Top 5 Active Indoor PE Games

In Central Pennsylvania, Mother Nature keeps us inside for PE for many months during the school year, and having indoor PE games and activities that keep things fresh and exciting is a must! My PE department is always looking for new and exciting indoor games for PE to let our students try, and over the years we have collected some excellent options. 

I will rank these in a top 5 countdown leading up to the top indoor gym game based on student request and excitement at my high school. The following are great PE games for high school and middle school!

#5 – Yuki-Ball

This is a game I found from Gopher and was a little skeptical about at first because it is similar to dodgeball in that students are eliminated.  After having it in my closet for a year and waiting for the right time to try it, I brought it out and my students seemed to enjoy the concept.  Yuki means snow in Japanese, and snowball battles in Central PE are very common.  This game smashes snowball battles, dodgeball, and paintball into one game with barriers and soft-coated “snow” balls that has students diving all over the gym and working as a team to secure a flag at the opposite end of the field.

Honestly, I never thought in a million years this would be a game that my students would get excited about, but now if my students see a barrier come out they are ready to play instantly! Learn more about Yuki-Ball™.

#4 – Sabakiball

g 59516 sabakiball 1

Sabakiball is a game I was introduced to at a conference and knew instantly my students would be interested.  This is a non-stop game that keeps students moving and involved constantly.  My students love the concept of this PE game and the ability to use their hands and feet while playing.  They also do a fantastic job of utilizing teamwork to move the ball around the field of play.

We play Sabakiball in our gym and can fit 2 games in a smaller sized gym going bleacher to bleacher.  It sometimes looks like chaos, but it is organized chaos!  You will need a student to play goalie in this game and they will get hit with the Sabakiball at times, so be warned.  They are aiming at a pin, but I have students that love to play goalie and they have no problem putting their bodies in front a ball thrown by our number one pitcher on the baseball team!  Again, this is a fast-paced game that is great to keep students’ heart rates up.

#3 – Spikeball®

g 58196 spikeball game kids outdoor set

Spikeball® is a rather new game to my school and so far as worked really well at getting students active and involved.  This game has roots in volleyball and is played 2 on 2 in a small amount of space with little equipment.  Your set will included a rebounder and Spikeball and that is really all you need.  With very few rules this is a game students can pick up quickly.  We have played this game both outside and inside, but my students prefer inside, although a couple prefer the sand at the beach.

My students have really been enjoying playing this game and some have said they have even played at home or on vacation with sets their family has purchased. Check it out here!

#2 – Tchoukball

Tchoukball is one of my favorite indoor PE games and also close to first place in the minds of my students!  This game is fast, non-stop action from end to end.  The part I love most about Tchoukball is that you can play absolutely NO defense!  I do not have to worry about students hitting each other to get the ball or running each other over.  If your team does not have possession, you are only allowed to position yourself on the court to catch the ball after the other team shoots at the rebounder.  There are also no specific ends to shoot at, so teams can throw from end to end and back and shoot.  The hardest part for my students to understand is the no defense!

After playing for a couple years now, they have the concept and strategy of the game and when they are done, heart rates are up and sweat is pouring.  Again, I think everyone should have this game and if your school has it and you want to set up a match let me know, because my students want to start a high school league! Check out Tchoukball here!

#1 – PickleBall

Pickleball Indoor

If you are ever in Central PA around December and January, feel free to stop by my high school for some PickleBall.  The only problem you might have is finding a spot to play in my gym.  My students beg to play this indoor PE gym game all year long and honestly for some of them I have considered it, because they love it so much and play this game harder than anything else I throw at them.  Pickle Ball is a combo of tennis and table tennis played with wooden paddles and a plastic Pickle Ball.  I actually have teachers stop during their plan periods to play this game because I have hooked them as well.

Again, these are the top 5 indoor PE games in the eyes of my high school students and in my eyes too!  There are several others that we do, but with these 5 I know my students will be excited, active, and sweating at the end of class. Feel free to share your schools top 5 and maybe I will find a new game to add to my school!

Bonus Indoor PE Games:

Volleybound: Each student uses a rebounder to score points in this fun PE game of volleyball. Students will instantly find success with this unique version of volleyball.

ACTION! Tri-Bound Set: Bounce balls off our three-sided rebounder to send them flying into opponents’ zones in these strategy games for kids!

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4 Responses

  1. Out west, a lot of us do not have gymnasiums. It would be great to have ideas for activities inside the classrooms as well. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  2. Modification to Yuki-Ball to keep all students engaged and non-elimination.

    *Combination of dodgeball and capture the flag.
    1) Goal is for players to either capture all of the other team or capture the most flags (3 in each hoop to begin play)
    2) Jail is 3 hula hoops on opposite side of the gym behind the baseline.
    3) When hit with a ball players must go to jail. Teammates can unfreeze one player at a time.
    4) When crossing into the other territory they must choose 1) unfreeze someone with free walk back to their side or 2) go for a flag located in a hula hoop in the corner of the basketball court.
    5) If they make it back to their side with a flag they place it in their hoop.
    My 3rd-5th grade students absolutely love this game and everyone is active.

  3. A post using “standard” gym equipment would be helpful. All of these games, while they look very fun, require purchasing expensive equipment. For most schools the Physical Education budget is meager, and none of these games are possible. It also looks like you would need to purchase multiple sets for bigger class sizes.

  4. These games are great ideas to include in indoor Physical Education. They work well in small spaces and keep students moving while utilizing different fitness components and skills. I have not heard of a few of these (Yuki-Ball and Sabakiball) and will have to do some more research about how to add these to my Physical Education activities.

    I was also wondering about how some of these activities would work with multiple classes in a shared gym space. I’m sure these could work like other team sports or small group activities with rotating groups in and out if gym space and safety are a concern.

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