Ball Games for Physical Education


Ball games for physical education are a favorite for any age group, and help students work on their coordination, cooperation and general fitness skills. While many physical education classes include traditional team ball sports such as basketball, softball, volleyball and others, many P.E. teachers like to incorporate a twist on traditional team sports to surprise their students or add additional fitness or learning goals.


  • Designed for grades K-2, this game uses a scooter, a length of rope, two hula hoops and several yarn balls or other small, soft balls. One student sits on the scooter and holds the end of the rope while another student pulls the scooter with the other end of the rope. The objective is to move one ball at a time from a pile in the first hoop to form a pile in the second hoop, practicing cooperation among pairs.

Musical Dribbling

  • Designed for elementary grades, musical dribbling uses kick balls or basketballs and designated floor mats or spots. The P.E. teacher sets up two fewer spots than there are students, and when the music starts, students must dribble around the room until the music stops. When the music stops, the students dribble to a spot, place their ball between their feet and their hands on their head. Students who cannot find a spot are out, and should practice dribbling on the sidelines. Remove two more spots each round until only two students remain.

Get the Candy Cane

  • Many ball games can be adapted to fit holiday themes for elementary aged students. Get the Candy Cane is one such holiday variation on bowling. Place six empty 2-liter bottles inside a hula hoop, with a cone behind the bottles that has a plastic lawn candy cane placed inside of it to help students target the bottles. Students should take turns throwing a small, soft ball underhand to knock over the bottles.

Spell, Shoot and Score

  • This game for K-5 students is one of many ball games that mixes traditional sports and academic goals in physical education. Students are placed on teams and called on one by one to write the correct spelling of a word on a board or clipboard. If the student spells the word correctly, he or she earns a point and is allowed to take two shots with a small basketball or foam ball into a small basketball hoop. Students earn an additional point for each basket.

Sneak Attack

  • Sneak attack is a team game in which the teacher sets up eight cones or hula hoops, each with one of eight different types of balls and other objects. The objective of the game is for the team to collect all eight of one type of ball or other object, and students may go out one at a time to other teams to collect one object each in a relay fashion.

Ball Attack

  • Ball attack is for older elementary and middle school students that promotes aerobic fitness and coordination skills. The game uses lots of small rubber balls of kick ball size or smaller and a large ball or light box or barrel placed in the center of the room as a target. Students are divided into two teams on opposite sides of the room and must throw their balls at the target in an attempt to move it across the goal line. Teams score a point when the target passes the goal line and are not allowed to touch the target or to hit other players.

Apache Ball

  • Apache Ball is an adaptation of dodge ball for middle school and high school classes, and uses small foam balls and two hockey nets. The objective is to eliminate all of the players on the opposing team by hitting them with the foam balls, but teams can get a player back each time they get a foam ball into the opposing team's hockey goal.

Wombat Ball

  • Wombat Ball is an adaptation of softball for middle and high school P.E. classes that teaches softball rules while lowering the athletic skill required to participate and have fun. The game uses a volleyball instead of a softball and a rolled up towel instead of a bat to reduce the distance the ball will go and make catching, pitching and hitting easier. Aside from these modifications, the game follows the same rules for play as softball.


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