How to Play Captain Ball Game (Rules and Instructions)

Captain Ball, a game just like basketball and netball that is just as fun but tonnes easier to set up and play.

As long as you have enough players, all you’ll need is a ball and a couple of chairs to start. 

Then once you’ve learned the important yet simple Captain Ball rules, you’ll be ready to play in no time.

Continue reading to find out everything you’ll need to know about how to play Captain Ball. 

What Is Captain Ball?

Captain Ball Game Info image

Captain Ball is a team-based game that requires high energy but isn’t as challenging to learn as other active games such as Ladderball or Fricket.

The best part about Captain Ball is how easy it is to adjust the rules if you have more than the recommended number of players. Simply increase the court size, and you can add more players into the game. 

Number of Players Required: At least12 players, 6 per team. Always an even number, however. 

Who Can Play It: Kids, Pre-teens will enjoy this game the most, but Teens can also play.

Difficulty: Easy. 

Length of Play: 20 minutes per game, 10 minutes per half. 

Similar to: Basketball; Netball; Volleyball; Spikeball; Crossnet

Main Objective: Be on the team which has the most points at the end of the game.

Why We Love It: Captain Ball doesn’t require a court or specialist equipment to play, so it is a great game to play at places like summer camp. The game is also easy to learn, easy to play so is suitable for players of any skill. 

Related: Camp Games for Small Groups

Playing Captain Ball – What You’ll Need.

The main thing you’ll need to play, Captain Ball, as you may have already guessed, is a good ball that is soft and easy for players to catch.

Change the difficulty of the game by picking a different-sized ball.

A soft volleyball that is larger makes the game easier, whereas a smaller soft baseball is harder to catch, so it makes Captain Ball slightly harder for players. 

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Get some training cones so that you can fairly mark out the boundaries of the court if you’re not playing on a basketball court or similar. 

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It’s also a good idea to get some vests to avoid any confusion over who’s on each team as well.

Make sure that there are 2 chairs as well that are sturdy for someone to be able to comfortably stand on too. 

How To Set Up Captain Ball

You’ll need a bit of setup before you can play Captain Ball – setup generally takes about 10 minutes. 

Set up cones across the court to mark out your boundary where players will play Captain Ball, including a line going halfway across the court. 

Set up the 2 chairs on opposite sides of the courts and mark out 2 small circles with the cones on each half of the court too, so the cones and chair are in a triangle formation.

Captain Ball Rules

Captain Ball has a few rules for players to follow throughout the game, so nominate a spare player to be the referee if you have 1 to ensure that the game gets played fairly and evenly. 

Starting the Game.

All games of Captain Ball begin by picking sides, choose 2 team captains and have them flip a coin to decide who picks their teammate first.

Once captains have picked their teams, they must nominate 1 player to be the goal catcher. This is the player who stands on the chairs.

Captains must also nominate 2 players to be the goal scorers who stand in the 2 circles on either side of the goal catcher.

The remaining 3 players are the fielders who can move around the pitch.

Finally, either do a tip-off if you have a referee or hand the ball over to the team who picked second to start the game.

How to Play Captain Ball

Teams score points by successfully throwing the ball to the goal catcher and the goal catcher cleanly catching the ball. 

The goal catcher must stay on the chair at all times, and if they catch the ball but come off the chair, then the goal gets disallowed. 

Similarly, goal scorers must stay within their circles at all times, but fielders are not allowed to enter any of the circles.

Players cannot move with the ball. They can pivot on one foot, however. Player’s must also throw the ball or shoot within 5 seconds of receiving it.

Games last 20 minutes, after 10 minutes, it’s halftime, and teams can switch who the goal catchers, shooters, and fielders are for the last 10 minutes of the game. 

Captain Ball is a non-contact sport, so make sure that any contact gets penalized with a foul. Fielders can intercept the ball, however, as long as they don’t touch the player first. 

The team with the most points at the end of the 20-minute time limit wins the game. 

Scoring In Captain Ball

Scoring works out in Captain Ball as follows.

If a goal catcher catches a throw from a goal shooter or fielder in their half, then that team gains 1 point.

If the goal catcher manages to catch a ball thrown by the fielder in the opponent’s half, this gets awarded with 2 points. 

The team with the most points at the end of the game takes home the Captain Ball trophy! (Or equivalent). 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Captain Ball rules when a player commits a foul?

If a player commits a foul by either moving with the ball in hand or touching an opposing player, then the ball gets passed to one of the shooters to get a free throw at the catcher.

If a player commits a dangerous or more serious foul, they can get removed from the game in extreme circumstances. 

What happens in Captain Ball if the game is a tie after 20 minutes?

If there isn’t a winner after 20 minutes, then you can either stop the game there and declare the match a draw or continue playing under Golden Goal rules.

Golden Goal is a system sometimes used in soccer where the game continues until a team scores a point. The first team to score a point ends the game at that point as the winner.

Alternative Games to Captain Ball

Captain Ball is an excellent example of a simple game that can be super competitive and a good example of a small group game that anyone can enjoy. 

If you’re after more games that are just as competitive and you can also play outside this summer, then check out how to play Four Square, Kickball rules or our Kan-Jam rules guide if you want to try something new. 

For indoor games to play, if the weather keeps the kids inside, be sure to check our guides to the Gobblet Gobblers or read up on an array of classic card games such as UNO.

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Read all the articles (50) written by Archika Gupta