At a Doe River Gorge, a Christian campground in Elizabethton, Tennessee, my family was introduced to the game Octoball. An easy game to learn, it’s been a hit with all of my children, and it’s a game they can all play together.
Octoball is an outdoor game played in an octagonal “ring” made of eight boards, each one 12′ x 8′ x 2″. New wood from the lumber store can be expensive, but older pieces can be used. Once the ring is set up, all you need is a volleyball, and you’re ready to play.
The object of the game is similar to that of dodgeball — avoid getting hit by the ball. The last person standing in the ring is declared the winner.
To play, one person starts the play by throwing the ball and hitting it on the side of the ring. Then players try to hit each other with the ball. If a player hits the ball and it touches another player below the knee, then that player is out; if it hits above the knee, the player is still in the game.
Additional rules include:
- No player may hit the ball twice in succession unless the ball hits the wall in between hits.
- If a player hits the ball and it goes out of the ring without touching the wall, that player is out.
- If a player hits the ball and it touches the wall and then goes out of the ring, that player is still in the game.
While older kids can usually hit the ball with more force and better direction, the younger ones can run and jump quickly out of the way. The last two left in the ring often differ a great deal in age, making it a fun game for everyone!