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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Ultimate Sponge Ball
Students must be able to throw and catch a soft sponge ball, have a basic understanding of person to person defense, and have practice with proper field spacing.
Purpose of Activity:
To teach students how fitness can be fun and beneficial while involved in a team game. Additionally this is a great game to teach students how to move into open spaces to receive passes from teammates.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
1 solid sponge type nerf ball (about 22" round) for each team (4 - 8 members per team); Jerseys to differentiate between two teams; A field or fields (basketball courts can be used for indoors) approximately 50 yds long and 30 - 40 yds wide (cones can be used to divide a football field into 3 seperate fields); Whistle to stop and start games; Stop Watch to take EHR's (Exercise Heart Rates)
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

Divide your class up into equal
teams of 4 - 8 players (6 per team typically works well for me). 
Each field has 2 sidelines and 2 goal lines.  Each team
starts at their own goal line with one of the teams in
control of the sponge ball.  On the whistle, each team
moves onto the field.  The team in control of the ball
must move the ball down field by passing it to each
other, however, the student that catches or has control
of the ball cannot run. They may only pivot.  

other offensive players should be trying to shake their
defensive player and get open for a pass.  They can move
anywhere on the field as long as they stay in-bounds.  The
objective of the game is to move the ball all the way down
the field and make a successful pass to a teamate who
is behind their opponents goal line.  When this
occurs a point is scored, the ball is dropped, and the
opposite team picks up the ball and prepares to do the
same.  The game never stops and is played continuously,
unless the teacher stops the game to rotate teams or take
Heart Rates. 


Defensive team must play person-to-person defense.

Defensive team must stay at least 2 arm lengths away from
player with the ball.

Defensive team may NOT grab ball
from offensive player when they are in control of the

Offensive team loses possession of the ball
through an incompleted pass or a pass that is knocked down
by a defensive player. 

The ground and the
sidelines are dead and constitutes an automatic turnover to
the other team where the infraction occurred.

Any steps which occur after an offensive player catches a
pass should also constitute a turnover (However, you
may have to be flexible here).  Offensive players
CANNOT run with the ball.

Assessment Ideas:

During the activity have students take EHR (Exercise Heart Rates)  2 - 3 times during class to see if
students reached or where above their Target Heart Rates. 
Questions used at the end of class to assess students
understanding of fitness objecive should center on Aerobic and
Anaerobic concepts.

What made for a successful game? 

Was it better to use long passes, short passes, a combination of both?

What happened if some students did not get open for a pass?

How important was spacing your teamates when your where in control of the ball.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

For a visually impaired student, use a beeper ball or
have them work with a peer. The peer catches the ball, gives the ball to
the visually impaired student, who will then throw the ball to his/her
teammates.  The teammates will have bells on their wrists, shaking them
when the visually impaired student gets ready to throw.

Have defenders be three or more arm lengths away from a
student with a disability.

For students using wheelchairs, defenders must
count to five after the throw before they can try to take the ball away.  If
person has full use of their upper body, then they should catch the ball
themselves. If a person does not, they should have a peer educator helping
them catch and move along the playing area.
Kirk Mango who teaches at Downers Grove South School in Downers Grove, IL. Posted on PEC: 10/1/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
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