Scatter Ball | UMC YoungPeople
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November 2019

Scatter Ball

By Cletis Rogers

Think Dodgeball. Seriously, think about it. Unless you’ve had bad experiences. Then feel free to think about Thanksgiving or your favorite coffee joint (and maybe don’t read any further).

Okay, if you’re still here, and you’re thinking dodgeball, remove the line down the middle and the teams on each side. ScatterBall is a democracy. Every human for their self.

Some Dodgeball Rules are Maintained:

  • Goal: Be last person standing.
  • How? Get others “out” by throwing & hitting them below the neck OR by catching their throw.
  • Use softer “gatorskin” or “rhino skin” -type dodgeballs please! The extra cost is worth minimizing the potential for student/participant PTSD down the road!

Unique Quirks of Scatterball:

  • No teams! (yes, there’s an echo in this room)
  • Boundary: The outside perimeter of a play area. Players can move anywhere w/in it.
  • Running with a ball?
    • You cannot run with the ball (You also cannot bounce or dribble the ball)
    • A frisbee-style “2-step” slow down rule can work here for those who can’t control themselves—if you’re running and catch a ball, you’ve up to two steps to slow to a stop.
  • What happens when someone’s “out?”
    • Sit down in the exact spot you were standing at the exact moment you got “out” & stay there! You’re stuck on that spot until the game ends or you do something to get back into the game.
  • Are you “out” (and kinda sad)?
    • Don’t fret–“out” in scatterball is similar to (many variants of) dodgeball in that it’s not the end. Since you don’t have teammates who could do something to return you to the game, you get to be your own teammate (see below)
    • Reminder: You’re sitting there in the exact spot you got “out,” and not leaving it.
    • You’re also actively engaged, hoping for a ball to come to you. Here’s your goal:
      • Catch a ball thrown by someone who’s “in.” They are now “out,” and you are back in.
      • Throw a ball & hit someone who’s “in” (hits still only count below the neck!) They are now“out,” and you are back in the game. That’s it! Be safe out there!


  • Think Dodgeball but no teams (moving around, throwing and catching dodgeballs to victory)
  • You cannot run with a ball or dribble/bounce a ball.
  • If you get hit by a ball, or throw a ball and it’s caught, you are “out.”
  • If you get “out,” sit down right where you are, and stay in that spot until round ends or you get back in.
  • To get back in, throw a ball & hit someone below the neck OR catch a ball thrown by someone who’s in.
  • Last person standing wins.

Optional Rules:

  • Play with one only dodgeball, or play with 15. Your choice.
  • A “Reverse”rule: If emcee yells “Reverse!” all who are “in” become “out” & vice versa. This can keep players accountable to not stand around when they’re “in.” That’s boring.