HEBREW FOR TOUCH-TOUCH OR ISRAELI DODGEBALL
HOW TO PLAY
1. One person throws the ball into the air, allowing it to bounce thrice.
2. Players shout "Ga" each time the ball bounces.
3. After the third bounce, the game officially begins.
4. Players hit the ball with open hands but cannot grab and throw it.
5. If the ball touches a player below the waist (or knee in some cases), they are out.
6. The first player called out opens and closes the gate for others leaving the pit.
7. "Double touching" the ball results in elimination.
8. Hitting the ball out of the pit without touching any player leads to elimination.
9. Hitting another player above the waist (or knee) results in elimination.
10. When only 2 to 4 players remain, another ball may be introduced.
11. The last player in the pit, unhit, is the winner.
1. At the game's start, every player must have a hand touching the pit's wall.
2. Anyone can make the first throw.
3. Players cannot catch and throw the ball; it must be hit with open hands.
4. Catching or holding the ball leads to automatic elimination.
5. Sitting on the pit's ledge during the game is not allowed, but players can use the wall for support when jumping.
There are many intriguing rumors about the origin and rise of Gaga Ball, sparking various speculations. Some of these include claims that Israeli defense soldiers used Gaga Ball as a training exercise and that actor Sacha Cohen Baron boosted its popularity by becoming a pro player for the British during the Habonim Youth Movement. Despite the debate surrounding its origin, there is a consensus that Gaga Ball has roots in Israel.
In North America, the prevailing belief is that Gaga was introduced when Israeli counselors landed at Jewish camps in the United States. It gradually became ingrained in camp culture over the ensuing decades. However, an alternative theory suggests that Gaga Ball originated at Camp Idylwold in New York in the 1950s, attributed to John Crosley, the camp's owner. At this camp, the game was commonly known as Crosleyball. Israeli staff members from this camp supposedly brought the game back to Israel, where it acquired the name Gaga.
Regardless of its origins, Gaga Ball has undeniably become a staple in numerous American schools and camps, with its popularity showing no signs of waning.