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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Doctor and Goliath Dodgeball

Dodgeball is a classic! I have always enjoyed playing. Recently, I found a new way to play the game. It keeps the integrity of dodgeball and makes it more fun. The game is called Doctor Dodgeball. I have also added a new twist on this game called Goliath Dodgeball. Together, they are definitely my favorite!

My Experience
I LOVE this game!!! I have run this game with children as young as 7 years old and adults as old as 24 years old. I have played with as few as 6 kids to 30 adults (thirty was a little crazy - I would recommend splitting it into two different games of dodgeball if you have this many people). It has become one of my favorites! The point is to keep everyone participating in the game rather than being on the sidelines. The way to best introduce this is to start off with the doctor and play a few rounds. Then add the goliath. This way they understand what is going on without too many changes at once.

Doctor Dodgeball

Divide the players into two equally numbered teams, and have each team stand on their half of the playing area. Give each team one minute to designate one player to be their 'doctor.' The teams do not disclose who their doctor is to the other team. The doctor is able to 'heal' any of the players that are hit and who already got out of the game (players can be healed as many times as they get out). The way I have done this is have the players who have been hit put their hand out for a high-five. The doctor 'heals' another player by giving him/her a high-five.

The objective is to hit all the opposing players and/or the opponent's doctor (with the soft foam balls) to win the game. The game begins with a staff saying go, then the players run to the middle, and grab the balls to start throwing at each other. Once a player is hit, he must put his hand out for a high five from the doctor which lets him back in the game. No one can rescue the doctor if he gets hit with the ball. The game ends when one side is all out. Change doctors with each round of play.

Goliath Dodgeball
The more I have played this, I have realized that the doctor version can go on forever. To help speed the game up, you can add a "goliath" on each team. If "goliath" gets hit, then the whole team is out. Each team should keep their goliath a secret. This keeps the game moving a lot faster! Then more people have a chance to be a doctor and goliath. You could also just do Goliath dodgeball without the doctor.

For the half-court line, I use frisbees because the participants can clearly see the line and the frisbees hold the balls in place so they are not rolling around. 

Life Lessons
Doctor dodgeball can be used to teach the importance of second chances. You can talk about how they felt when they were unable to play (left out, sad,etc.) and then how they felt after they had been 'healed' (included, excited, etc.). You can teach them the importance of including others and making friends.
Goliath dodgeball can be used to teach the importance of every person and working together as a team. We are only as strong as the weakest person. 

This can be played inside on a basketball court or in a multipurpose room. Outside, it can be played on a nice grassy area or pavilion. If you play outside, you will be chasing the balls down. I would recommend playing in an area with walls on either side so the balls are easier to get.


  • 10-20 balls
  • Frisbees or something else to create a halfway line

Please comment below on how you would use these activities with your population, thoughts on how it has worked for you, advice for others on how to implement it, what you would process and so on! We'd love to hear about it! 

Here are a few links to ideas on how to lead activities better:

I first read about this game in the book, The Ultimate Playground and Recess Games on page 78. I took the game they outlined and put my own little spin on it.
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