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Portable Gaga Pit (Israeli Dodge Ball)

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This project was so big I had to cut it down and change it inside out to work better.

Gaga is a game played in an octagon (mine is nearly 17ft across), players are eliminated if the ball hits them below the knees (the rules vary). The ball is batted not thrown if the ball leaves the octagon the last person to touch it is out. It is wildly popular at summer camps, it is like dodge ball without the violence. 




I built this for my son's Scout Troop, he works summers as a camp counselor and this game is very popular.
You should have seen my neighbors wondering what the heck I doing.  There is a lot of pity for my wife within the neighborhood but after 30 years she is used to my eccentricity as I have explained in a previous instuctable. 


This thing went over big, they want to use for recruitment at cub scout events and even want to bring it to summer camp. 

At my scout meetings (yes you can set it up indoors due to rubber feet) you can fit anywhere from 8-16 players per game (depending on the size of the kids). We separated it by age (14 and older, 13 and under) interleaving games. The boys wanted the adults to take a swag but given the dress shoes and one guy in cowboy boots we were sure to injure ourselves, maybe next time.

  

This thing is big, for a 17 ft diagonal each side is about 7 ft.


If you go full 8 ft  length as I did at first you will get 21ft (would not fit in the driveway so I cut it down to 7 ft)


Gaga on WIKIPEDIA  

Look it up on You Tube.

If you have never seen it here are:
DA RULES (copied from a website yours may vary):


1. Any number of people can play. To start, everyone in the pit must be touching the wall. Someone tosses the ball in the center of the pit, and it must bounce twice on the ground. As it bounces, everyone can say "Ga" for each bounce. After the second bounce ("Ga-Ga"), the ball is live.

2. Slap-hit the ball with your hand, aiming it at another player's leg at the knee or below. If the ball hits or touches anyone from the knee or below, that player is out and must exit the pit. At any time, if a player makes any type of contact with the ball at the knee or below, that player is out

3. Anytime the ball goes out of the pit, the last person that the ball touched is out.

4. You can only hit the ball one time until it either touches another player or the wall, then you are able to hit it again. You can dribble the ball against the wall to position it if necessary, and, you can move around anywhere inside the pit during the game.

5. The game ends when the last person is eliminated, or, to speed up the end of the game, the last few players can be given a count-down for a tie game. Once the game is over, everyone else re-enters the pit to start a new game.

6. You can add variations to the game such as playing with more than one ball, play in teams, expand the ‘hit’ area to be above the knee, catching the ball eliminates the person that hit it, and any other variation you can come up with!  A good variation for school recess time is to play Rotation instead of Elimination. This is done by allowing a certain amount of players in the pit, and forming a line for the rest that want to play. Then, as one person gets out, the next person in line goes into the game. This way, everyone that wants to play should get a chance during a short period of time.


In our game anyone who hits anyone in the head is automatically out.

Enough with the intro let's get going.

Materials 

4 Sheets of exterior grade 1/2 or 5/8 ( $2 more,  they say it is 19/32)  inch plywood

16 2x3 by 8ft studs (selected for straightness)

2 2x4 by 8ft studs (again selected for straightness)

2lbs of 2 inch exterior flat head deck screws

16 Simpson Strong Tie HTP37Z (about 3 in by 7 in heavy gauge)

32 1/4 by 2in carriage bolts with washers and nuts

3  Tubes of Liquid Nails (or alike)

Paint

Optional:
Rubber pads to keep from marring the floor, I used rubber stair treads cut into 1.5 inch strips by the width of the thread.
Contact cement for treads.


Tools

Circular Saw
Sander 
Router (optional use the sander if you don't have one).
Drill with metal and wood drill bits.
Bench Vise (or metal break if you have access to one)
Square
Clamps

Additinoaly: I made a cutting jig for my saw using 1/4 hardboard (2 ft wide)  and a scrap piece (straight) of molding, screw the hardboard to the molding greater then the distance from your blade to the end of your circular saws shoe. You can set your saw to 22.5 degrees cut and rip along the guide  this is your angle side. Most circular saws do not pivot evenly so if you have done this before the 90 degree guide may not work.   

Cost ~ $200



 
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awesomesports6 months ago
I played this at camp eagle in rocksprings and my school built one but are walls were 3ft.
dancarmon10 months ago
As an Israeli, I've never heard of this game. We just play Dodge Ball. I don't know where do you guys come up with this stuff. But seems cool, none the less. That is, if running is not your thing...
h886411 months ago
Any chance your son went to Resica Falls for summer camp?
old_alex (author)  h886411 months ago
He is an Eagle Scout but we have always been in RI for camp (kid with the red shirt), he learned of the game at the YMCA.
old_alex (author) 11 months ago
Sorry I accidentally left the video private, DUH.
Viaticus11 months ago
Definitely building it for our youth group! We don't have a gym, so conventional dodge ball has been impossible to play. This solves the problem and is WAY cheaper to build than a gym!
OMG we have this at church camp and its so much fun only we have 4 ft tall sides
old_alex (author)  TheAwesomestDude11 months ago
That would have increased cost by $100, I thought about it but I would also have to make a door and it reduces portability some what.
We also have a cut in for the door and it is still portable just limited
somewhiteguy11 months ago
We played this in Youth group at church and we called it Knee-ah-High-ah.

We had a similar setup, but the octagon had 3/4" bolts as pins to hold it together, so breakdown and setup was fast and easy. Maybe something to add to your setup?

I have always wanted to rebuild it for my kids, so your instructable is a good start for measurements and considerations. Good ible.
Geli1211 months ago
When I read the title, i thought you are going to build a monster pit on your backyard :(
flapper50111 months ago
Yes! I've played this at YMCA summer camps before and it is one of the best games ever! Good Job with this!
basementhacker11 months ago
There should be a game mixing this and Chamball. The octagonal playing area could be made taller so that the ninja/kung fu aspects of Chamball could be incorporated, but also so that the court would become more of a "ring," creating a duel-like atmosphere.
Great I'ble by the way! Got the gears moving!
ArtisticNinja11 months ago
This sounds like a bunch of fun! If I can get enough wood, I will definitely build this and try it out at my youth-group.
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