The kids came home from camp talking about nothing but how much fun they had playing GaGa Ball…. seems like this is the latest rage in the world of sports. Reminds me of a contained dodge ball arena!
Upon further research…. I stand in awe LOL…..
Ga-ga is a variant of dodgeball. The game combines dodging, striking, running and jumping with the object of hitting opponents with a ball below the waist while avoiding being hit. The game can be played by groups of individual players, teams and in one-on-one matches.
Ga-ga is played in a large octagon or hexagon called the Ga-ga pit. Ga-ga begins with someone throwing the gaga ball up into the air. When it bounces the players say “Ga” each bounce for the first three bounces. After three bounces the ball is in play and the game starts. A player cannot hit the ball twice in a row unless it bounces off a wall or another person. When a player is hit, he leaves the game. A player who knocks the ball out of the pit is also out. If a player catches the ball in the air, the last person to hit the ball is out.
- You can hit the ball with your hands, but picking up the ball and throwing it at a player is not allowed.
- If the ball touches a player anywhere on or below the knee, that player is eliminated from the game.
- A player cannot touch the ball two times sequentially; the ball must hit another player or wall before that player can touch the ball again. If the player violates this rule, it is called a double touch and that player is out. Some versions of the game allow double or even triple touches.
- If a player pops the ball up into the air, another player may catch it and ground it. Some variations do not allow catching at all.
- The player cannot kick the ball. (As this is touching the ball below the knee.)
- If a player hits the ball out of the arena without touching the wall, ground, or another player, the player who hit it is out.
In July, 2012 the The New York Times wrote that “to the surprise of parents who recall the game from their youths, gaga is solidly mainstream.” Among the things that contributed to ga-ga’s expansion, the article credits children’s love of the game. “They are teaching it to their parents and not vice versa. It’s not like baseball or football or tennis, where they have to emulate someone else. Kids own it.”
United States Expansion
Ultimate Ga-ga is a 23,000 sq.ft. sports facility in Syosset, Long Island that has six Ga-ga pits. Thousands of players have visited since its opening. The owner has friends who played the game at summer camps 40 or 50 years ago. It is believed to have been brought to the United States by Israeli counselors working at Jewish summer camps.
Ga-ga continued its US expansion to Manhattan with the opening of The Gaga Center, New York’s first facility dedicated to the sport. ABC News was the first broadcast news organization to cover the sport of Ga-Ga at The Gaga Center, labeling it the “kinder, gentler version” of dodgeball.
European and US championships
The Ga-ga European Championship was first held in 2000 in Lisbon, Portugal. Highly competitive, 36 countries participate every summer in game play. Ga-ga gained momentum in Latin America in the 1970s through the efforts of Professor Ueve, founder of the Ani Be Ata institute.
The United States Southwestern Championship, held in Texas in the summer of 1994, lasted almost 7 hours. The event ended in controversy after the winner tested positive for steroids and was stripped of his title.