A.K.A. Sniper (in the Former Soviet Union)

This requires a long wall or side of a house and a big rubber or kick ball. Everyone lines up and one person throws the ball at the wall in an attempt to hit a part of someones body. If they do, then that person is it and must now throw the ball. The object is not to throw the ball hard, but accurately in order to catch someone trying to dodge the ball.

Contributed by: Laura J. Rhinehart


Kids would form two teams. One team would form two lines facing each other. They had playground balls for ammunition (two balls was the norm.) The other team would scatter about between the lines of the first team. The first team would then throw balls at team two. If a member of team two was hit below the shoulders, s/he was out and had to stand aside. If a player on team two caught the ball in the air (not after a bounce), s/he received a free "life" (ie-if s/he is hit again, s/he has used up a "life" and is not out.) A player may not receive more than three "lives." The fourth, fifth, etc. time a player catches the ball, s/he may bring players who were out, back into the game by calling a name. If and when all players of team two are out, the teams switch places.
VARIATION: If a player on the opposite team catches a ball you threw before it bounced, the thrower is 'out'

Contributed by Sarah Buhman


We played Dodgeball in a circle (the circles were actually painted onto the blacktop on the playground). However many kids wanted to play, were divided up into 2 teams. One team was inside the circle and the other half spread out around the outside. We used a red rubber playground ball (about 14 inches in diameter) and threw it at the players inside the circle. The kids inside were allowed to run around where ever they wanted, but could not go out. We could only throw the ball to hit the kids inside below the waist. If a ball was thrown and hit someone above the waist, the thrower had to stop playing. If a kid in the center was hit, they became one of the players outside the circle. The game was over when only one person was left inside the circle.

Contributed by Cherie Robinson


[this version could have come from Japan, although I've also seen it played in the US]

[this version has also been played in the Former Soviet Union, under the name 'Sniper']

This is the version of dodgeball that I've learned from students in Japan. Players are divided into two equal teams. the playing area is a big rectangle, divided in half. Each team gets one half. All but one player from each team starts in that team's half. The extra player starts outside the rectangle, behind the other team's side (thus, there is one player from the other team behind each team). The teams "janken" (rock-paper-scissors) to see who gets the ball first -- only one ball. The usual play -- try to hit a player from the other side (generally, head shots are not allowed). Any player who is hit must go to the outside, joining the original "extra" player from his side. The outside players can also try to hit people, but they must be behind the back edge of the rectangle. If an "outside" player hits someone, he gets to go back in for his side. Last team with any players "in" wins. The interesting thing is that all players are a! lways active, and the "in" players spend a lot of time running forward and backward. 

Contributed by Andrew Hughes


An indoor variation on the dodgeball theme.

You form a circle and choose a person to start. That person tosses a ball (preferably a soft one, like Nerf) to someone across the room. If you catch it, you toss it to someone else. If you drop it, you sit down. Last person standing is the winner. It's a good rainy day game and nobody gets hurt, and hopefully nothing gets broken. :)

Contributed By Jennifer Smith


Variation 1: Setup: You need a large open space and at least enough soft-mediem hard balls to have one team have enough balls to have one per player. You can have a lot more, or a lot less. You divide into equell teams. Playing area: Mark a large rectangle with a line through the middle. Rules: You throw the ball tring to hit one of the members of the other team. If they catch the ball, the person is out. If the ball hits a person in the head, the person is out who threw it. That all happens before the ball bounces. If the team with a person out hits a member of the other team, all their members are in again. If it bounces, the ball does not follow any of the above rules.

Variation 2: The only change of rules is that the team with the person out must hit the player of the other team to get the team member in.

Contributed by Tom Bowersox


You divide up in two teams.  Drag a garden hose or other similar divider between the yard.  The teams each go to their own side, and may not cross the divider.  Gather as many balls as possible and split them up between the two teams to start.  You throw a ball at the other team, if you hit them below the head, they are out.  If they catch the ball, you are out.  The last person in is the winner.

Contributed by Kari Busch


Frisbee War:

This was Dodgeball played with frisbees instead of balls.  Usually there were two teams and a boundaries that you had to stay inside of.  We usually had a few frisbees, 2, 3 or 4, depending on how many kids were playing (sometimes up to 15 or 20 at a time).  We always played that if you caught someone's thrown frisbee then the thrower was out.  You
played until one person or team remained.

Contributed by Brian Litteral


One team is against a wall and the other team has playground balls at least 10 meters or so away from the other team. The throwing team can't cross the line and they begin throwing the balls at the other team.


The throws work like this:


Hit in the arm-arm behind back

Other arm-both arms behind back

Hit in the leg- one leg up

Other leg-one your knees

In the head or body-your out till next game

If you catch the ball you get a piece back

If no pieces are missing then someone who went out can come back in


Contributed by Mark Gronotte




Doctor and Spy


This game is very similar to the 2 team Dodgeball listed in your games but it

has a variation. Each team gets into a secret huddle before the game starts

and decides on a "Doctor" and a "Spy". The games goes along as usual-with a

line and throwing balls back and forth. If you get out (by getting hit or

someone catches your ball), you stand to the side. The Doctor of your team

can secretly walk by and touch your hand to get you back in the game. The

facilitator of the game can at any time yell, "SPY! 10 Seconds!" and then

slowly counts to 10. The designated Spy on each team is allowed to take a

ball across the line and try to get the other team out. That person must be

back over to his side before the ten seconds is over. This game can be

played outside, in a gym, or even in a large indoor room (you can use

crumbled paper instead of balls so you don't loose your lamps!) Which ever

team gets all the other players out is the winner. I found that this games

promotes a great deal of team work because the team tries to protect its

Doctor and Spy.


Contributed by Deanna Grygiel



Nationball:  You had mentioned this game was played by children in Russia under the name Sniper. We played the game with those medium sized red rubber balls. It is the game where two teams play against each other in a large rectangle, which is separated by a line in the middle.

Each team starts with one player on the outside of the rectangle, on the opposite side from where they are standing. The rest of each team stands inside the rectangle. The point of the game is to hit players on the opposite team. When a player is hit, they then go on the opposite outside edge.

If the ball goes through the opposite team without hitting anyone, the people on the edge, chase after the ball, giving them the opportunity to try to hit someone again. Each time a person is hit, they must go out on the outside of the rectangle. The winning team is the team that has the last person left INSIDE the rectangle.

Though this game is not new to your site, I thought you may be interested in the name that we called it. The name came from the fact that we were like two different countries on each side of the line, trying to beat each other in a "war". Hence, the name NATIONBALL. I grew up in Southern California, and now reside in the Midwest. No one here has ever heard of my favorite game!!!

Contributed by Leslie - Thank you!

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