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Middle School Magic

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Here are two winning games sent in by Sally Christman from Arden, North Carolina.  5-8 

Introduction: The following two games have been very successful at our school. Try them!

Arena Ball

Set-Up: For this game, you’ll need a football, cones, and a clock. Divide the class into two teams. Further divide each team into mini-teams of four players each. Divide the gym into as many playing areas as possible.


In this game, four players from each team are playing against four players on the opposite team in each playing area. Four players are on offense, four players are on defense. One player on offense is the quarterback. On the teacher’s signal (i.e., whistle, buzzer), the other three players run into their playing area. If the ball is caught behind the first cone, the team scores one point; two points if caught behind the second cone; three points if caught behind the third cone. The offensive players get three downs to see how many points they can score. The four defensive players guard the receivers. No one is allowed to rush the quarterback. After three downs, the offense and defense players switch sides. Each down begins with the offense behind the line of scrimmage. After each round, new players from each team quickly rotate in and will need to be ready before the teacher’s signal to begin.

Other: (1) The offense only has 10 seconds per down. This helps to keep the game moving! (2) If any offensive team is not ready (not behind the line of scrimmage) when the teacher blows the whistle to start the down, that down is lost. (3) We usually keep each team’s score by using the basketball scoreboard.

Crazy FoodleBall

Set-Up: This game is played on a volleyball court. You’ll need a nerf football, a large cageball or omnikin ball, and about six gatorskin balls per game. The six gatorskin balls are placed under the net at the center court line. Each team lines up on one side of the volleyball net.


How We Play It: This game is a bit crazy with a lot of things happening at the same time (in other words,… just right for your middle school kids!).

Crazy Foodleball, Part #1: The game is started by the teacher giving the large cageball/omnikin ball to one of the teams. The cageball will take several players working together to get it thrown over the net. The ball is tossed back and forth over the net as in a game of Newcomb. If the ball touches the floor, one point is earned by the throwing team.

Crazy Foodleball, Part #2: Now the teacher will call out a common characteristic shared by players on both teams to get the gatorskin balls into the action. Teacher: “If you are born in the month of December, get a gatorskin ball.” Or “If you are wearing the color pink, get a gatorskin ball!”

These players will get one of the six gatorskin balls under the volleyball net and start to roll them under the net to the other side. If a player’s feet/leg is hit by a rolled ball, he goes to the team’s jail on the other side of the court. A ball may be picked up and rolled back under the net by any player during the game.

Crazy Foodleball, Part #3: At this point, the teacher gives the nerf football to the team whose player is in jail. The only way to get your teammates out of jail is to throw the nerf football over the net and into the jail area. If it is caught by a player in jail, everyone is free. If not, the ball is passed back over the net for a second try. If the football is intercepted by the other team, it can be used to free any of their players who are in jail.

Other: The game is over if all of the players on one team are in jail, one team scores 50 points, or after a certain time limit. Our students are usually so involved, that keeping score is secondary to them. It’s a great game that generally gets everyone involved and our students love it!

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