Pin Down

Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Hula hoops, pins, dodgeballs
Game Description: ‘Pin Down’ is a definite favorite. Really it’s a must play! Players guard their own pin while trying to knock over someone else’s with a dodgeball. If your pin is down, go to the back of the line but don’t worry – you’ll get right back in there in no time. This game utilizes a variety of movement skills, but the best part about it is that it’s a great workout with lots of laughs!

  1. Place down a bunch of hula-hoops in the gym spread out (about half as many as there are players).
  2. Place a bowling pin in each hula-hoop.
  3. One player starts at each pin/hula-hoop.
  4. Remaining players form a line at the side.
  5. Introduce the dodgeballs.
  6. On the signal, players try to knock over other player’s pins. They can leave their area if they want but at their own risk!
  7. If a pin is knocked down, the line at the side yells ‘PIN DOWN’ and the player whose base that was goes to the back of the line.
  8. The first person in line then enters the game and picks pin up (that is their pin now).
  9. Game continues in that fashion. Have fun!


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  1. This is a great game! My kids love it!

  2. This was a game I found and used last year when I was teaching my phys ed class in a very small all purpose room and it worked out perfectly.

  3. Hello, my class went crazy for this game!! They loved it. My son who goes to the same school I teach at told me his class (5th Grade) said this game is better than dodge ball.

  4. My kids LOVE this game! I call it “Take a Chance”. They would play this every time they come to the gym. Like the idea of those who are waiting to yell, “Pin Down!” I also play this game with partners, one defender one on offense, using a soccer ball to knock over the pins. The defender cannot use their hands.

  5. I call this “Can Down” because I use tennis ball cans instead of bowling pins. I didn’t think it would work with large classes but it does. The cans go down so often, everyone has lots of turns.
    This became one of their new favorite games!

  6. Do the students who are off to the side, standing in line throw the dodge balls as well? Or just wait to go out on to the court? Thanks!

    • They just wait their turn in line (usually doesn’t take long at all). If a ball rolls to them, they could lightly roll it back into play if you wanted..

  7. Are the defenders allowed inside their hula hoops to guard their pin?

  8. How many dodgeballs?

  9. I am a PE teacher and my students LOVE this game!! They always want to play it!

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