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Name of Activity:

Castle Ball

Purpose of Activity:

To practice working together as a team while playing both offense and defense. Works nicely with a Handball unit because it allows students to focus on passing, blocking, and strategies.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Hula hoops
1 or 2 volleyball-sized soft foam balls.

Note: This activity works really well in small gymnasiums. If you have a lot of space available you can have many games going on at the same time, as long as you have enough hoops. In addition, regulation volleyballs are not appropriate for this activity.

Description of Idea

Castle Ball is like building a "house of cards" out of 4 to 6 hula hoops. This structure will stand on its own but will fall when a ball strikes any part of it. To build the castle teams place one hoop on the floor, four hoops form the sides, and one the top.

Depending on the space available have many games going on at the same time. It works best when teams are 3-on-3 and no more than 4-on-4.

The object of the activity is to try to work with classmates to knock down the castle of the other team, while protecting your own. One point is awarded each time a castle is knocked down, even if a player bumps into his\her own castle. Castles that are knocked down should be set up as quickly as possible so players can continue playing.

The game area is separated by a center line, which players cannot cross to retreive a ball (this center line is optional--you decide). It is also best to have a throwing line inside each teams area to make sure all balls are thrown from the same distance. Teams are not to throw at castles inside of that line. Players should be encouraged to try different throwing strategies, i.e; different angles, speeds, trajectories, bounced off the wall or the ceiling etc. They should also be encouraged (and even recognized with scoring rewards) to pass the ball to teammates to surprise the defenders or to make sure everyone gets to throw the ball. In defending the castle, players should be alert, on the balls of their feet, and cooperate wittheir teammates to form strategies that will best defend their "castles".


After students have mastered the activity using just one ball, add another one to increase
the difficulty level.

Have them throw using only non-dominant hand to make it more difficult.

If you, the teacher, see excellent passing add a point or two to the overall score.

Teaching Suggestions:

Use a soft foam ball for this activity.
Make sure the throwing line is at a safe distance from the defenders of the castle.
Do not allow kids to throw the ball at other students.

Submitted by Louis Larouche who teaches at Victoria Park School in St-Lambert, Quebec, Canada Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 12/13/2019.
Viewed 294344 times since 8/24/2001.

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Castle Ball

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Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:

Dr. Josephus C. Brown

I have played Castle Ball with K-5 students and they really love it. I "borrowed" the original activity from Nancy Kelley-Cram. This moring I adapted the activity to the holiday season and called it Gingerbread Castle Ball. The rules remained the same except that I printed a photo of a gingerbread house, and at the bottom added two columns for the two teams to keep score. Knocking down a castle earned a point for the team which threw the ball and when all of the castles on one team were knocked down the team knocking them down received an extra five points. It was a spirited activity and it added a small element of friendly competition. Thanks....


I play this activity K-5 as well. The kids love it! Even my Kindergarten students can build the castles very quickly. They practice working together and building the castles first, then we add the rest of the game. Even used it as a school wide fundraiser event the kids were so addicted.


Neither my students or I could build the castle with hula hoops. Thanks for the other ideas, I will try the game with cones/balls or KFC buckets.


I really enjoyed Castle Ball- love the idea of 3 castles and also the 321 Bung game! The fun part is using the construction of the castle as part of the game... very fruitful and cooperative activity- really gets the blood pumping when you play 3-on-3!

Nelson I

This game is pretty fun. It does need to have a dodgeball twist to be competitive for this age level.


I would like to teach this for a High School to get the students involved more. I hope the students have fun and enjoy this activity of Castle Ball with minor adjustments like Jessica. A bit of Dodgeball to modify the game sounds good. Thankz for the idea

judy brooks

i have to teach this to my class for a big part of my grade but i really dnt kno if every1 will like it

Jim Taylor

I like the concept of this game and will use it sometime this year.

3-2-1 Bung!

We play a game similar to this called 321 bung. It involves placing a ball on top of a large cone in four quadrants of the gym. Teams are made up of two players at a time. The cones are placed in the key area of the basketball courts in each corner of the gym. The object is to knock the ball off the top of the cone. The attacking team cannot enter the area inside the three point line of the defending team. When a ball is knocked off, that team is eliminated, even if the team knocked their own ball off the cone. Teams can create secret allainces and even double-cross each other to win!


I used this game idea with a mix of volleyball as well. The volleyball coach leaves his nets down all day so i set up castles and played volleyball. If a team scores regularly (ball hits the floor) it's one point, and if you knock the castle down it's 5 points. We played using an omnikin ball or a bigger ball like that.




I have my PE classes play this. We play this game with a slight touch of dodgeball. Same rules apply, except when you are hit with a ball or if your ball is caught by the other team, you go out-of-bounds and do 5 push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc. We play with 3 "castles" and all 3 must be knocked down for the other team to win. They've figured out that if they throw the ball against the gym wall, there's a chance the ball would hit the castle from behind.


Castles can stay up on their own, you just need to make sure you assemble the "castle" correctly. It's tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's a piece of cake. I have some students who can rebuild a castle in 10 seconds. I wish I could post a picture to help you out.


How do you get the hoops to stay up? So far... my guess is that it can't happen.


This is a great activity....some variations that I use...

1) Soft rubber balls seem to work nice
2) Each team has 3 "castles"...the game continues when all 3 "castles are knocked down. Here's the catch...If a castle is knocked down, the team can rebuild it...meaning the other team has to knock down the other two "castles" before it is rebuilt COMPLETELY...anytime all three "castles" are down, the other team wins.
3) Let the teams decide where to set up the castles

Madame Dupont

It went very well!! Although, some of the students seemed to be not as active as in other games.

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