Games: Mazeball

Games: Mazeball

Dick Moss, Editor

Mazeball is part Dodgeball, part relay, part running the gauntlet. Your students will develop their ability to run, throw, catch, dodge and work as a team.

While some teachers don't like using Dodgeball-type games, there are some classes for whom this game will be appropriate.

Setup
Set up a line at either end of your gym, so there's a starting zone at one end and a free zone at the other.

Divide your class into two teams. The offensive team splits into groups of 3-5 players each and forms lines at the end of the gym. The defensive team spreads out over the playing area (i.e. in staggered rows).

How to Play
Using a single foam ball, start the game by tossing the ball to a defensive player. Once this toss is made, the offensive player at the head of each line attempts to run to the free zone. Offensive players score a point by running to the free zone and back without being hit by a ball.

The defenders attempt to put three offensive players out by hitting them at or below the waist with a ball. Defenders must remain stationary and, except to retrieve a ball, are allowed only one step.

If players are hit below the waist, they immediately run to the nearest sideline then return to the back of their squad's line. Once they cross the sideline, the next player in their line can begin.

How is it Different?
The fun part of the game is that offensive players can take any path they want across the playing area. This can mean zig-zagging and hiding behind defenders. Offensive players must learn to work together, passing the ball to teammates who have a better shot at an opponent.

Scoring
Keep track of the points scored by the offense and the number of outs scored by the defense. After three outs, the teams change place, with the game usually lasting about six “innings.”

Additional Rules/Variations

  • Offensive players cannot be hit in the free zone, but can linger there for only about 15 seconds. Once they leave the free zone, they can't re-enter it.
  • Each change of possession is begun by an offensive player tossing the ball towards a defender, who then must pass to a teammate before the defense can open fire. This pass allows the offensive players a chance to get moving before the defense can open fire.
  • Once your students have learned how to play using a single ball, you could play with as many as three additional balls.
  • You can make the game less intimidating for students by requiring that all balls to be thrown underhand. This will reduce the velocity of the throws.

References
1. Trish Kuffner, The Fitness Fun Busy Book: 365 Creative Games & Activities to Keep Your Child Moving and Learning, Meadowbrook, 2013.
2. Brenda Lichtman (PhD), Innovative Games, Human Kinetics Publishers, 1993. 



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