The Invisible Ball

A relaxed circle game for small groups

Also known as: Signs

How To Play The Invisible Ball

Materials Needed


This game might sound weird but I have never played with people who didn't like it. It is a big hit with most groups!

Essentially a person in the middle of a circle of people is trying to find out who has the invisible ball. The ball is being moved around the circle through stealthy passing (using signs). Each person has a unique sign that allows them to receive the ball. To pass the ball you must do the sign of the person you are trying to pass to, therefore, if Bob's sign is to cross his hands behind his head, I must cross my hands behind my head. In order for Bob to receive the ball he must do his own sign back (crossing his hands behind his head). While the ball is secretly being passed around the circle, the person in the middle is trying to find out who "has it". The person is allowed to ask someone if they possess the ball (the person must tell the truth). If someone is caught with the ball they take their turn in the middle.

1. Have everyone form a circle.

2. Everyone needs to create a unique sign (peace sign, pulling on ear, winking, thumbs up, pretty much anything will do).

3. Have each person show their sign to the group one at a time (everyone should be memorizing at least a few people's signs).

4. Pick one person to start in the middle of the group. While this person has their eyes closed, silently select a person to "have it". This person possesses an indivisible ball (keep reading!). Then the person in the middle can open their eyes.

5. The ball is passed and received through people's signs.
If I (Michael) have the ball and I want to pass to Brett, I have to use Brett's sign. Then Brett must do his own sign to show he has received the ball.

6. The person in the middle is trying to figure out who has the ball. They are often constantly turning, listening and looking for movement. If they call someone out while they possess the ball they trade places and the game starts over (select someone else to start with the ball while the new person in the middle closes their eyes).

Note: if the ball every gets misplaced, or there is major confusion as to where it is, the game may be restarted.

If you attempt to pass the ball but someone does not do their sign, the ball has not been received. This is crucial. This means you can attempt to pass the ball but if the person is unaware, the ball will remain with the person attempting to pass.

The better you get at the game the more you can pass the ball boldly yet cleverly in front of the person in the middle. For example, you might be making eye-contact with the person in the middle but you can do someone's sign with your hand if the person in the middle isn't paying very close attention.

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on 9 October 2018
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