How To Play Gaga Ball Like a Pro

Have you seen that octagonal pit down by our pond? That’s a Gaga Ball pit and it’s ready to play in! If you’ve never played before, here’s a simple guide to the rules and a few tips to help you become a Gaga Ball Master! 

What You’ll Need To Play

Your game of Gaga Ball can get started with just a few components. First, you’ll need a ball! A softer, bouncy ball like a foam ball, kickball, or volleyball will work best. You can also play with a soccer ball, but younger plays might leave the pit with a few bruises. Next, you’ll need a pit but if you’re desperate, any smaller enclosed space will suffice! Finally, and most importantly, you’ll need players! You can play this game with any number of players, but the best games are played with a minimum of 5 people and a maximum of 30.

How The Game Works

Gameplay is simple – players will use their hands to hit the ball towards other players in the pit, attempting to hit them below the knee. If a player is hit below the knee, they are out. (Even if they hit themselves with the ball!) If they’re hit above the knee, the player remains in and the play continues. If the ball is airborne, a player may catch it and the player that last hit the ball is out. The player who caught it must then place the ball back on the ground and hit it with their hand to make it active again. When a player is out, they must exit the ring. The game ends when only one player is left standing.

How To Start The Game

Before beginning, all players must fan out around the pit and begin with one hand touching a wall of the pit. Then, a referee will throw a ball into the center of the pit and they players will scream “GA” for the first two bounces on the ground. If you are playing with a smaller group and don’t have a referee, let one player throw the ball in the air in the center of the ring to start the game. On the third bounce, players scream “GO!” and the ball is now considered active.

Mastering Gaga Ball

Now, here are a few tips to heat up your game!

  • Use the walls of the pit to help you jump! As long as you’re not sitting on the walls, you can use them to help your gameplay.
  • Try hitting the ball with a closed hand! You can use either an open or closed hand to hit the ball, so try both and see what works best for you.
  • Add a second ball to heat things up! If you’re playing with a larger group, adding a second ball after the first few minutes of gameplay can help speed up the end of the game.