Press release from Buncombe County Recreation:
If your kids aren’t already giddy over gaga ball, they may be after playing this fun and easy game. Gaga ball pits are available on a first come, first served basis at Buncombe County Sports Park, Charles D. Owen, Lake Julian, and Hominy Creek parks. Just bring a ball – any volleyball, kickball, foam ball, or rubber ball will do – for several rounds of excitement.
Gaga (Hebrew: ??-?? literally ‘touch touch’) combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping with the objective of being the last person in the pit. Players hit the ball at each other and are eliminated if the ball strikes them below the knees. Players keep moving to avoid getting hit by the ball. The game goes quickly and everyone gets a serious workout!
Rules of Gaga Ball
All players start with one hand touching the wall of the pit.
The game begins with a referee throwing a ball into the center of the pit.
When the ball enters the pit, the players scream “Ga” for the first two bounces and “Go” on the third bounce, after which the ball is in action. (“GA, GA, GO!”)
Once the ball is in play, any player can hit the ball with an open or closed hand.
If a ball touches a player below the knee (even if the player hits himself or herself), he or she is out and leaves the pit. If a player is hit above the knees, the play continues.
If a ball is caught on a fly, the player who hit the ball is out.
Using the walls of the pit is not allowed.
Players cannot hold the ball.
If needed, a second ball can be thrown in the pit to expedite the end of the game. The last player standing is the winner of that round.