Type of Activity: Energizer/Problem-Solver

Props Needed: Beach Ball

Set Up: Moonball is an excellent one-prop-game that develops cooperation and fast reactions.  Play becomes intensely competitive, as a group competes against its last best effort.  Scatter your group in a large, flat area.  Use a well inflated beach ball as the object of play.

Process: The group's objective is to hit the ball aloft as many times as possible before the ball strikes the ground.

Rules:  1)  A participant cannot hit the ball twice in succession.

2)  Count one point for each hit.

Not too complicated, eh?  The tension and expectation builds as each "world record" is approached.  Moonball is popular with all ages because it's simple to understand, requires little skill and involves everyone.


  • Challenge Level 1:  Basic Moonball— Keep the moonball from touching the ground by hitting it as many times as possible. Ask the group to set a goal for the number of hits. Can add the rule that a person cannot hit the ball twice in a row.
  • Challenge Level 2:  Moonball Traverse— Same as one, but the group must traverse with the ball, moving from point A to point B. (You will have to experiment to learn what distance works best, but I think I usually use about 20 yards.)
  • Challenge Level 3:  Moonball Countdown— Same as one, but no one can hit it twice until everyone has hit it once. No one can hit it three times until everyone has hit it twice, and so on.
  • Challenge Level 4:  Moonball Countdown Traverse— All rules apply: moonball may not touch the ground, group and moonball must traverse a distance, and no one can hit it twice until everyone has hit it once and so on.

It is recommended to let the group decide the challenge level, with the caveat that you don't know if they can complete level four - not all groups can successfully meet that challenge. The group can decide to move up or down in challenge levels as experience and energy indicates.

A different approach is to use time - how long can the group keep the ball in the air.

Debriefing Tropics:

  • What was the plan to complete the different challenges?
  • Did the group succeed at the first challenge? If not, what was the process?

For original write up purchase "The Empty Bag.”  

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