Spotlight on the Sports… we’re finding out more about ‘Skittleball’

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    Spotlight on the Sports… we’re finding out more about ‘Skittleball’

    Welcome to the latest in our monthly series highlighting some of the weirder sports the world has to offer. In this article, we take a look at a game combining elements of football, dodgeball, and target based sports such as archery or curling. The skills learned would be most likely to be utilised in football, but this fun and innovative variation of a classic sport can easily be fun for everyone.


    Whilst not considered an official sport, what would once have been considered a simple developmental game has developed into the main focus of some playing it, including those who clearly enjoy such an exciting variation of a normal sport. Skittleball has proved popular amongst British schools, with many hosting bespoke competitions in the sport at both intra and inter-school level.


    The playing area is set out much the same as a dodgeball court – two teams start on opposite sides of a square area, with a line horizontally down the middle of the pitch to create two distinctive areas. A line of cones are then placed along this central line, creating the targets. The two sets of players start outside of the playing area, parallel with the central line but outside of the pitch.

    Each player starts with a ball and, upon the game starting, attempts to knock down a cone with their ball. They then retrieve their ball and the cone, if they were successful, and return to their starting point. If they were not successful, they must try again by shooting the ball from outside the playing area. The team who knocks down the most cones and returns them to their side of the pitch wins; the game is over when no cone remains standing.

    Additional rules can be introduced to make the game more challenging, including each team being allowed one (or more) defenders to try and prevent the other team from hitting the cones. The defender would be permitted to stay anywhere in the centre of the opposition’s playing area. Other possible variations include allowing the defender to try and tag a player as they attempt to retrieve their cone. If you are going to include such rules, it will be important to reiterate that the ball must remain on the ground, so as best to avoid anyone getting hurt.


    There are a number of benefits to a game of this nature, particularly the ability to make the game as easy or as a difficult as the situation requires. Whilst younger children might be content to play the basic game and improve their football skills, older pupils will enjoy the challenge of the invasion game and attempting to prevent their friends and classmates succeed.

    The game focuses more on improving specific skills, with timing, placement and accuracy key to success, rather than power or force. The lack of physicality should also enable multiple ages and genders to play together without issue. With a handful of cones and footballs all that is required to run, it should prove to be a relatively easy game to setup and monitor.

    We hope you enjoyed this Spotlight on the Sports piece; we’ll be back next month with more.