class into two teams. One team will wear 1 wrist band. If a player is hit by a wrist band player they must put on a wrist band. If a player is hit by a non-wrist band player, they must take off their wrist band.
- This version can be played with team’s divided by a mid-line or they’re free to go anywhere in the gym.
27. Line Dodge Ball
- This is a free for all version.
- All players must stay on a line in the gym.
- You can use basketball and volleyball lines. If you don’t have enough, then I suggest to use floor tape to add more.
- If a player is hit or goes off of a line, then they’re out.
- Variation: This game can be played with 2 or 3 teams a the same time instead of free for all.
Scooter Dodge Ball
- Free for all rules except players are allowed to move as much as they want on their scooters with a dodge ball.
- Variation: One player will pull their partner with a rope or jump rope. Only the player on the scooter can throw and be hit.
- Rotate players on the scooter after every round.
28. Duo’s & Squads Fortnite Dodge Ball
- This is my version of a fortnite dodgeball game that my Students love! It has similarities to #9 free for all dodge ball.
- Place your class into duo’s or squads of 4-6 players.
- All of the dodge balls will be start in the center of your gym.
- All duo’s or squads must start the game off of the basketball court together or apart.
- When a player has a ball in their hand, they may only take 3 steps.
- Players are allowed to dribble a ball with their feet as much as they want to get closer to their opponents.
- Last team standing wins the game.
- When a player is out they must raise their hand and sit up against the front wall or designated location of your choice.
- Player’s are out by traditional dodge ball rules & the addition of taking more than 3 steps when holding a ball in their hand.
29. Border Patrol
- Similar to your Traditional Dodge Ball set up with some variations.
- When you yell boarder is open, players are allowed to cross over the mid-line to peg each other.
- When you yell boarder is closed, players must return to their side of the court.
- Players can be hit when they’re returning to their side of the court, but they’re not allowed to throw.
- The other variation is “Jail Break”. When you yell “jail break”, each team will attempt to hit the basketball backboard of the other team.
- When the back board is hit, all of the players that are out, may re-enter the game.
30. Outer Space Dodge Ball
- This is a free for all version.
- No teams.
- Players may only take 3 steps when holding a ball.
- If a player chooses to dribble a ball with their feet, they may move around as much as they choose.
- When a player is hit, they get a 2nd life, but now they must enter outer space and stay on the outside of the basketball court.
- Players on the outside of the court, may be hit by players on the court and other players in outer space (off the court).
- A player on the court can NOT be hit by a player in outer space, but they’re allowed to hit the outer space players.
- Once a player is hit in outer space, they’re out of the game until a new round begins.
- Note: This game only takes a few minutes to finish, so players will only sit out for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Option: Players that are out, must perform an exercise while waiting for the next round, such as rope jumping, push-ups, etc…
- I have rock wall, so my students are allowed to climb on the rock wall until the next round begins.
I hope you found these games helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.