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Physical Fitness for Life

Coach Lesson Plan

Warm up – have your group run to a point you designate, then stretch, take roll. 

Goal for Session 2, 3, 4 - Reiterate the rules of the game. 

Explain the rules – no deliberate hits to the head. If they hit someone in the head the thrower is out and the other player stays in. If someone catches a ball, that player who threw it is out. If the ball bounces on the ground first then hits a player they are not out. If the player tries to catch a ball and it drops to the ground, they are out. They cannot go over the center line or go out of bounds to retrieve a ball - to do so makes them out. The only way a player can get back into the game is if one of their teammates catches a ball. The first player out will be able to come back into the game. One ball is designated as the magic or special ball that when caught, brings their whole team back in. Players who are out will stand on each side of the instructor. 

Play the game. 

Here are some different variations of dodgeball that you can play if the games get too dry. 

King/Queen Dodgeball- Both teams select a King or Queen for their side. They must keep it secret from the other team. Once the teams have worked together to pick a King/Queen, one representative from each team will tell the coach who they picked. Make sure every student knows which person is the King/Queen for "their" team. The objective of the game is for one team to pinpoint the King/Queen of the other team and get them out. Once the King/Queen are struck by a dodgeball OR have their throw caught by the other team the game ends immediately. It's basically a guessing game for both teams. The coach can reveal the King/Queen for both teams if the game lingers on and the students can use strategies to protect their King/Queen from getting hit. The game has the potential to end very fast so if you want to choose both a King and Queen for both teams (2 players from each team to get out) to extend the time, you can do this as well. 

Doctor/Medic Dodgeball- Both teams select a Doctor/Medic for their side. They must keep it a secret from the other team. Once the teams have worked together to pick a Doctor/Medic, one representative from each team will tell the coach who they picked. Make sure every student knows which person is the Doctor/Medic for their team. This game is played like a regular dodgeball game except when students get hit or have their throw caught they don't exit the game, they just sit or kneel down where they are. In order for them to get back up and keep playing, the Doctor/Medic for their team must come and tap them on the shoulder. You can pick 2 Doctors/Medics for each team if you want. You can end the game once the Doctor/Medic is hit by the dodgeballs or have their throws caught by the other team. 

Take Away Dodgeball- This game will be harder for the younger students to grasp, so I recommend it only for the older groups. The game is just like the title says. If you get hit at certain body part, you "take away" that body part. So if a student gets hit on their left arm (shoulder to hand) they have to take away or put that arm behind their back. They can now only throw and pick up dodgeballs with their right arm. The same concept applies to the legs. If they get struck on their left leg by a dodgeball, they now have to take away that leg meaning they would have to hop on their right leg. If they get struck to the other leg after having already taken away one leg, they have to move around on their knees on the grass. So it is possible for them to have lost both legs and one arm. This makes it more fun for some students as they get a chance to stay in the game longer and try to dodge under harder circumstances. There are still DIRECT ways to get the other team’s students out. Here are those ways, 

1. If a student catches another student's throw, that is still an immediate out. 

2. If a student gets hit by a dodgeball in the chest/stomach or whole back  area, these are immediate outs since you can't take away those areas. 


3. If a student has both arms taken away and is unable to throw, immediate  out. 

4. If a student has both legs taken away and they get hit on thigh/knee region a third time, immediate out. 

One confusing instance might occur during this game and that's when a student tries to catch another students throw from the other team, but ends up dropping the dodgeball. In this case you can tell the student who dropped the catch to pick which arm they want to take away. Also, if a student is tired of hopping on one leg they can switch to the other. Lastly, they can opt to come out of the game if they don't want to crawl on their knees if both legs are taken away. This game can last for a while so the coaches can put students back in the game at their will or implement ways for students to get back in quicker. When you are ready to end the game you can start a countdown and let the team with the most players left in the game be the winning team. 

Right Hand/Left Hand Dodgeball- Play a regular dodgeball game where they can only use their right hand or left hand for that game. Good for working on hand coordination/dexterity. 

If you’re playing dodgeball on a basketball court- This works for full courts only. Use the half court line to divide the teams and the sidelines and baselines as boundaries for the game. Play as a normal dodgeball game would, but allow the teams to throw the dodgeballs at the opposite backboard to get teammates that are out back in the game. For example, if one team has 3 players left on their side and 12 already out, 1 of the 3 still in the game can throw the dodgeball at the opposite backboard(must hit) and bring those 12 members on their team that are out back in the game. You can also make a rule that if a team throws the ball at the other backboard and ends up making a basket, that team wins. 

Fun stuff for the younger students to do as the game starts - Before the game starts, you can give them something silly to do before grabbing the dodgeballs rather than just running up. Some of my coaches have had them do crab walks up to the ball. You can have them bear crawl, bunny/frog hop, hops on one leg, or jumping jacks up the dodgeballs just for fun. Sometimes the kids will even give you suggestions. They only have to do it at the start of the game though. 

Getting Students back in the game -Tornado - This works well when you want to put students back into the game who have been out for a while – tell them a big wind, a tornado has blown everyone back into the game. 

Knee to Feet - Students start on their knees with a ball. If they catch a ball, they get to stand up and play. If they get hit when standing they go back to their knees. If they get hit when they are on their knees they are out. If a team mate catches a ball they can come back in. 

Here are some variations I have played in the past to keep things fresh. The emboldened games are those I have found to be most enjoyable in our classes. 


Fireball is a version of dodgeball where there are no teams. If you have a ball then you can not move your feet if you throw a ball at someone else then they are out but if someone hits you out then everyone you hit out is back in. There are other variants where there are other rules.(Objective type is Win And Revival) Team Fireball instead of every man for himself there are two teams and you can move with a ball. Fireball is very similar to No friends. 

Chess ball 

Choose players to play roles of King (gets hit and everyone is out), Queen (catches a ball and everyone is in), Knight (can take hits to the front of their body without being out), Bishop (Can revive players with a touch), Rook (Can hit someone on other team and steal them to play for theirs. One at a time). Remove roles as needed for variation. 

Take away, Army, Gladiator. 

Whichever limbs get hit must be put away. 

Protect the pin 

Protect the pin (also known as PTP, dodgebowl, pin guard, or pinball[4]) is played like standard dodgeball except that each team has three plastic bowling pins (or any pin in general like tennis ball tins and cones) at the back of their side of the court (usually evenly spaced on the last line before the wall). Once knocked over, a pin must stay down. The game ends when all of a team's players are eliminated, or (more often) when all of a team's pins are knocked over. In this game, the balls may be used to hit players, hit pins, or block. A caught ball brings in a teammate and eliminates the thrower. Balls caught after making contact with the walls, floor, ceiling, pin, or anything aside from another player have no effect. This variation of dodgeball can be played in combination with other types of dodgeball, like doctor dodgeball. In some versions of protect the pin, players can have multiple (up to 3) lives. In some versions of protect the pin, knocking over the pin can resurrect the thrower's whole team. One variation of this involves only one pin per team, which is usually guarded by an appointed team member. The game ends when one of the teams' pins is knocked down. 

Four Quadrants 

Place a line of discs vertically to create a plus sign in the field. Make four teams. Play regular dodgeball. A great variation for this is traitors. Because it only requires a few discs, it can be set up quickly on a water break. 


Each player chooses a partner and they must hold hands throughout the duration of the game. You can play two ways. If one gets hit then they are both out or that player can sit down and the other player has to keep holding hands in that spot. If there are uneven teams you can have groups of three as well. 

Steal the Bacon 

Each player gets a number. When a coach calls their number then they play dodgeball until one side wins. You may call more than one number at a time. 


If the player who got you out gets hit with a ball, you may come back into the game. 

Freeze Ball 

Three to four players begin with a ball. Other players scatter about. At the signal, the bombarding starts. Players who are hit must freeze in place. Although their feet are frozen to the ground, they can move every other part of their body. In order to become “unfrozen,” these players must grab stray balls (without moving their feet) and hit players who are still active. A successful hit unfreezes the thrower, and freezes the target. Play continues until just one player (or two, or ten, who cares?) remains. 

Super Mario 

Both teams begin on their knees. If they catch a ball they may stand up and play. If they get hit they go back to their knees. If hit while on knees then they are out. 

Simon Says 

Players must do whatever you say. Examples: Left hand throws only, right foot hops, plays on knees, only leg hits count, everyone must play as close to the middle line as possible, etc. 

Capture the flag 

Open the borders and place two jerseys on opposite sides of the field. Place balls in the middle. If you get hit you must run back to your team's starting position to "respawn". The game ends when one team captures the other's flag and returns it unhit to their own base. 

Poison Ball 

(Great for small groups of any age). There are no teams. The last person standing is the winner. All players, except for one, start inside the playing area (a large circle or square, or half of a basketball court, or some other coned off area). One player is outside of the area and begins by trying to hit the players inside the playing area. Once a player is hit, they join the player(s) on the outside. The players on the inside do not get to throw balls, they only get to dodge. The last person inside the area is the winner and starts the next game on the outside. 

Free for All 

Open the borders and every man for himself. Pick up balls where they lie. 

Around the World 

When players get out they must run behind the opposite team's baseline. If their own team throws the ball to them and they catch it then they get back in. 

Island Dodgeball 

Teams must stand in a square on their side of the field as they play. Only one player at a time may step off to collect balls but they cannot throw them unless they are on the “island”. 


The coach holds the powerball, a larger or different colored ball. Occasionally during the game, the coach will roll the ball along the center line. Players from both teams have 10-15 seconds to retrieve the ball and get it back to the coach without getting hit. If they are successful, their teammates who have been out waiting to return to the game can all come in. Once the powerball is picked up, that player cannot be hit, or once the powerball is returned to the coach the player gets a free walk to their area. 

Hoop Shoot Dodgeball 

If you are playing on a basketball court, players can opt to shoot their dodgeball at the opposing team’s basket. They must shoot it from their own side of the court. If they make the basket (a rarity) all their team’s players who are out, get to return to the game. This game can also be played with soccer nets. 

Behind Enemy Lines 

Each team chooses a "Spy" to be on the other team's side and try to block balls thrown at their teammates. The only way for them to get out is if one spy hits the other. 


(For small, older groups only) This is an “every person for themselves” type of game. There must be specific boundaries (large squares or circles made from cones). Players can run anywhere they want within the boundaries. Play starts with the referee throwing the ball in the air. The player that gets it can throw it at someone or take up to three steps, no more, before they throw it. The player that retrieves it must do the same, take up to three steps (or hops) before throwing it. Meanwhile the other players can run around and dodge the ball. If a player is hit, they must sit down where they are (essentially, they are frozen). If the player that got them out gets hit, they are back in the game (unfrozen). Also, players can catch the ball to save themselves and get the thrower to sit down. So, game play goes on for a while. This is our teens favorite version of “Dodgeball”. 


One player from each team is chosen to be the Jedi. Jedi’s start the game inside of a circle of cones on their side of the area or “circle of force”. When a player is hit, they must sit down. Jedi’s can heal them by tagging them. If the Jedi has to come out of their “circle of force” to heal someone and they get hit by a ball they are out. Each player that gets hit after the Jedi is out goes out as well. Once a player, or Jedi, is out they cannot return even if someone catches a ball. 


This is like Jedi, except there is no “circle of force” for the Medic to “hide” in. Medic can go around and tag someone to heal them. 


When you get hit with a ball, you must play loyally for the other team. The game ends when one team has all the players.

Nerf Dodgeball Week 2-4 Lesson Plan

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