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Name of Activity:

Ultimate Sponge Ball

Purpose of Activity:

To teach students how fitness can be fun and beneficial while involved in a team game. Additionally this is a great game to teach students how to move into open spaces to receive passes from teammates.


Students must be able to throw and catch a soft sponge ball, have a basic understanding of person to person defense, and have practice with proper field spacing.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

1 solid sponge type nerf ball (about 22" round) for each team (4 - 8 members per team); Jerseys to differentiate between two teams; A field or fields (basketball courts can be used for indoors) approximately 50 yds long and 30 - 40 yds wide (cones can be used to divide a football field into 3 seperate fields); Whistle to stop and start games; Stop Watch to take EHR's (Exercise Heart Rates)

Description of Idea

Divide your class up into equal teams of 4 - 8 players (6 per team typically works well for me).  Each field has 2 sidelines and 2 goal lines.  Each team starts at their own goal line with one of the teams in control of the sponge ball.  On the whistle, each team moves onto the field.  The team in control of the ball must move the ball down field by passing it to each other, however, the student that catches or has control of the ball cannot run. They may only pivot.  

All other offensive players should be trying to shake their defensive player and get open for a pass.  They can move anywhere on the field as long as they stay in-bounds.  The objective of the game is to move the ball all the way down the field and make a successful pass to a teamate who is behind their opponents goal line.  When this occurs a point is scored, the ball is dropped, and the opposite team picks up the ball and prepares to do the same.  The game never stops and is played continuously, unless the teacher stops the game to rotate teams or take Heart Rates. 


  1. Defensive team must play person-to-person defense.
  2. Defensive team must stay at least 2 arm lengths away from player with the ball.
  3. Defensive team may NOT grab ball from offensive player when they are in control of the ball.
  4. Offensive team loses possession of the ball through an incompleted pass or a pass that is knocked down by a defensive player. 
  5. The ground and the sidelines are dead and constitutes an automatic turnover to the other team where the infraction occurred.
  6. Any steps which occur after an offensive player catches a pass should also constitute a turnover (However, you may have to be flexible here).  Offensive players CANNOT run with the ball.

Assessment Ideas:

During the activity have students take EHR (Exercise Heart Rates)  2 - 3 times during class to see if students reached or where above their Target Heart Rates.  Questions used at the end of class to assess students understanding of fitness objecive should center on Aerobic and Anaerobic concepts.

  1. What made for a successful game? 
  2. Was it better to use long passes, short passes, a combination of both?
  3. What happened if some students did not get open for a pass?
  4. How important was spacing your teamates when your where in control of the ball.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

For a visually impaired student, use a beeper ball or have them work with a peer. The peer catches the ball, gives the ball to the visually impaired student, who will then throw the ball to his/her teammates.  The teammates will have bells on their wrists, shaking them when the visually impaired student gets ready to throw.

  • Have defenders be three or more arm lengths away from a student with a disability.

  • For students using wheelchairs, defenders must count to five after the throw before they can try to take the ball away.  If person has full use of their upper body, then they should catch the ball themselves. If a person does not, they should have a peer educator helping them catch and move along the playing area.
  • Submitted by Kirk Mango who teaches at Downers Grove South School in Downers Grove, IL. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/1/2001.
    Viewed 224825 times since 8/24/2001.

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    Ultimate Sponge Ball

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    Previous Comments:


    This is a great game for many students. It is also a great transition game to Basketball, it forces the players to pass to their teammates. We call it UltimateBall.

    Sam Zambanini

    We play this game with a nerf football and call it "Flickerball". We've been playing for years. It is a favorite among our students.

    Heather Dailey

    My students LOVE this game! Ultimate frisbee or spongeball is the best!

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