Sound Ball

Possible outcomes:

  • Practice listening and awareness skills.
  • Practice being present.
  • Practice spontaneity.
  • Builds energy and connection.


Players pass an imaginary ‘energy’ ball to each other in a circle, while cknowledging and creating sounds.

Time: 5 – 10 min
Number of Participants: Optimally 5-10, can run larger circles as demonstration, then split into smaller circles.

Game Flow:

Ask people to stand in a circle. Say, we’re going to throw an imaginary ball to each other.  The person who throws the ball mimes the characteristics (shape, size, consistency and weight) of the ball.  She then makes eye contact with another player and throws the ball to that person.  As she throws the ball she also gives the ball a sound. The person who receives the ball catches it with the same characteristics and sound that it was thrown to him.  The receiver then gives the ball new characteristics and throws it to someone else in the circle with a new sound. Gently correct as needed. Get a good rhythm going. The ‘ball’ should move fluidly and pick up speed in a comfortable way within the group. If people are holding on to the ‘ball’ and breaking the rhythm, after a few passes, pause the game and invite them to see if everyone can keep the rhythm/energy flowing without breaking/pausing.

Debrief Questions:

  • What did that activity encourage you to focus on?
  • What did it feel like if the ball paused?
  • What helped you to do this exercise well?
  • What delighted you?
  • What was hard?

Source: Remy Bertrand.

Online adaptation

Since people in an online room cannot stand in a circle, make eye contact to draw attention or aim the ball in the direction of the person they want to catch it, the following  adaptations can be made:

  1. The names of participants are visible on the screen, therefore, in order to throw the ball to someone, simply call out their name so they know it is for the.
  2. Encourage people to use distance from the camera as a way to create variety in the size and movement of the ball:  move away from the camera for big high energy balls and come closer for smaller and  more sluggish,  balls.
  3. Because of time lag, it can be tricky to foster a collective rhythm. However, you may still be able to speed up the game and create fluidity as people get into its flow.

Thank you, Alison Gitelson, for playing this game with me online and teaching me more about how to adapt it for online rooms!

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