All the rules for Speeedball outlined previously are made for optimal conditions. In the real world of physical education, of course, we know that those conditions rarely exist. Gym sizes differ, abilities and ages vary, access to proper equipment varies, class sizes are different, etc. YOU are ultimately the decision-maker when it comes to making modifications. In an attempt to make those transitions, I’ve outlined some strategies you can use and changes to implement in an attempt to make your situation the best one possible.

Small gym, no nets

Use tape or paint to make the nets. Keep the net 7’ high, but adjust the width to accommodate the ability of the players. Experiment with the distance of the shooting lines until you get the right mix. In the case of small children or older kids that have little throwing velocity, you may want to allow them to have one foot over the shooting line for the shot to be legal. This will save you the job of laying down new lines for every situation or class.

Outdoors, No gym or Young, Unskilled players

Using a timed-possession rule will allow you to play the game with young students who are unable to dribble effectively and also outdoors. The game can be played on football / soccer fields and on grass surfaces using these modifications. In the outdoor situation, team handball, indoor soccer or field hockey nets can be used. Outdoor play with larger fields can allow you to use more players on a team, ranging from the original six (6) to ten (10) or more. YOU make the nets and shooting distances coincide. Timed possession rules and a smaller ball must be used. The smaller ball should be sufficiently inflated to bounce, minimizing the possibility of players banging heads as they reach for loose balls. The smaller size also makes carrying the ball simpler and more secure than the larger indoor ball. Shooting lines can be painted on any outdoor field. They will eventually fade on grass or remain permanently on field turf or cement. Spray on chalk lines are also an option in many cases. They are effective and easily removed. Teachers can make the game move more smoothly by using 4 balls - One in play, one in the teachers hand and one held by a student on each sideline to be given to the teacher when the ball goes out-of-bounds. That out-of-bounds ball is then retrieved by the student and the rotation can begin again with little stop in the action.

Timed Possession Rules

All basic rules, fouls, etc. of the original game are followed. However, with games outdoors or with young children where dribbling is a concern, players are allowed to run and dodge with the ball to set up their shots on goal. There are NO walking violations. A player is allowed, for example, 10 seconds of possession until he/she must pass, hand off or shoot the ball. The time limit you decide on for your age group or situation will depend on whether you’re playing on a large outdoor field and/or with young kids. YOU set that time! If a player has not given up possession by your allotted time, the ball is given to the other team at that spot and play is resumed with a whistle. Once a player comes to a complete stop in their run, he/she CANNOT resume their movement, even if they have time remaining. 10 - 12 seconds on a large field should be the maximum time allotted and all other times in between should be determined by the referee or teacher. They are responsible for keeping the quiet count of possession until the last  4 seconds when they will shout out “4, 3, 2, 1” and then whistle the action dead when time has expired. The ball is then awarded at that spot to the opposing team. Timed possession is particularly effective when you want a number of students to participate, rather than allowing one individual to dominate the allotted time. This guarantees that. If you are not concerned with that aspect, you may institute a 30 second limit on the entire offensive team. It is easier to referee and to keep track of, but allows the possibility of one or two players dominating the possession time.


There is no need to change any of the standard rules concerning offsides when playing on large, outdoor fields. However, with large groups, using lacrosse offensive and defensive alignments is suggested and particularly effective to stop “hanging” by some players to gain an advantage. Lacrosse rules make that impossible. This setup is most effective when students have some lacrosse knowledge. If not, it is an excellent opportunity to educate them on the game of lacrosse itself and the strategy involved.



As seen in the August 2008 issue of Scholastic Coach

2009 New Game of the Year

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