How to play the game Castle Ball, developing target throwing and team building.

This week's game integrates the practices of dodgeballs without the human targets. Instead, teams work together to build structures out of hula hoops and attempt to make the other team's structure fall. The Game of the Week is Castle Ball!

Group Size:  Large group (10 or more)

Age Group:  Grades 3+
Length of Activity:  10 minutes or more
Developmental Goal:  To practice working together as a team while playing both offense and defense.
Equipment:  Dodgeballs, Hula Hoops, optional: Cones, Jerseys

Before You Start: 

  • Split the group into two teams.
  • Identify the play area (large enough for players to run) so that everyone understands the boundaries.
  • Tell players that Castle Ball is like building a “house of cards” out of four to six hula hoops or cones. The structure will stand on its own but will fall when a ball strikes any part of it.
  • Begin by showing the players how to build a castle. Teams can place one hula hoop on the floor and use four hula hoops to form the sides, adding another one on the top.
  • Allow players to practice building castles until they can do it themselves.
  • Demonstrate safe throws–low to the ground so that it can hit the castle and avoids other players' faces.

Set Up: 

Use cones to mark clear boundaries for play–a large rectangle that is split in the middle, such as a basketball court.

How To Play: 

  • Play begins with both teams have built one (or more depending on number of players and hula hoops) castles on their side of the play area.
  • Soft foam dodgeballs–approximately one ball per five players or as available–are used to attempt to knock down the other team's castle 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 other team may not throw at a castle while it is being built.
  • The game is separated by a center line, which players cannot cross to retrieve a ball.
  • Players should be encouraged 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 with their teammates to form strategies that will best defend their “castles”.
  • Once all castles are knocked down a new round is started.


  • If many hula hoops are available and teams are large, have each team maintain 2-3 castles.
  • If a lot of space is available, you can have multiple games going on at the same time, with teams of three-on-three or four-on-four.  
  • Add additional balls.

Alternative Name of the Game: Sandcastle

Find more new and exciting games in our games libary!

Love implementing Game of the Week? Playworks Trainers are equipped with oodles of tools and tips to help you get a recess and play program going today. Check out our professional development programs and bring Playworks to your school or afterschool program.


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