Are your kids staying active at school? Do they have enough physical activities to participate in? Many schools around the country have invested in a new school activity that keeps kids of all ages and abilities moving. Gaga pits are increasing in popularity at schools because it can be used in physical education classes, during recess, or in after-school programs.
One of the main advantages of Gaga is that all kids, regardless of their athletic skill level, have the ability to win. Traditional sports such as soccer, baseball, football or basketball are more difficult for young kids because they get frustrated when they can’t learn the required skills. Kids feel shot-down when they always lose in these activities, and they don’t want to keep playing. Gaga – which is also called “Octo-ball” or “Israeli Dodgeball – is a game that incorporates the skills necessary for sports success, but is conducted in a fun and easy way. Gaga levels out the playing field a bit and the most athletic kids do not win every game. Every child has a chance to win!
Gaga is also a good way to build beginner skills that can be applied later on in sports. Dr. Douglas Mann, an associate professor in health and exercise science at Rowan University said, “The game of gaga incorporates dodging, striking and agility, and is a fun way to improve skills that may be advantageous in other sports. It also provides good exercise, as players must continually move to avoid being hit by the ball. The game is effective at leveling the playing field because the best athlete is not guaranteed to win every time. Strategy, luck, finesse and sometimes teamwork are important components to gaga. Often, kids who struggle in more traditional sports excel at gaga, which helps to promote their physical activity. Gaga can be played for a lifetime.”
Currently in the US, only 4% of kids have a physical education class every day. That means every minute they are in class counts, and P.E. teachers need to find a way to keep all students moving for the duration of the class. Joe McCarthy, a P.E. teacher at Meadowview Elementary School in Farmington, MN and Minnesota State P.E. Teacher of the Year said, “I can’t have anyone standing around during P.E. class. I may only have these kids for 25-30 minutes at a time. Gaga is the perfect game that involves all of the kids and keeps them moving for the entire duration of the class.”
The game is played in a octagon-shaped Gaga Pit or Gaga Court. SRG offers a variety of sizes, but our official size pit is 26′ x 26′. Made out of rotationally-molded plastic, the panels will not rot, rust, or splinter, like a wood/steel system does. All edges are rounded off to keep children safe! Games of Gaga typically last 3-8 minutes and all players are involved the entire time. As for installation, they are extremely easy to set up and take down. Two people can do so in 5-10 minutes.
Whether its buying multiple pits, restricting access to certain grades, or setting time limits, schools are finding Gaga so popular that teachers have to find ways to accommodate all of the students who want to play. In a time when our country is facing a childhood obesity crisis, this is a good problem to have.
Tags: Children physical activities, Fighting Childhood Obesity, Gaga Ball, Gaga Ball Pit, Gaga Court, Gaga Pit, Gaga pits, Getting Kids Active, How to Play Gaga, Israeli Dodgeball, Octoball, Phy Ed Class, Physical Activity Ring, Physical Education, Portable Gaga, ProWall Gaga, Sports