How to Build a Gaga Pit

Difficulty: Complex  |  Estimated time: 6 hours  |  Help needed: 4 volunteers

Ga-ga is a fast-paced, dodgeball-style game played in a fenced-in court (often hexagonal or octagonal) with a single ball and two or more players. Like dodgeball, the object of the game is to knock out your opponets by hitting them with the ball. Unlike dodgeball, however, the ball can only be hit with open hands and is in almost constant motion. Players strike, jump, and run to avoid being hit and are elimanated only when struck on or below the knee.

Originating in Israel, Ga-ga in Hebrew (גע-גע)‎‎ translates literally to "touch-touch". To start a game, the ball is tossed into the court and players chant "GA!" for each of its first two bounces. After bouncing twice the ball is in play and the game begins. Outside of these basic guidelines the game can differ greatly depending on where you're playing, ask your friends about their house rules before getting started!

Download Instructions

Materials and tools

Quantity: Materials:
12 2x12x16' boards
6 1x6x12' boards
16 3" hinges
2lbs 2" deck screws
Tools needed:
Miter saw
Circular saw
Pencil
Tape measure
Drill
Screwdriver bit
Tamp
Safety glasses

Preparation instructions

  1. Sort all materials into piles by like items to ensure you have materials needed to complete project.

  2. Take all of the 2x12x16' boards. Cut each into [2] 96" pieces, for a total of [24] 2x12x96" pieces.
    measurement display

  3. Take [5] of the 1x6x12' boards. Cut each into [4] 36" pieces, for a total of [20] 1x6x36" pieces.
    measurement display

  4. Take the remaining 1x6x12' board. Cut into [1] 36" piece and [3] 1x6x24" pieces.

  5. Beveled Edge Cuts:

    • Take all [24] of the 2x12x96" pieces cut in step 2. Bevel both ends with the saw set at 22.5° to make [24] 2x12x96" beveled trapezoid pieces.

      side view with measurements

Build instructions

  1. Before building, inventory and sort all of your materials.

    Quantity: Inventory:
    24 2x12x96" beveled pieces
    3 1x6x24" pieces
    21 1x6x36" pieces
  2. If there is grass in the gaga pit space, remove it.

  3. Next, assemble the eight sides. Seven (7) of the sides will have (3) 2x12x96" pieces laid next to each other. Use the 1x6x36" straps to attach them together. There will be (3) straps per side, one in the center and one on each side 10" from the edge.
    Build Step 3 photo

  4. Assemble the final (and 8th) side using (2) of the 2x12x96" pieces, and the (3) 1x6x24" pieces. (This will be the entry in and out of the Gaga Pit for smaller children.)

  5. Connect the sides together forming an octagon using two hinges per corner. One hinge will connect the top 2x12s and one will connect the bottom 2x12s. There will not be a hinge on the center 2x12s.
    Build Step 5 photo

  6. Finish the octagon and prepare the bottom. It can be asphalt, concrete, limestone, decomposed granite, sand, or packed down dirt. Make sure your Gaga Court is actually an octagon and doesn't resemble an egg-shape.
    Build Step 6 photo