Guest Column - April 2006
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YMCA Gladiator

Programming Profile

By Joey Welle


When a player gets a ribbon pulled they are out. This is done by either face-to-face dueling or sneaking up on an unsuspecting opponent. The belts must be worn over all clothing with the ribbons on each hip. Misplaced or hidden flags constitute an out.

When a player gets hit by a ball thrown from the opposing team they are out. Once a ball makes contact with something, it is a dead ball, therefore throws that bounce off the floor, walls or other players don't count. Any initial contact with a thrown ball is an out, that is, catching or being skimmed.

  • W Players may NOT move with a ball. They have a pivot foot only.
  • W Balls must be thrown within 5 seconds of being picked up.
  • W Balls may not be passed to teammates or dribbled along.
  • W Balls may be used to block incoming throws.
  • JAIL
  • W Once a player is out, he or she goes to a wall designated for jail and must remain seated. Make sure the view from jail isn't too obstructed because you will have kids getting up to look at what is going on.
  • W The only way out of jail is a "JAIL BREAK." This is called by a staff member in order to even up scores and control game times. Most games are quick enough that a jail break isn't needed.
  • W Use a large visible item for a team flag, for example, a large exercise ball.
  • W Position the flags openly on opposite sides of the court.
  • W A team is never allowed to touch its own flag.
  • W When players capture the other team's flag they have to return it to their flag area to win.
  • W The flag may not be passed or handed off.
  • W If a player gets out while carrying the captured flag, the flag is temporarily out of play for 10 seconds. This allows the defending team to set up a new perimeter before the flag can be captured again.
  • W All players are "fair game" anywhere on the court. Meaning that a player is on both offense and defense at all times and can be gotten out at any time.
  • W No climbing on mats or barriers.
  • W No tackling, pushing, holding or charging.
  • W Make sure you have enough staff to ensure fun and safe play. I recommend at least three staff for 20 kids.


    Joey Welle is the teen director for the Madison Area YMCA in Madison, N.J. He comes from a YMCA family and has more than 10 years experience working with teens and pre-teens throughout the country. For more information, visit