9 Square — with a twist!


This is a fun indoor game idea that my students absolutely loved!  It is a take-off from traditional 4 square and made use of the large stability exercise ball that I bought last year.  You need stability balls for each player and one beach ball per grid.

I made 3 9-square game boards on the gym floor using floor tape.  Each individual square was 4 feet by 4 feet in a 3×3 grid.  Each square holds a player sitting on a stability ball.  The center square is the “9” or king spot.  The king serves a beach ball by tossing it in the air.  The goal of the game is to keep the ball in the game grid and in the air.  A player is out if they:  catch the ball, double hit, spike ball to the ground, let it hit the floor in their square, or hit it out of bounds.  When a player gets out, that player moves out of the grid, a waiting player moves into the “1” spot (right corner) and all lower numbers than the out player rotate up.  The rotation starts in the right corner and moves around the edge and into the middle.  The game is that simple.  It is easy to explain and get the students going.  My kids voted to have hits with the head legal, but knees and below were out.

I made 3 grids in my gym so 27 students are playing at a time.  I usually have 1 player per group that is “out”.  The rotations happen fast so no one is sitting out for long.  They loved the game just for the novelty of bouncing on the stability ball while they played.  Now that the marking is done and the game familiar, it is a favorite go-to game when we have a few extra minutes.  Even my most reluctant players had fun with the game.  The beach ball is a non-threatening piece of equipment for those that are timid around balls.  I actually have a student with a ball-phobia who played the game with no stress.  9-square is a new favorite in my gym!