If you don't know about it already, dodgeball is a team sport commonly played in US High Schools. It's rough, energetic and plenty of fun.
In a normal game of dodgeball the players split into two teams, one each side of a central line. Soft purpose-made balls, abotu the size of footballs are lined up along the central line. When the whistle is blown, play commences with both sides rushing towards te line to grab a ball. Once armed the aim is to hit a player from the opposing team. If you do that, the player is out. However, if they catch the ball, the thrower is out. The winning team, is the one with the most players after a pre-determined amount of time has passed, or play continues until all the players on one team have been eliminated.
Why It's Awesome
The game is simple to understand and can be adapted for all ages, so the whole family can play. You need limited equipment, and you can play in whatever space you have available. Because it is so fun to play, it can rapidly build endurance, as players forget how long they have been active for.
It is also great for building balance and speed as players must be nimble on their feet and are required to change direction rapidly. It also develops hand-eye coordination and the ability to play in a team.
If you play in your garden, you can use large structures like climbing frames as defense positions - just make sure both sides have a hiding place to make it even.
And it's even better if you liven it up with one of these dodgeball adaptations.
The game remains the same but instead of using balls, the players throw frisbees. These predictable discs won't roll away like balls, so you will spend less of the game time chasing them round to arm yourself. Choose the softer, foldable frisbees rather than the solid plastic discs to reduce the risk of pain or injury.
If you are going to use water bombs instead of balls you will need to work on the rules first. If a player gets hit with a water bomb but it doesn't burst, are they still out? How about if they catch a bomb but it explodes in their hands? Does that count as a catch or have they been eliminated. This is a great way to add a bit of structure to a water fight. Warning: You will get wet.
Star Wars Dodgeball
When eliminated, instead of sitting on the side lines, players must lie where they are. One person on each team is a Jedi and can free the fallen players, but the other team doesn't know which player is the Jedi, so they must do their work in stealth mode. When the Jedi is out, there is no more saving of fallen players possible.
Harry Potter Dodgeball
All the balls get you out except one smaller ball of a different colour, which is the Petrificus Totalus spell. If you are hit by the spell ball you are totally frozen, and therefor a target for the other team, until one of your team mates unfreezes you by hitting you with the spell ball again.
For a Minecraft inspired party use green balls plus black duct tape to mark out a Creeper face.
Mix It Up
Use various size balls or mix in frisbees with the balls for a totally crazy game. Your brains will need to work super fast to figure out if that is a ball or a frisbee coming towards you, how fast it is travelling, and what you can do about it.