Silent Ball is a special game of catch used by elementary and middle school teachers. Because the game is a physical activity, it is commonly used to break up the monotony of sitting at a desk and helps students regain their focus. Silent Ball is also recommended for substitute teachers who need to regain control of a classroom. All together, the exercise should take around 10 minutes.

Setting Up

Depending on the set up of the classroom, have students sit on top of their desks or stand around the room. The teacher will make the first pass, and then they will act as a referee for the rest of the match. The teacher should find a place to stand that is out of the way of any possible passing lanes.

Game Play

Silent Ball is a game of catch. Students must toss the ball to each other, systematically trying to get each other out until there are only two students left playing. Both of these students are the winners.

The Rules

There are a few rules in silent ball. Breaking any of these rules is an automatic out. Students who are out must return to their desks or an area out of the way and watch the game proceed. They may not interfere with the game in any way.

1) No talking or whispering. Laughing counts as talking.

2) No throwing the ball back to the same person who threw it to you.

3) No throwing the ball with unnecessary roughness or so that it is impossible to catch.

4) No dropping the ball.

5) No making it impossible for someone to throw to you, either by avoiding eye contact at all times or other means.

The Teacher's Role

The teacher is the only one who can determine when these rules have been broken and someone is out. Their ruling may not be disputed. Because of this, it is very important that the teacher keep their eye on the game at all times. If the teacher becomes distracted, they should call a pause to the game rather than risk an unfair decision. As the game is designed to help students relax and focus, the teacher should keep their voice quiet at all times, even when calling someone out. The teacher's use of a low voice will help keep students from getting excited during the game.