Very Best Games

Athletic Games Thinking Games


Name of GameAsteroid
Age Range6-adult
Number of Players2-30
Playing Environmentsgrass field, indoor gym
Shared Equipmentone Earth Ball (Cage Ball) of 4-6 foot diameter, at least 6 playground balls
Individual Equipmentnone
SummaryThe playing area is a rectangle 100 feet long, with enough width to give everyone room to throw without crowding. A center line and two "orbit lines" run parallel to the end lines, with the orbit lines each 20 feet from the center line.

An Earth Ball is placed on the center line. Players form two teams, each spread along its own end line. Using playground balls, they try to knock the Earth Ball "out of orbit"--over the orbit line on the other team's half.
RulesKnocking the Earth Ball over the other team's orbit line scores a point.

Play either by time or until one team reaches a certain score.

Players may retrieve balls only from their own half of the field. Balls between the opposing team and the Earth Ball must stop moving before they are retrieved, or the other team gains a point. Balls past the Earth Ball may be retrieved while moving.

At no time may a player throw at the Earth Ball unless behind the end line.
CommentsIt's pretty hard to knock the Earth Ball out of orbit, which is one reason that the orbit lines are only 20 feet from the center line. The other reason is that the playground balls will rebound off the Earth Ball with surprising velocity, so you don't want anyone too near the Earth Ball when throwing at it. Warn everyone about this, because it's very tempting to slam a ball into the Earth Ball from close range.

If the players have trouble budging the Earth Ball, tell them to aim just in front of its bottom. If a ball hits the ground, then bounces up into the bottom of the ball, it will move it much farther than any other impact would.

On windy days, play indoors. An Earth Ball will last for years -- unless you take it out in the wind, and it heads for the nearest briar patch.