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6 Dodgeball Games for Your PE Lessons 


The benefits of exercise for kids are undeniable. However, getting young pupils to engage in sports can sometimes pose a challenge. 

But, choosing the right activity for your PE lessons can make all the difference. For instance, dodgeball is a fun team game, with simple rules and light physical demands, where everyone can join and feel successful. 

But how do you get started? Is there a single set of rules or multiple variations? And what’s the best way to introduce the game to younger kids? 

In this article, we’ll answer these and other essential questions, providing practical tips for teachers considering dodgeball games to entertain their lively classes. 

Dodgeball is where one team throws soft balls at the other team.

What is dodgeball?

Dodgeball involves two teams trying to catch or avoid more than one ball thrown by players from the opposing team’s side and attempting to hit them in the same way. The number of players and exactly how the game unfolds is defined by different variations of the official rules. 

In a classic game, when receiving the ball, one must first pass to a teammate before targeting an opponent. If a player is touched by a “live” dodgeball (before it hits the floor or walls), they are temporarily eliminated. However, if they manage to catch a live ball, the opponent who threw it is instead benched.

In addition, the game is extremely easy to set up. Not much equipment is needed (just a few soft balls) and the sport can be practised nearly anywhere with enough space—from a basketball court to any game area outlined with chalk or tape.

Dodgeball games can be the perfect activity to make your PE lessons more fun and engaging. Sessions are action-packed without being too demanding, and the rules are easy to memorise and follow. Here at Premier Education, our coaches often find that this game is very popular across all ages and skill-levels.

This fun game is ideal for PE lessons and suits all ages.

Are there different types of dodgeball?

Yes! Normal dodgeball rules are regulated by institutions such as British Dodgeball, but unofficial variants can be almost limitless. 

From matches inspired by Hunger Games’ free-for-all dynamics to ideas best suited for camping trips (lights off and glow-in-the-dark balls), there’s no lack of choice.   

As long as the activity incorporates some good old throwing and dodging, and is appropriate for your school setting, trying different rules might be a great idea to keep young students engaged with a game ever new.

All the players in dodgeball need to keep moving, dodging balls!

6 dodgeball games for your PE lessons

With this in mind, here are six alternatives (simple, fun, and easy to set up) that work particularly well for a PE lesson. 

Dr. Dodgeball

Each team secretly selects a doctor at the beginning of the game, whose role is to revive players when they’re hit by a live ball. When that happens, the targeted person must sit down and wait to be touched by the doctor before they can join the game again. The match doesn’t last long once a doctor is eliminated and one of the opposing teams loses its reviving power.

Four Teams

In this dodgeball game, a large playing area is divided into four squares, where four teams will face each other in a fast-paced and exhilarating match. No time limit is required; the game ends when only one player remains and all the others have been eliminated according to the classic rules. This variation makes hiding and dodging particularly difficult, so you can expect plenty of laughs and unforgettable moments. The last remaining team wins.

If a player catches the ball, the thrower is eliminated.

Shoot the Hoop 

Playing on a basketball court? That’s perfect! In this action-packed game, opposing players can target the basket on the side of the opposite team—but they must do so from their own half. If they happen to score, all eliminated teammates get to rejoin the game. All the rest proceeds as in a normal game. If basketball equipment is not available, you can try to use a hula hoop per side instead. Just place it in a position where it isn’t too easy to hit.

Strong catching skills is a must in this game.

Maram Pitti 

Using a rubber ball, this Indian version of the game typically involves a group of 4-6 targeting each other in a small playing area. Teams are allowed, but players can also participate solo and whoever holds the ball can’t move until they throw it. At the beginning of the game, the ball is tossed in the air and all players contest it, but they must wait for three bounces before they can pick it up. They will then continue playing until one player (the winner) is left. 

Opposite World

This one is very simple but also incredibly entertaining and fun. Ready? All players must throw dodgeballs with their non-dominant hand—that’s it. It might sound easy at first but once enacted it can be extremely amusing to watch. Make sure no one is cheating though!

Protect the Royals

Similar to the Dr. Dodgeball variant, the teams choose a King or Queen in secret. Other players, called knights, must face their opponents in an epic dodgeball game of throwing and dodging and, in doing so, they must protect their leaders. Once the King or Queen is hit the game is over. It’s a little like chess by encouraging strategic thinking.

Dodgeball can be played with any number of players.

How to make your dodgeball game more fun

First of all, variety is the key to a more engaged classroom. If you alternate some of the different games we suggested, you’re already one step ahead. 

Another important factor is the difficulty of the game. It has to be just right: not too easy or too hard. You might need to find the perfect balance as you learn more about your pupils and their preferred play style. Do they like a fast-paced match? Add another dodgeball or two. Do they prefer strategic play and dodging? Spread teams apart in a wider area. 

However, in general, it is possible to make some adjustments depending on the age of your players. For instance, British Dodgeball suggests a playing area the size of a standard badminton court (approximately 13.4m x 6m) for kids under 11. For U11 competitions, they also recommend size 1 foam soft balls. 

It’s important to remember that there’s no magic formula. Try what feels right and adjust to match your students’ unique needs.

If a player hits another, the hit player is temporarily eliminated.

How to play dodgeball with small groups

Another common problem is how to adapt the game to a variable number of students in your class. According to British Dodgeball, a standard game should have 6 players (with a minimum of 4) per side, but in real-world scenarios, you might have to deal with odd numbers or smaller groups. 

As a simple solution, court size and number of dodgeballs can be increased and decreased to accommodate more or fewer players. However, this is not always possible without the right space or equipment. Another way to deal with this issue is to pick a game variation that is more appropriate for your group size. 

For less than 8 students, we suggest Maram Pitti or Dandy Shandy. In the latter, two players (the throwers) stand about 50 feet apart working together to hit a third player (or dodger) with a soft ball. The dodger runs back and forth in between the two throwers, trying to avoid their shots. Every time the third player dodges successfully he or she receives a point; when the dodger is hit, the roles are switched until everyone gets the chance to be the dodger. The person with the most points wins.

To win at dodgeball, pupils will need fast reactions.

How to play dodgeball with large groups

The same tips outlined above work well for larger groups. However, the variants to consider are different. For dodgeball games with more than 12 students, we suggest Four Teams or Spider, a free-for-all variant requiring a wide playing area. 

The setting is simple. All the balls are arranged in a pyramid, and a randomly chosen person begins the game by kicking it and scattering the balls around the court. Players must then attempt to pick up a dodgeball and target someone else. Once a person is hit, they sit down on the spot, but they can re-enter the game if they can catch a free-roaming ball. The game ends when a single player is left standing.

Being able to throw accurately is key.

Dodgeball with Premier Education

Hopefully, our tips will help you ensure memorable dodgeball matches and simplify all preparations for the game. However, if you still need extra support and training, Premier Education’s PE enrichment offering has your back.

Partnering with British Dodgeball, our sessions meet the highest standards. Our dodgeball for kids lessons allow children to develop key skills and our coaches are trained to deliver unforgettable experiences, tailoring games to each kid’s unique abilities.

Make sure the ball is large enough and soft.


What are the main skills needed to play dodgeball?

The game is easy to play and set up. However, these abilities are important to improve the quality of your matches:

  • Passing – fast and precise passes are key to surprise other teams and hit targets from a more advantageous position
  • Catching – being able to capture the ball when an opposing player throws it is as crucial as having a flawless aim
  • Throwing – shots targeting opponents must be accurate, just like passing, but they require more force
  • Dodging – quick reactions are probably the most important skill in a sport where the last team standing wins.

How to develop core skills for dodgeball

In a fast-paced team game like dodgeball, where the ball hits moving targets, your pupils can develop essential skills by practising:

  • A simple variant such as Dandy Shandy
  • Ball control and handling using both hands
  • Passing and catching while on the move
  • Precision throwing, like hitting a cone or a target
  • Dodging shots

What are the benefits of playing dodgeball?

Dodgeball is becoming increasingly popular in schools for its simplicity and the way it can quickly activate pupils of all ages. In addition, the sport fosters cooperation and teamwork, helping improve critical skills such as agility and coordination.

Get in touch to bring Dodgeball to your school!

Most players love this fast-past game!