Dodgeball Game Alternatives & Activities

There are so many alternatives to the traditional game of dodgeball that many enjoy playing. Some are themed and can combine a number of skills to make it more challenging and exciting, while others have multiple ways a team can win. Many skills are practiced during these dodgeball alternative games, including agility, catching, throwing, coordination, teamwork, jumping, running and dodging.

If you’re an after school program or a summer camp, these games are great for integrating movement and exercise into the day. According to Active Schools, only 6 states in the US require physical education in every grade, so you can really make a difference with the children in your program by providing these opportunities to get active. If you are considering introducing one or two of these to your PE Program, games like this can be a nice break from strict skill building drills once in awhile in order to focus on the fun part of physical activity.

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite dodgeball alternative games for you to try, and have also listed the equipment you will need for each dodgeball variation. Many of the supplies can be substituted for similar items, but you will want to make sure you that you have quality Gator Skin Dodgeballs to use during the games, and floor tape if you do not have a playing area defined by boundaries like a basketball court.

Star Wars Dodgeball

Anything Star Wars themed is going to be a popular activity, so why not combine some staple Star Wars objects like light sabers, death stars and generators to really add to the fun! Below are two different ways to play with two teams. One involves moving the Death Star past the other team’s goal line while using Gator Skin Balls, and the other challenges players to knock over light sabers in enemy territory and end the game with a final goal scoring.

Star Wars Dodgeball Version 1 – from Fit Kids Health Kids

Be the first team to knock down all the other teams’ light sabers and destroy their generator

Equipment Needed:

Set Up:

  • Place hockey nets backwards (generator) facing the wall about 2 feet away on each teams’ side.
  • Scattered in front of the net, place 5 noodles into cones (light sabers) so they stand up right and place a hula hoop around them.

Game Objectives and Rules:

Objective #1 – Each team is to try to knock down the other team’s light-sabers (noodles) with the gator skin balls or by entering the opponents zone and knocking down the noodle with their hand (only one light saber at a time).

Objective # 2 – Once a team has successfully knocked down all the light-sabers they can complete the final objective. They are to throw the ball into the net by bouncing it off of the wall to destroy the other team’s generator.

  • Once a player enters the opponents zone they can be tagged by the other team.
  • If they are tagged, they must sit down and wait for a member of their team to rescue them.
  • Once they are rescued, they are given a free walk back to their side.

Fit Kids Healthy Kids has even provided some great adaptations for younger children or progressions for older children and adults to make the game more challenging. Head to their site to check them out here.

Star Wars Dodgeball Version 2 – from Phys Ed Review

Be the first team to move the Death Star past the other team’s goal line.

Equipment Needed:

Set Up:

  • Scatter equal numbers of cones on each team’s side
  • Provide both teams an equal number of Gator Skin Dodgeballs
  • In the center of the playing area, place the exercise ball

Game Objectives and Rules:

Objective – For each team to use Gator Skin balls to hit the Death Star and move it forward past the opposing team’s goal line.

  • All students must stay behind their throwing line
  • If the Death Star goes past the goal line or touches another player, the game stops. A point is scored and the game begins again

Phys Ed Review has provided a great image for the layout here.

Three Way Capture the Flag

This dodgeball alternative combines a number of elements and a few different ways for one of two teams to win the game. It can open the opportunity for teammates to strategize and work together to try and win.

Equipment needed:

Set Up:

  • Place 6 cones spaced evenly with wiffle balls on top on each team’s baseline.
  • Place a flag in the center of the baseline on each team’s side
  • Provide each team with 6 Gator Skin Dodgeballs
  • Before the game, each team chooses one person to be the secret unfreezer (when a player is frozen, this is the only person that can unfreeze that player)

Game Objectives and Rules:

Objective – Be the first team to do one of the following:

  • If the flag is captured from the opposing team and brought back to the capturing team’s side
  • If all wiffle balls are knocked off the opposing team’s cones
  • If all players on the opposing team are frozen

How players get frozen/unfrozen:

  • A player is caught on the opposing teams side and must go to the other team’s jail
  • When an opposing team player catches a ball thrown across the gymnasium by the other team.
  • When a player is frozen they can be unfrozen by the secret unfreezer.

This game was the courtesy of Rick Dekeon on Burn Park PE website.

Dino Dodgeball

dino dodgeball - a dodgeball alternative

This dodgeball game variation allows players to use their imagination and knock T-Rex out of his cage on the opposing team’s side. Perfect for a summer camp dinosaur theme.

Equipment Needed:

Set Up:

  • Tape off a rectangle about 3’ wide x 4’ long with the floor tape about 15’ back from a centerline on each side (this is T-Rex’s “cage”)
  • Inflate and Place a T-Rex facing forward near the front edge of the taped off area / cage on each side
  • Provide each team with 6 Gator Skin Dodgeballs

Game Objectives and Rules:

Objective – Each team has captured a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur and placed them in a “cage” while the opposing team defends the T-Rex. To win the game, one team needs to break the other team’s cage and free the T-Rex using the gator skin balls.

  • Players are not allowed to intentionally cross the center line at any point during the game with their feet.
  • To free T-Rex, he must be moved completely outside the taped area. If T-Rex is knocked over, his entire body must still be moved outside of the taped lines.
  • To move T-Rex, players can throw, roll or even kick any of the balls at the
    opponents T-Rex

Variation: Add a “no play zone” that is about 6 to 8 feet wide and extends from the front of T-Rex to the centerline. This will help eliminate accidental and intentional hits of players standing in front of T-Rex. If balls enter this zone, players are allowed to quickly run into the zone to remove a ball and immediately exit.

(You can also add these Inflatable Dinosaur Eggs for an additional challenge. Teams can either try to move the eggs over the other team’s goal line, or knock them off of a cone or mat. Add even more of a challenge by including our mini gator skin balls, which can only be used to knock out the egg)

Why We Suggest Gator Skin Dodgeballs for Dodgeball Games

gator skin dodgeball

Many of the Dodgeball alternative games mentioned above will need a coated foam ball like Gator Skin, so that they are heavy enough to knock over objects, easier to grip, and provide better throwing accuracy. Since there are participants involved in blocking, protecting, and catching the balls being thrown at the targets, you will want to make sure you are using balls that have no sting. Gator Skin balls are 20% lighter than playground balls and have a proprietary poly polyurethane coating, so they are virtually sting free and lighter than competing coated foam balls on the market – we call them The King of No Sting for that very reason. Also in recent years, there has been a growing need for latex free equipment. Most of our Gator Skin Dodgeballs are Certified Latex Free.

Shop our dozens of different Gator Skin Balls here.

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7 thoughts on “Dodgeball Game Alternatives & Activities

  1. Pingback: Teaching History Using Dodgeball | Advancement Courses

  2. I agree with you Alex. Dodgeball/human target shouldn’t be played in a “school environment. There are many other activities to play with the students. The statement from Shape is clear and should be followed.

    • Hi Alex, Thanks so much for weighing in. We are very familiar with the SHAPE Standards, as well as our friends over at PE Central’s list of games that should not be played in Physical Education. That is why we chose to highlight alternative games. Based on the continuous feedback we see and debate on the topic by PE Teachers around the world, children and students still love to play dodgeball – and we think it is important that if children want to be active and enjoy something, there are alternatives besides using each other as targets and or elimination. We feel these games are great for both of those and still have that dodgeball factor that the kids love to play.

    • Our students prefer using each other as targets by a wide margin. None of them look at it as something malicious or inhumane. It is just a game. A game where the children get themselves dusted off and back in play. They smile, they laugh. Sometimes they get hit in the face. This is life.

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