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Name of Activity:

Covid Ball

Purpose of Activity:

To provide psychomotor, cognitive and affective opportunities while following socially distancing guidelines for health reasons.


Basic throwing and catching skills

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Gym space about the size of a basketball court, cones and/or floor tape and tennis ball.
Diagram of Set Up

Description of Idea

An area approximately the size of a basketball court is divided into twenty-four 12X12 foot squares, three width wise and 8 length wise (see diagram below). Every other column of squares can be occupied by one team and only one member per square.

Team size can vary from about 7 to 12 per team, however, less than 12 is recommended for the game rules/strategies to be most effective.

Team members can move laterally (without the ball) if the square is not already occupied; however, they cannot move into the opponents’ square (whether open or not) or into one’s own team member’s occupied square even if just passing through. Team members can change columns by exiting from the right most square to outside the grid and move up or down and re-enter their team’s open squares. Thus, encouraging the strategy of teamwork and changing squares to give a team stronger offensive or defensive numbers. The scoring is accomplished by passing a tennis ball from a team member in the grid into the endzone (the last set of 3 squares on each end). Passes must be head high or lower and bounce passes are allowed as long as the bounce is not in the end zone.

A ball that passes out of bounds along the long sides of the grid is re-entered by the opposite team that touched it last at a point nearest the inbounding team’s column. A ball exiting the endzone off the offence or a score is reentered/restarted by the opposite team’s last defensive column. A ball exiting the end zone off the defense is reentered by the offensive team nearest their closest offensive column (not counting the end zone) and must be passed into the grid area before it can be passed for a score. In other words, the ball cannot be passed directly from out of bounds to the endzone to score. A score is accomplished by catching a legally passed ball in the endzone. The game is started at center of the grids with “rock, paper, scissors” to choose first possession. The ball is live even if it is dropped or is rolling on the floor through a square except for the endzone.


Modify rules to allow ball to be rolled and picked up off floor instead of bounce pass or direct pass. Increase size of ball. Vary type of ball (basketball, yarn ball, foam ball, beanbag, disc, etc). Allow passing over the head. Increase or decrease the size of the grid formation (size of squares)

Submitted by Jon House in Lynchburg, VA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/30/2021.
Viewed 23607 times since 3/12/2021.

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Covid Ball

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Previous Comments:

mary ellen

Can you send a video of this game? Still trying to picture how students advance and/or step out to allow other to advance

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