Gaga is played in a large octagon called the “Gaga Pit”. The word “Ga” is derived from the Hebrew word for “hit” or “touch” so Gaga means hitting or touching the ball twice. Gaga begins with every player having at least one hand touching the wall. One player (usually the previous game’s winner) throws the Gaga ball up into the air and attempts to get it to bounce as close to the middle of the Gaga pit as possible. As the ball bounces, all players say “Ga” one time for each bounce until each bounce for the first three bounces. After three bounces the ball is in play and the game starts.
Players “hit” the ball at each other using an open hand. A player cannot “hit” the ball twice in a row unless the ball
“resets”. A “reset” is when the ball hits a wall, another player or if another player touches it with his or her hand. When
a player is hit, he/she voluntarily leaves the game. A player who hits or knocks the ball out of the pit is also out. If a
player catches the ball in the air, the last person to hit the ball is out.
- A player can only hit the ball with an open hand. Using a closed fist to “punch” the ball, picking up the ball and throwing it and scooping are not allowed. Only open hand hits are allowed to slow the speed of the ball allow players better control of the ball to keep it low and prevent head shots.
- The first player eliminated must operate the gate until all remaining players have been eliminated and there is a winner.
- If the ball touches a player anywhere on or below the knee (in some versions, below the waist), that player is eliminated from the game.
- If a player pops the ball up into the air it can be hit down to keep it in the game or let it go. If the ball exits the Gaga pit, the initial player who made the hit is eliminated from the game.
- No player can kick the ball (as this is considered the ball touching the player below the knee.)
- Wall jumping is not allowed (holding onto the wall while jumping) nor can any player sit on the wall.
- No “double-tapping” or “dribbling”. A player is allowed to hit it against the wall to “reset” the ball to keep it in play but no more than three times.
- A player must step out of the pit to show that they’re out.