Junior High Physical Education Games

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While old-style calisthenics are still part of many physical education programs, games take up a large part of class time these days. Games during physical education have a variety of benefits for students: they learn specific skills like dribbling, passing and hitting an object; they learn about the rules of games and why they are important; they develop social skills; they learn the importance of team work; and they develop physical fitness.

1 Indoor Wiffle Ball

Take baseball indoors during the winter. With just a wiffle bat and ball and a few bases, you can play baseball indoors. Baseball rules apply, although there may be some modifications necessary depending on the size of your gym. Make a ruling, before you start to play, about the playability of balls that are hit off the wall. For example, if a student catches a ball off the wall, is the batter out? Designate places around the gym that are automatic home runs like over the basketball backboard or above a certain line on the gym wall. You can play this game as slow pitch to make sure everyone gets to hit the ball, or as fast pitch to bring pitching into the game as a factor.

2 Indoor Ultimate Frisbee

Take Frisbee indoors to the gym or basketball court. Set up two goal lines. If you are in a basketball court, it can be the end line of the court. Split the class into two teams; each team gets one half of the basketball court to start. The goal is to move the Frisbee down court and across the goal line. Players must pass the Frisbee; they cannot run with it. Some team members will play defense and some offense. The player throwing the Frisbee cannot be blocked, but all other players can. No physical contact of opposing players is allowed, but they can be guarded. A player can hold a Frisbee for no longer than 10 seconds. If the Frisbee is dropped, it goes to the opposing team. A goal is scored when the Frisbee crosses the goal line. It does not need to be caught by an offensive team member, it just needs to cross the goal line. This game can be moved outside on a sunny day.

3 Double Kickball

Kickball is a popular game with most children because it involves a lot of physical activity and can be played by students with a wide range of skill levels. Double kickball has a twist on the traditional kickball game. This form of kickball uses two balls and two pitchers for each team. Split the class into two teams. Choose two pitchers for each team. The kicking team forms two parallel lines of players at home plate. Each pitcher stands in front of a line. The pitchers roll the balls simultaneously. The players kick the balls and run the bases as usual, except two players can be on one base at the same time. A runner can be put out with either ball. If three runners are on one base at the same time, the last player to reach the base is automatically out. After three outs the sides change. This game can be played outdoors or indoors.

Bruce Pohlmann is an international educator, author and anthropologist. Pohlmann began writing about Southeast Asia and education in 1980. He has written many articles for both print and digital magazines, websites and blogs, including "Kabar Magazine," Escape Artist, and Offshore Wave. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.