A killer ball game that will be a class favourite for all time!

Game Type: Physical Education

Recommended Ages: 6+

Number Of Players: Whole class

Equipment Required: Ball (ideally a soft spiky ball to make catching extra easy), two goals (soccer goals are perfect but cones will do just fine as well), sashes or bibs

Where To Play: Outdoors (large open area)

Duration: 15-30 minutes

Special Note: The name Spoval is a portmanteau of the words ‘spiky’ and ‘oval’ as we always play it with a spiky ball on a cricket oval. Way to throw a little literacy teaching into Physical Education!


Goalkeeper: The goalkeeper is the only player who can run with the ball. They may throw the ball or kick it. They must remain near their goal however.

All other players: All other players can only catch the ball with their hands, they can not kick it.

How To Play

Step One: The aim of Spoval is to score a goal by throwing it into the goal net. Begin by choosing two teams using bibs or sashes to identify each team. Indicate which team is aiming to score in which goal. Choose a goalkeeper for each team to go and stand in front of that goal HINT: Asking the goalkeeper to stand in front of their goal makes it easier for students to remember which goal NOT to score in!

Step Two: All other players spread out around the play area. Stand in the middle of the play area and toss the ball up in the air to begin the game.

Step Three: Players may catch the ball. Once a player is holding the ball they can not move their feet HINT: For younger students I am not too strict on this rule and allow them to move around on the spot as the natural tendency is to move your feet when you throw.

Step Four: Players must throw the ball to another player on their team. An opposition player may intercept the ball but can not steal the ball. They can not stand any closer than one arm’s length away from the player with the ball. They may stand with their arms in the air to make it more difficult for the player with the ball to throw like in netball. If a defending player stands too close the player with the ball gets a free throw. This means they may advance five paces then continue play.

Step Five: Players can not ‘one-two’. This means they can not throw the ball back to the player who passed it to them. If they do, it is a turn over and the ball is handed to the nearest opposition player.

Step Six: If the ball goes out of the play area, the ball is thrown back into play by the teacher.

Step Seven: If a goal is scored, the teacher goes to the middle of the play area and throws the ball up into the air to restart the game.

Step Eight: Occasionally, two players will end up holding the ball equally. In this case, toss the ball up into the air to restart the game.

Step Nine: Although players can not kick the ball, occasionally the ball will accidentally be kicked by a player in general game play. So long as it was not on purpose I do not give a free kick.


Roundal: If you don’t have a spiky ball you can of course just use a regular round ball, thus the name Roundal.

Goalie Box: To make goal scoring more challenging, like soccer make a goalie box around the goal in which only the goal keeper can stand.

Ruck: Choose two players to play ruckmen. All other players stand around the edge of the play area. The teacher tosses the ball up in the air and the two ruckmen jump for the ball. Only once one of the ruckmen is holding the ball may the other players enter the play area.

Pivot: Players may pivot when they have the ball. This means that, much like netball, they may move one foot only to change direction, keeping the other foot fixed to the ground

Freeze: To give all students an equal opportunity to participate in the game, call ‘freeze’ and name who you want to freeze. For example, if you call ‘boys freeze’, all boys must freeze on the spot and can not touch the ball until you say ‘boys unfreeze’. You can use this for age groups as well.

Print This Game!


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