Container Ball

Grade level: 3-6
Equipment: Folding mats, foam balls
Game Description: Container Ball incorporates many skills – running, fleeing, dodging, throwing, catching, teamwork strategies, and shooting – all in one fun massive 2-team game! The object is to get more balls into your container than the opposing team, and to empty the opposing teams’ container. The gym is divided by the center line (also needed are the end basketball hoop on each side). “Containers” for the opposite teams are built on each side using tumbling mats placed on their ends to form a rectangle (can use some sort of clamp to hold together if needed). ‘Jails’ are placed down on each side as well by laying a mat flat down on the floor.
Gameplay description:
– Players are safe when they’re on their own side.
– Players who cross over to the other team’s side can get tagged by an opponent who is holding a ball. If tagged, the player goes to the jail on that side. Opponents cannot touch or block an opponent if they are not holding a ball. A player in jail may only possess a ball that he/she has caught in the air.
– There are 2 ways to get out of jail (these are escapes, not a free pass back to their own side): 1) Catching a ball in the air while on the mat (the ball must be thrown by a teammate from their team’s side of the gym), or 2) The teacher calling out “Jailbreak”.
– A player has 3 options after getting out of jail and stepping off the mat: 1) Try to make it back to your side without getting tagged 2) Try to throw the ball into the container and then try to make it back to your side, or 3) Try to make a basket.
– You may not throw or shoot from your jail mat.
– If a player makes a basket then his/her team gets to empty and take possession of all balls in their opponent’s container, and the player who made the basket gets a free pass back to their side.
– Players may puppy guard the containers, but not the jails. Use cones or lines to mark a “no enter zone” that the defense can’t enter into.
(Thanks to Russ Alvarez and Bruce Bowman)


 Add your comment
  1. This game is awesome! I played it with 7th and 8th graders and they had a blast.

  2. Great game! I added another container, and had the kids go back to their side first when leaving jail, but the kids loved it! Thanks for the great ideas!!

  3. Love this game! It is one of my students favorites. I changed up the rules for the younger students and played this game K-6 grades. ALL students are involved and want to be! They leave sweaty and happy 🙂

  4. How does the team who makes a basket get the balls out of the other team’s container? My classes struggled because the other team would continue to throw or their container was unable to be scored in.

  5. If a player gets tagged leaving the jail with a ball in their hands, do they have to go back to jail?

  6. When my teacher introduced it to me, I thought it was pretty fricken dumb. After 10 minutes, I thought how it was soooooo fun.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.