How to Play Gaga Ball: The Rules of Gaga

It’s time to get in on GaGa. This sport continues to explode in popularity across the country. It’s the perfect mix of fun and safe for kids and is a favorite at schools, camps, and rec departments because any person with any athletic abilities can play – and win. Each game goes fast and involves everyone. Ready to learn more? We’ve laid out the rules to GaGa so you can jump right in. Ga! Ga! Ga! 

How To Play GaGa Ball

To begin the game, each player must have at least one hand touching the wall of the GaGa Pit.

  • One person will throw the ball in the air so that it bounces three times.
  • On each bounce the players yell “Ga” “Ga” “Ga.”
  • On the third bounce the ball is in play and the GaGa game has begun.
  • You can hit the ball with open hands, but picking up the ball and throwing it at a player is not allowed.
  • Hitting the ball with a closed hand or a “fist” is not allowed.
  • If the ball touches a player anywhere on or below the waist (in some versions, below the knee), that player is eliminated from the game.
  • The first player eliminated from the game functions the gate – opening and closing it when others are eliminated.
  • A player cannot touch the ball two times sequentially, the ball must hit another player or wall before that player can touch the ball again. If the player violates this rule, it is called a double touch and that player is out. Some versions of the game allow double or even triple touches.
  • If a player hits the ball out of the court, and the ball doesn’t hit anybody, then the player who hit it is out.
  • If a player hits the ball at another player and the ball hits that player above the waist, then the player who hit the ball is out.
  • The player cannot kick the ball (as this is touching the ball below the waist).
  • When only two, three or four players remain, another gaga ball may be tossed into the gaga pit and it becomes “live”. The same rules as above apply and any player touched by either ball is eliminated.
  • When one player has eliminated all other players, the game is over and a new one may begin.
  • Add your own rules or have your students come up with one or more additional rules. These new rules are known as “house” rules and will be added to this “rule book” to give the kids a sense of ownership over this area.

The History of GaGa Ball

How did this sport become so popular and where did it come from? It got its start as a safer version of dodgeball in the 1970s in Israel. The name GaGa comes from the term gaga, which means “touch, touch” in Hebrew. Over the decades, it has slowly gained popularity and in the last few years that growth went exponential. Why? Partly because it’s a lot safer than its predecessor, dodgeball, and a lot more inclusive to a range of abilities. Even more importantly, it’s fun! Kids love it. It gives them a high energy activity that everyone can partake in. 

The Safest and Best GaGa Pit You Can Buy 

We’ve been at the forefront of GaGa’s popularity in the U.S. early on. When the New York Times did an article on the sport in 2012, our name was mentioned as the top-tier pit builder. We haven’t slowed down since then. Our design team continues to build safe and durable pits that last longer than anything else on the market.