Throwing and Catching Activities

Oscar the Grouch

Build a box out of two large tumbling mats standing on their ends. Put two or three students inside the mat box (garbage can) to act as Oscar the Grouch. Oscars like to make a mess of the gym by throwing balls out of the garbage can. Put gator balls into the garbage can for the Oscars to throw out. Everyone else moves around the gym to pick up the garbage and to practice their underhand or overhand throws back into the can. I ask my students to challenge themselves by throwing further back. It is the students throwing from further away that get a chance to get into the garbage can when we switch.

Snowball Fight

Build a wall across the gym using tumbling mats standing on end. Dump gator balls on each side of the gym. Build a box at the back side of each court of the game. Students are to throw over the wall (no dunking) while at the same time trying to catch the other teams throws. If a student is able to catch a throw they get to put that ball into the box at the back of their court (this acts like a point). I remind students that they want to be smart about where and how they are throwing so that it makes it difficult for the other team to make catches. This game can be played to see how many points are scored or you can declare that the team that catches the last ball is the winner, or both. It doesn't really matter as it is just for fun and to practice our throwing skills.

Asteroid Ball

Divide the class into two teams on each side of the gym. You will need a bunch of nerf footballs and gator balls as well as a large cage ball or Omnikin Ball in the middle. Line the two teams up on a line on each side. Pick two students from each team to act as an astronaut for their team. Astronauts are in charge of getting all the smaller balls back to their teammates so that their team can throw them at the cage ball and make it roll to the other teams side. If they make it to the other side the team scores a point. Astronauts are not allowed to throw balls at the asteroid or touch the asteroid. Players on each side should have a line that they cannot cross unless they are an astronaut.

Berlin Wall

Organize all the students on a line on one side of the gym. Setup tumbling mats on end throughout the gym space. Place these mats at different distances and set them up so that they are tough, but not impossible to knock over. Assemble as many tennis balls as you can find. Remind students that they must be on the throwing line to throw a tennis ball. Have students use all of their balls to knock over as many mats as they can. When all the balls are gone have the kids get the balls and try again.

Bench Ball

See Cooperative Activities


Have a group of 4 or 5 students line up in a special line against a wall. Give all the other students a soft ball and bowling pin. Students setup their bowline pin somewhere in the gym (not against a wall). Students protect their pin using their body while throwing or rolling the balls to knock other pins over. Students may only take three steps away from their pin to retrieve a ball. We also have a "be nice to your neighbor" rule that doesn't allow a student to go after people close to them. If they are three steps away or closer they are considered neighbors. If/When your pin is knocked over you must pick it up and take it to the special line. Hand it to the first person in line and find a spot in the end of the line. Soon someone will bring you a new pin to setup in the game.

Frisbee Golf

Students each use a frisbee to score as small a score as they can as they move around our frisbee golf course. Students start each hole from the previous hole's ending point. Students count number of tosses to hit the final object of each hole. Students must make their throws from whereever the frisbee stops.

Ultimate Ball (Ultimate Frisbee)

Students are split into even teams (the smaller the teams the easier it will be for students to get into the games). One team will start off on offense and will receive the ball or frisbee from a kickoff from the other team. The offense will then try to pass the ball or frisbee amongst themselves to get it to the other teams end zone. Students may not move with the frisbee in their hands. Students may pivot like in basketball. Defenders must stay one arms length away from the thrower. If the item is intercepted or knocked down it is awarded to the defending team and they will instantly go on offense heading the other way. This game requires students to guard one another and be observant of everything that is going on. I start this game with an easy to catch and throw ball and slowly make it more difficult by using different balls or a frisbee.


Give each student a bowling pin to setup on their side of the gym. Students try to throw balls at the opposing teams bowling pins until there are zero left standing. Students are not out when their pin is knocked over. Students who lose their pin may help others on their team keep their pin alive. Students may not sit down in front of their pin.

Ultimate Chaos

All players on scooters (seated). Game begins with both teams lined up on their back lines with volleyball in the middle. Volleyball is moved by passing and catching across the field. Bowling pins are setup scattered throughout the gym. If pin is knocked over it is reset and the person who knocked it over leaves the floor (until a goal is scored). This includes a missed catch or a scooter hitting the pin. There could be goal keepers. Each team has a wiffle ball/bean bag. When a person with the volleyball is touched by the other teams beanbag the person has to give the volleyball to the other team. Once a goal is scored all players return to starting lines and begin again.

Pin Down 2

This is like pin ball. Two teams battle to try to knock down the other teams pins. The difference is when a player catches a ball they get to set back up one of their pins.

Throwing with Opposition

Give a parent/teacher a hula hoop and facemask (for protection). Practice throwing with opposition with students. Have a parent/adult walk slowly across the gym. Have students attempt to throw balls through the hula hoop while throwing with correct form. Have the adult change the manner in which they moves as well as the distance from the students. After a student throws they must pickup their ball before they get a second attempt.

Bocce Golf

Give students one partner. For each group place a cone on the far side of the gym and give students a ball to sue to hit the cone. Only one student may leave the poly dot at a time. The first thrower attempts their shot from the poly dot. The second thrower attempts their throw from wherever the first throw stops. Students get a point for each throw. They want to have a lower score. Have students run back in forth (someone must be on the poly dot at all times) Hand out popsicle sticks for points.

Ninja Guard

Place a ball on top of a batting tee in the middle of the gym. Place polydots in a large circle around the batting tee. Have students throw from the poly dots trying to knock the ball off of the tee. One student gets to be the ninja in the middle who uses a bat to try to protect his balancing ball. If a person knocks the ball off of the tee they get to replace the ninja. Alternate throwers if needed.

Collect the Toys

Place a hula hoop around the outside of the gym (one for each two students/or three works too). In the middle of the gym place a bin with a bunch of throwable objects (beanbags, rubber animals, etc.) Students pair up in each of the hula hoops. They choose who will go first. On go, the first student needs to run all the way around the cirlce of hula hoops back to their hula hoop and give their partner a high five. They then run out to the middle bin of throwing objects. The student will use a toss (underhand or overhand) to throw to their partner in their hula hoop. The catcher must stay in the hula hoop to make the catch. If they make the catch they put the object in their hoop and the catcher then becomes the runner. If they miss the catch, the catcher picks it up off the ground and takes it around the circle and then to the middle. They will use that same item to toss to their partner that is now the catcher in the hula hoop. Keep going until you run out of items.

Rob's Game

Use a bucket full of throwable objects. Dump them out on one side of the gym. Place the bucket inside the key on the other side of the gym. Students pick up one item at a time and need to toss or throw them back in the bucket. They are not allowed in the key (or three point line or whatever you choose). When all items are tossed count how many are not in the bucket. That will be the score to beat. Try again.

The Great Escape

This game has three levels that a successful team has to complete to win. The first level is rolling gator balls to knock down all of the bowling pins on the other teams side. Have one person from each team be a getter to put all of the bowling pins into a bucket when they have been knocked over. Once all of the pins are done they move onto level 2. Level 2 requires students to throw the gator balls at the cones to knock off the balls that are placed on top of the cones. Once all of the balls on the cones are knocked over then the team moves onto level 3. Level 3 requires the team to throw their gator ball to make a basket on the other teams side of the gym. First team to score a hoop after completing level 1 and 2 would be the winner.

Castle Ball

Have class practice building castles out of 6 hula hoops. Setup 3 or 4 castles on each side of the gym. The object is to knock down the other teams castles while keeping your castles up. Teams are allowed to rebuild a castle when it gets knocked over. Teams are not allowed to throw at castles that are being rebuilt. First team to have all of the other teams castles not built will be the winner.

Castle Pool

This is a version of Castle Ball. Two teams on each side of the gym. Each team sets up one castle in a corner of their side. Each team has 7 bowling pins setup around their side. Only one person can guard a pin at a time. The goal of the game is to get all 7 of the bowling pins knocked down and then to knock out the castle. Just like in pool, if the castle is knocked down before the 7 bowling pins then the throwing team loses.

Snake Ball

Divide playing area into 4 quadrants. Divide class into 5 teams with one team watching from the outside. Place a fitness ball or large ball inside the middle of the quadrants. Players from each team try to hit the large ball with gator balls moving it into other peoples quadrants. If the ball ever touches a person on a team then that team is out and is replaced by the out team. Setup a time limit and whichever quadrant the ball is in at the end of the time would be out or if the ball ever touches the wall in a teams quadrant they are out.

River Ball

Place cones to create a river in the middle of the gym. Have a set of students in the middle act as the piranha's. Everyone else is split between the other two sides of the gym. Students attempt to throw the objects over the river to the other team. If an item is caught they get to place it in their bucket. Piranhas get to place any objects they retrieve in their bucket. Team that has the most items wins. Stop with a few items left so the kids aren't fighting over them.

Throwing Stars

This is very much like shooting stars for basketball. Place poly dots throughout the basketball court. Hang a hula hoop from the rim of the hoop. Students are to run to a spot and throw from the spot to get it through the hula hoop. If successful, they get to take the poly dot back to their collection (their hoop area). This would be very good with the younger students, but could be very cool for older students if you can find ways to make longer throws across the court in a safe and successful manner.


Two teams of three play against each other across the playing area or gym. Set up the gym so you have one mat (ship) for each three students. Have the players in the game agree on how far the mats will be from each other. On the floor in front of each mat, set up four pins. Place a scooter (lifeboat) and four gator skin or soft balls (ammunition) on the mat to start.

Designate someone to ride the lifeboat (scooter). The person on the scooter is the only person who can retrieve balls from the sea (gym floor) and bring them back to their mat (ship). However, the students on the mats may catch thrown balls or reach for them on the floor keeping one foot on the mat. The students on the mat are trying to knock down the pins at the other mat by throwing balls using correct overhand technique. At least one foot must be on their mat at all times.

When all the pins by your mat are knocked down, set them up and restart the game with another person on both teams lifeboats.


Two teams pass a ball to down a field/court. Each person can move with the ball but must get rid of it in 3 seconds. If a ball is loose, anyone may pick it up. Teams must make three passes before a shot on goal. Setup a cone with a tennis ball on top in front of a wall or mat. knocking over the tennis ball would be a goal. Shots can be deflected off of the wall or mat. Make a goal box for only the goalie to use and a do no shoot line that people have to shoot behind. 5 on 5 including goalies.

Any Ball

This is a sort of ultimate ball game. You can use any type of item to throw that you would like. Changing the object makes the students change their strategies. Each team has one goalie who has a foot in their hula hoop and another hula hoop in their hand. One team starts with the object and passes it to teammates. Students can not move when they have the object in their hands. Student try to move that object up to the goalie as to throw it through the hoop. If the object is dropped or hits the ground the other teams picks it up and starts going their direction with it.

Aerobic Ball

Spilt the class into two teams. Place rubber dots at the end lines of each team. Place 8 bowling pins on the 16 rubber dots. Do the same thing for the other team. Students are to throw gator balls at the bowling pins and if they got knocked over they get to take that pin back to their team. When they get a pin they add it to the empty spots on their side. The goal of the team is to fill all of the empty rubber spots.

Container Ball

Split the class into two teams. Place two mats on end in each corner to create a container. Lay out a flat mat in the other corner to act as a jail. Place balls in the middle of the gym. Students are trying to get as many (or a certain number) of balls in the other teams container as possible. Guarding the container and/or jail is allowed. Students can throw to the container from their side or they can move to the other teams side to attempt a shorter throw to the container. If tagged on the other teams side they are sent to the jail. To get out of jail the student must catch a ball from a teammate.

Frog Pond

Place polydots all around the gym. Place a container in the middle of the gym. Students stand on the poly dot and attempt an underhand throw into the container. If they make it into the container they get to bring back the poly dot to their team (acts as points/could give each color a different point value).