How to Play the Classic Recess Game SPUD

If you are looking for a fun and exciting large group game read below on how to play the game SPUD. It is great for getting kids running around and working on those physical skills. SPUD is a mixture of dodgeball, tag and the popular basketball game "horse" or some call "out". The other great part about this game is all your need is some space and a soft ball. #recessgames #outdoorgames #gymgames #largegroupgames

Materials/Equipment: gator ball/soft ball, large area and several players.

Objective: Try and eliminate other players by catching, dodging or throwing the ball.

Preparations: Assign each player a different number. Choose a player to be "it" first.

How to Play SPUD:

1. Players form a circle around the person who has the ball who we will call “It”.

2. Once all players have found a spot in the circle, “It” throws the ball straight up in the air, while calling out a number that was assigned to one of the players in the circle. .

The player with that number must try to catch or retrieve the ball as quickly as possible while the other players move as fast as they can away from “it”/the ball. .

3. Once “it” retrieves the ball that player yells “SPUD!” which tells all other players that they must come to an immediate stop without taking anymore steps.

4. While “it” remains in their spot, he/she must then throw the ball and try to hit one of the other players standing in their area. If “it” hits someone with the ball then the player they hit gets a letter in the word SPUD. If “it” misses then they receive a letter.

5. When a player gets all four letters of the word SPUD they must sit out the rest of the game.


1. Instead of assigning each player a number, each player can be assigned an object in a category. For example, each person can be named a different fruit, vegetable, color, shape etc…

2. The player with the ball can take 4 steps towards the person they want to hit with the ball before throwing.

3. A player can call out another players number instead of throwing it at another player and risk getting a letter, if they catch the ball before it hits the ground when their number was called.

4. Instead of spelling out SPUD, players can decider on a different word to spell out before the game begins.

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