Bench Ball

Grade level: 3-8
Equipment: 2 benches, dodgeballs
Game Description: Bench ball is arguably one of the best low organized throwing and catching games. The goal is to be the first team to get your players onto the bench. But how do you get on the bench? Your ball must be caught by your teammate(s) who are already on the bench. Every catch adds another player to the bench. Teams can guard and block as well to increase the challenge. Lots of fun to be had by all, and lots of skill work and development as well.

  1. Set-up the benches in the gym – 1 on each side.
  2. Create 2 teams. 1 player from each team starts on the opposite bench.
  3. Add in the dodgeballs. Teams try to be the first team to get their players on the bench (for example first to have 6 on the bench).
  4. Players get to go to the bench when their ball is caught by their teammate on the bench.
  5. Players can block to make it harder for the catchers.
  6. Play many, many rounds and get lots of throwing and catching reps. As well as HAVING FUN!


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  1. Really like your site and all the ideas. I have a question on this particular game, bench ball. Can the other team members “defend” or “try to keep” the player on the bench from catching the ball, by intercepting or deflecting the ball being tossed to the opposite player on the bench? If so, is there a “safety zone” around the bench or “off limits” to keep the person from catching the ball? Thanks again!

    • Hi there, I’d say that it’s definitely most enjoyed when players can defend/block/intercept. Can implement a ‘buffer safety zone’ using cones or lines if you wish, or just tell players to be careful not to hit or bump into the person/people on the bench from the other team. Take care!

  2. I feel best with defense as well. I added that if a ball is intercepted on the way to the bench a player is taken off the bench, unless there was only one player, then nothing happened. I also added bowling pins. When your team gets five people on the bench you earn a pin, bench is clear except for one person and play continues until goal of five pins is reached. Worked so well, students loved it.

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