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Gaga Ball Pits – The New Playground Craze

If you keep up on your playground gossip these days, you have probably heard kids raging over the newest playground passion, “GaGa Ball”. GaGa ball, while no relation to a certain female pop star, is probably just as popular – and growing everyday! If you haven’t been by the sandbox lately and have no clue what we’re talking, don’t fret! We’ll break down the different types of gaga ball pits for you.

“GaGa Ball” got it’s start amongst Jewish camps during the 1970’s and was brought to United States Jewish summer camps by Israeli camp counselors. GaGa actually translates from Hebrew as “touch-touch” and is a twist on one of everyone’s favorite sports (and movies): dodgeball. Unlike dodgeball, however, you cannot throw or carry the ball, but must put it into play off a bounce by striking the ball toward your opponent. Also dissimilar to dodgeball, GaGa is played in what is commonly know as a “GaGa Ball Pit”.

The GaGa Ball Pit

The “GaGa Ball Pits” are typically constructed in either an Octagon or Hexagon shape with 24” or 30” high walls that extend anywhere from eight to ten feet in length, creating a play area of 15’ to 25’ wide. All the action takes place within this pit and once a player is eliminated they must exit until only one player is left. Since it’s inception (and like your weird uncle Francis) “GaGa Ball” has had many aliases. To some it is also known as Israeli Dodgeball, Octo-Ball (not the spider man villain), or Panda Ball. No matter the name, a GaGa is still just as fun!

How to Play Gaga Ball

The basic objective of the game is to eliminate your opponents by striking the ball and having it hit them below the knee (or waist), while trying to avoid being hit yourself. The game can be single combat or you can increase the action by bringing multiple players to battle in the pit. When multiple players are involved a second ball is typically put into play for twice the fun.

The standard GaGa rules typically also call for a non player as referee to serve justice to those players who were not taught the honor system at home (you know who you are). The referee begins the game by having the players touch the wall with one hand while then signaling for another player to toss the ball up in the air. Once the ball comes off of its second bounce, it is then in play! This are many more rules listed for the game; however, as with any playground game, the actual details of the GaGa Ball game rules can vary by location.

Fast-Paced Fun for Everyone!

One of the great things about GaGa Ball is that it truly creates a leveling playing field and is quickly gaining the reputation as the “great playground equalizer”. Short, tall, big, small, girl, or boy – everyone can play and play together! The confined space and rules of the game make it so that the most athletic players are not necessarily the favored ones. This is much different than most organized sports, where skill level can greatly affect the outcome and, more importantly, the level of enjoyment.

At Playground Outfitters, we’re proud to offer our customers the highest quality products, and our GaGa Ball Pits are no exception. So now that you are up on all things “GaGa”, don’t hesitate – give us a call today at (888) 342-8228. Our commercial support team can help you navigate the GaGa world and in no time you too will be ready to enter the pit!

Need Help? Call (888) 342-8228 to speak with a playground specialist.