Mini Goalball Battleship

By MLaCortiglia on Jul 24, 2013

This is a fun, fast-paced, quick reaction game generally played by four people at a time in a gymnasium. The game can be played by sighted and non-sighted individuals. Eye shades or blacked-in goggles may be used by all players to ensure equal play and the opportunity to improve spatial orientation. The skills worked on within this activity are directly related to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education National Standards, the Perkins School for the Blind Adapted Physical Education Curriculum and components of the Expanded Core Curriculum.


  • Three goalballs, 12 bowling pins, and four gym mats that are able to stand upright or on their edge
  • Eye shades or blacked-in goggles



Set up four sets of three bowling pins across from each other, forming a square or rectangle. The pins within each group are set up one to two feet apart, far enough to make it difficult to knock down more than one at a time. Stand a wedge mat behind each set of pins. The mat and the pins together make up each player’s “battleship,” and the area they are responsible for and need to protect. A few feet in front of each set of pins you may tape a line to the floor the length of the pins; this line gives a tactual cue to each player as to where their area of play is.

The game is played by each player standing in front of their pins to block them, and rolling the goalballs to try and knock down the other players’ pins. The game is started when the instructor rolls out a goalball. After a few minutes a second and third goalball is rolled into play. The instructor announces each time an additional ball is added to the game. When all of a player’s pins are down that player is eliminated from the game and can sit on the floor by the pins. The last player with at least one pin standing wins.

Game Rules

  • The goalballs must be rolled and not thrown.
  • A player can leave her pins at any time to retrieve a ball but she can only roll the ball once she is back in front of her pins (this becomes an interesting strategy).
  • If no one can reach a ball within 15 seconds or if the game is stalled the instructor can move the ball towards the players. The instructor can facilitate the pace of the game by keeping balls in play at his/her discretion.
  • Assistants and non-players can help with any balls that move beyond the playing area.Battleship


  • For beginning players, start with the “battleships” closer together. As players become more advanced, the playing area can be expanded and the pins and mats moved further away from each other.
  • The game can also be set up on a large mat, and players can play the game on their knees.
  • Players can use a constant sound source ball for easier ball location.


Hint: If mats are not available, the game can be played without mats, or by improvising a backstop, such as a table turned on its side.

Read more about: Adapted Physical Education