Kentland Gaga Pit

(NCE PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS)

Shown from left are Tom Cutter (Kentland Rotary), John Frischie (Kentland Rotary), Roberta Dewing (Kentland Rotary), David Hamilton, Kostas Kolliopoulos (Premium Water Plant Manager), Greg Hamilton, Jill Mullikin-Deneau (Premium Waters), Debby Shufflebarger (Kentland Councilmember), and Jacob Shufflebarger (Jefferson Township Trustee).

KENTLAND — If the first few days are any indication, the new Gaga Pit that was built as part of David Hamilton’s Eagle Scout project will be a huge hit.

A lot of kids and even some entire families have been using the popular new addition to Batton Park in Kentland.

“It was go big or go home,” said Hamilton about his decision to go for the installation of a Gaga Pit for his project. “This is something I knew would get used and it is also something that will last a long time.”

Hamilton went out and got permission from the Town of Kentland for the park addition and then went around and secured donations from Jefferson Township Trustee Jacob Shufflebarger, Premium Waters, Kentland Rotary, Scott Deno, and Jeff Drinski.

The completion of this project puts Hamilton on track to become an Eagle Scout by the end of the year.

What is Gaga Ball?

Gaga is a fast-paced, high-energy sport played in an octagonal pit. Dubbed a kinder gentler version of dodge ball, the game is played with a soft foam ball, and combines the skills of dodging, striking, running, and jumping while trying to hit opponents with a ball below the knees.

The official game rules of Gaga

  • All players start with one hand touching a wall of the pit.
  • The game begins with a referee throwing the ball into the center of the pit.
  • When the ball enters the pit, the players scream ‘GA’ for the first two bounces, and ‘GO’ on the third bounce, after which the ball is in action.
  • Once the ball is in play, any player can hit the ball with an open or closed hand.
  • If a ball touches a player below the knee (even if the player hits himself or herself) he or she is out and leaves the pit. If a player is hit above the knees, the play continues.
  • If a ball is caught on a fly, the player who hit the ball is out.
  • Using the walls of the octagon to aid in jumping is legal as long as the player does not permanently sit on the ledge of the octagon.
  • Players cannot hold the ball.
  • If needed, a second ball can be thrown in the pit to expedite the end of the game. The last player standing is the winner of that round.