Multi-ethnic group of school children laughing and embracing

Hahn Game Rules

Playground Games

Consistent Set of Rules/ Consistent Expectations

A consistent set of rules will help eliminate playground conflicts. These rules aren’t difficult, but they must be introduced by teachers and interactively taught to students through instruction, modeling and practice. Please make a point to cover the rules to these games in the first week of school. If we all enforce them to the letter, with no exceptions (no do-overs, no seconds, etc.) we will have better success and cooperation on the playground.

 If children learn similar games that they can play, we can spread them more evenly around the play areas and there may be less wait time and more play.


Good For: Hand-eye coordination

Object: to remain in play by successfully returning the wall to the ball

Equipment: bouncy ball & court

How to play:

  1. Server and opponent stand facing the wall.
  2. Server drops the ball and hits the ball to hit the wall, above the white line. One serve only.
  3. On the rebound the opponent may hit the ball on the fly of after it bounces once.
  4. The two players alternate hitting the ball to the wall until one player fails to hit the ball
  5. above the line or lets the ball bounce more than once.
  6. The ball may be hit with an open hand or a closed fist.

Fouls/Rules: Player is out if…..

  1. No double hits or bubbles
  2. No families. Only two players allowed on the court per game.
  3. No catching or stopping the ball.
  4. No rainbows.

Players waiting their turn must wait on the white line outside of the court area and not interfere with the game.


Good For: Hand-eye coordination

Object: To wrap the rope completely around the pole

How to play:

  1. Players stand on the opposite sides of the circle. They may not step into the opponent’s side of the court.
  2. The ball may be hit with one or both hands, opened or closed fist.
  3. Server can stand anywhere on his/her side of the court to strike the ball.
  4. Opponent hits the ball back trying to wind the ball around the pole.

Fouls/ Rules: Player is out if….

  1. Hitting the ball with any part of the body other than the hand.
  2. Catching or holding the ball during play.
  3. Touching the pole.
  4. Touching the rope.
  5. Double hits.

Players waiting their turn must wait outside the outer circle and may not interfere with the game.

Four Square

Good For: Hand-eye coordination

Object: To get to square A and remain there by eliminating opponents in squares B, C, D.

Equipment: bouncy ball (approx. 10 in.)

How to play:

  1. The serve starts from square A. The ball is dropped and served underhand from the bounce. If the serve hits a line the server is out.
  2. Players are in position in the other three squares. The player receiving the ball must keep it in play by striking the ball open-handed after it has bounced once in his/her square. He/She directs it to another square with an underhand hit.
  3. Play continues until one player fails to return a hit or commits a foul. When someone gets out the first child waiting in line enters the box. All children advance to fill in the available squares.

Fouls/ Rules: Player is out if…..

  1. Failure to hit a ball that bounces into one’s box.
  2. Playing a ball that bounces into someone else’s box.
  3. Hitting the ball out of bounds or on a line.
  4. Hitting the ball into one’s own box.
  5. Holding, stopping, catching the ball.

Players waiting their turn must wait outside of the court area and not interfere with the game.

Four Corners/ Cats Corner

Good For: Hand-eye coordination, agility practice, and motor planning.

Object: Make it to a corner without getting tagged.

How to play:

  1. Four players take a spot on the four corners of a four square court.
  2. The person that is :it” (the cat) stands in the middle of the four square court ready and waiting to get to an abandoned corner.
  3. Play begins when a corner player leaves his corner and tries to get to another corner.
  4. Players communicate and coordinate a move without “the cat” knowing.
  5. When the corner players move the cat tries to beat a corner player out for a spot.
  6. When the cat beat a corner player to a spot then he is out of the center and no longer “it”.
  7. If a corner player gets beaten to a new corner he/she either goes to the end of the line of becomes it (if no one is waiting in line).


Good For: Hand-eye coordination, team cooperation

Object: To score points

How to play:

  1. There are five players on a team.
  2. Play begins with an inbound pass.
  3. After each successful basket the ball is put back into play at the end of the court under the basket where the score was made.
  4. If the ball goes out of bounds, it is given to an opponent of the player who last touched the ball. It is thrown back in from where it went out of bounds.
  5. Any player on the team may shoot a basket.

We will follow the following CYO Basketball rules:

  1. No pressing & no trapping beyond the 3-point line
  2. Man to man is allowed after half court, but no double teaming
  3. A player is allowed to go over the free throw line if, after shooting, momentum carries him/her over
  4. If a player strikes, shoves, grabs another player he/she shall remain out of basketball for one week
  5. A “press” is defined as when a team secures possession of the ball in its backcourt, the team on defense must retreat behind the midcourt line without pressuring the team on offense or attempting to gain possession of the ball.

Around the World

Good For: Hand-eye coordination, practice shooting

Object: To successfully make baskets at 1-9

How to play:

  1. The numbers 1-9 are marked on the ground around the key.
  2. All children line up behind number 1. They will need to remember their place in line.
  3. First child throws the ball into the basket. If successful, he/she moves to the number 2 and shoots again. He/she continues to shoot from successive higher numbers until she misses.
  4. When he/she misses the basket, the next child in line has his/her turn. Each child start at #1 and tries to make a basket from each number. When he/she misses, they stay at the number they missed at and wait until it is their turn again.
  5. The first child to make it through shots 1-9 successfully in the winner.

Man From Mars

Good For:  Running, dodging, locomotor practice.

Object:  To be the last one tagged

How to play:

  1. All students line up on one side of the lines(use basketball court or volleyball court)
  2. A student is selected to be the Man From Mars and he/she stands in the center of the two lines.
  3. All players call, “Man From Mars, Man From Mars, Will you take is to the stars?”
  4. All students then take off for the other line while (running, skipping, walking, sliding, galloping, hopping, jumping)
  5. Man from Mars replies, “Only if you are skipping.” (chooses a locomotor movement)
  6. Those who are not performing the movement called may continue safely to the other line. The students performing the movement also continue to the other line but risk being tagged.
  7. All who are tagged must help the Man from Mars and the game continues. They confer to agree on a movement before the next round.

Ping Pong

  1. Games go to 5 pts (2 new players)
  2. Someone will get a point every play (not just when they serve)
  3. If the ball hits the net and doesn’t go over it is a point (if it goes over play)
  4. If the ball doesn’t hit the table it’s a point
  5. Ball can bounce one time on each side
  6. No do-overs
  7. Player who got the last point serves
  8. Paddles are meant to hit the ball-nothing else
  9. Must be in line to play (can’t save your spot)

Imagination Playground Blocks

  1. Build
  2. Blocks stay in the white circle
  3. Share and work together when needed
  4. If you want more blocks and there are not any left- problem solve, join another group
  5. No hitting