Roller Ball Instant Activity for PE

roller ball activity PE

Hi, I’m Frank Petras and I’m excited to talk about an activity I came up with last year called “Roller Ball”. I’ve always been a big proponent of finding new and creative instant activities for my students. Activities that require minimal set-up and really get the students engaged and moving. Roller Ball is a game that really focuses on improving a student’s cardiovascular endurance as well as their throwing/rolling accuracy. I’ve found that this activity has best worked with students in 3rd grade and above but feel that with certain accommodations all levels can enjoy!

Equipment Needed:

Set Up:

1. Elect 1-5 kids to be your “Tagger” usually based on the size of your class. Tagger(s) will then stand on an opposite baseline from all the other students. 

2. Place bowling pins in a designated spot in the gym that you feel is far enough away for the tagger to run to but close enough for them to reset up and still have enough time to try and tag other students.

3. Pending on the number of pins, then use the same number of poly spots to place in another spot relatively close to the pins for the students to put the “knocked down pins” on. Or a simpler idea would be to set the pins on top of the poly spots to begin with. 4. Students who are not taggers would then line up on an endline opposite of the taggers with a gator ball. 

Directions for Roller Ball: 

Pick anywhere from 1-5 students to be a tagger, I usually determine this based on the number of students that particular class has. Those students are to then stand in a designated spot in the gym, I most times pick the opposite baseline to be that spot. The students who are not a tagger will then grab a gator ball and line up across from the taggers on the other baseline. When the teacher says “Go” the students are to then throw/roll the gator ball at one of the bowling pins. Once every student has thrown their gator ball they are then to run and grab the same gator ball or any gator ball (teacher’s decision) and make it back to their baseline before being tagged. I always tell students that their gator ball needs to make it past a certain line or distance. If a bowling pin(s) are knocked down the tagger(s) have to reset the pins back up on the poly spot BEFORE they can try and tag any of the other students. If no pin(s) are knocked down then the taggers can immediately tag the other students. The taggers are free to move around anywhere in the gym. If a student is to get tagged just have them take a seat where they got tagged. Once the final student makes it back to the baseline the round is over, the student(s) sitting down can either go back to the baseline and the tagger(s) could pick new people or the student(s) who are tagged could become the next tagger(s). 

Alterations/Variations:

  • Students could kick the gator balls instead of throwing or rolling them.
  • Students could do an exercise in replace of sitting down once they’ve been tagged.
  • The taggers could earn a point for every person they tag instead of having the students who got tagged become the taggers. 
  • Shorten the distance for lowel levels as well as just have them set the pin right back up rather than putting it on a new spot. 
Frank Petras

About the Author:

My name is Frank Petras (@FrankPetrasPE) I’m currently a Physical Education and Health Teacher at Lineville Intermediate School in Green Bay, WI. Lineville has a little over 900 5th and 6th graders. This is actually my first year at Lineville and previous I had taught in Beaver Dam, WI as well as Kenosha, WI.

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2 thoughts on “Roller Ball Instant Activity for PE

  1. Thanks Frank for a great idea that ive used this week in PE with year 6 Primary children
    They loved it and it went well

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