A large amount of equipment and people is not required to have fun playing ball games, in fact, most of these can be played with just one ball and two people.  Here are 20 ball games to keep kids entertained without heaps of equipment:

Try some of these games!

Handball – everyone has played handball at some stage or another, but as a refresher; handball is played between two people with a line between them.  The ball is hit once in one’s own square before it must cross the line and be hit by the opponent.  The game stops when an opponent messes up the pattern.

Who doesn’t love a game of soccer?

Tunnel Ball – played with a group of people who have their legs spread standing in a line.  The person at the front rolls the ball to the back person who grabs the ball and runs to the front of the line, beginning the process again.

Bowling – everyone knows what 10-pin bowling involves, but if you don’t feel like making a trip to the local bowling alley, lining up 10 other items (think cans or other containers) and rolling a ball to knock them over is just as fun.

Soccer – try playing modified soccer by sticking to the rules: ‘you can’t touch the ball with your hands’ and ‘if you get the ball in a certain area you score a goal’.  Soccer is a simple and enjoyable game, especially with these modified rules.

Over and Under – similar to tunnel ball, players line up in a line with their legs spread.  The first person passes the ball over their head and the second underneath (through their legs).  This continues until the last person receives the ball, who then runs to the front of the line, starting the game again.

French Cricket – a modified version of cricket that is similar to catch.  A player throws a ball to the batter, who bats with an upturned bat.  If a fielder catches the ball the batter is out and it’s the fielders turn to bat.

Catch – the simple game of catch can also be very fun.  Try throwing different kinds of balls depending on sporting interests.  A netball, tennis ball, football or even a large beach ball are some ideas.

Juggling – try learning how to juggle!  Start with two balls and once you get that down move on to three or more!

Knocking down Tin Cans – place tin cans in a line and attempt to knock them over with a tennis ball.  This is a great game for target practise.

Golf – can be modified to be played at home, place cups on the ground and try hitting golf balls into the cups.

Backyard Tennis – a modified game of tennis to play at home, uses two tennis (or squash or ping pong) rackets to continuously hit the ball between a pair or group of people.  See how long you can pass for until the ball hits the ground.


Test your aim with a game of dodgeball.

Dodgeball – can be violent if not played properly, but extremely fun when it is!  Gather several soft balls and have a line between the two opposing teams.  If your hit with a ball you’re out, continue playing until there’s only one team left.

Say and Catch – a modified version of catch played with a number of people.  At the start of each round one player must announce a category such as ‘animals’.  Before the next player receives the ball they must announce something in that category.  People are out when they cannot think of something to say or say the same thing as someone else beforehand.

Donkey – another variation of catch, the aim of this game is to catch the other players off guard by throwing the ball quickly to them.  Each time a player throws a bad pass or drops the ball they gain another letter in the word ‘donkey’.  When a player reaches the full word of ‘donkey’, they are out.

Hoops – is played with a hoop and a basketball or one similar in size.  Take turns attempting to get the ball in the hoop and when you’re successful take a step back.  See how far back you can go and get the ball in the hoop!

Keep the Ball – players divide into two teams and set a time limit for the game.  When attacking teams must pass the ball between themselves and when defending attempt to intercept a pass from the opposing team.  One cannot pass it back to a person they just received the ball from and the team with the ball when the time is up is declared the winner.

Capture the Flag – players divide into two teams with a line between the teams.  Each team hides a ball from the opposition on their side of the line and attempt to capture the other team’s ball on their side without getting tagged by the other team when in their half.  The first team to claim the other team’s ball is the winner.

Petanque – a well-known game in France, Petanque is similar to lawn bowls.  It is played between two people who each have a large ball and the aim is to throw their ball as close as possible to another smaller ball.

Piggy in the Middle – played between at least 3 people (if there are more, than there is more ‘piggies’ in the middle).  The ball is passed between the two people on the ends and if it is caught by someone in the middle they swap out with someone on the end.  If the ball is dropped an intense scramble follows, to see who can grab the ball first.

Clap Catch – yet another variation of catch, this can be played between a group of people who must clap before they receive the ball from another player.  To increase difficulty players can clap several times before the ball is received.  A player is out when they do not clap as many times as agreed on before they catch the ball.