According to leading experts, there are at least 17 billion different ways to play Johnball. While you’ll always be using a bat to hit balls at your opponents, there’s limitless and undying variety in the game’s setup– both for individual and team play.  These varying setups are called Gametypes. Everyone has their favorite gametype, and it’s a lot of fun to try them all out.


The great thing about these gametypes is that no rule nor guideline is set in stone;

 you and your buds can change things up however you’d like.


And changing it up can be a whole lotta fun. Maybe in a game of Free-For-All you think everyone should have five lives, or just one, or seventeen. Maybe you love both The Saskatchewan Shuffle  and Zombies and decide, hey, why don’t we do a combination of the two? Perhaps you think Down With The King would be more fun if a rule was placed where everyone had to speak in egregious foreign accents. Go for it.

 Don't call the fire marshall. Location: Yellow Lake State Park. Johnball has no upper limit of ludicrousness.

Maybe you think this is a good idea.


Most of the now-established game variants were spontaneous creations, so don’t ever be afraid to make up your own Johnball gametype. Creating unique gametypes is a great way for friends and families to foster creativity in an enjoyable setting.


Gametypes are broken up in two categories. The “classics” are the ones that we recommend getting to know first; they’re all based on easy-to-understand premises and are the tried-and-true game variants of Johnball.

Click Here To Learn The Classics


and then

Click Here To Check Out Even More Gametypes



Further variety and fun times can be added to any Johnball gametype with the use of  simple game modifiers called Switches. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the concept so that you may be readily equipped to provide even more spontaneous merriment the next time friends are rounded up for Johnball.


Dual wielding in Lakeville. John ball is a great backyard game.

Power Bat: one example of a Switch.



So… What’s Your Favorite Gametype?



Will playing Johnball against friend Michael Polzin in a Ringed 1on1 gametype

William Bird of Pittsburgh, PA

Ringed One-on-One is my favorite! It’s a gametype that encourages good bat-handling techniques, team enthusiasm, and it can make a hero out of the people you’d least expect. All things I love about Johnball.”

Katy Jenkins from Traverse City, MI [Michigan] handling a johnball at SJU. Student at College of Saint Benedict, CSB. CSBSJU. CSB-SJU.

Katy Jenkins of Traverse City, MI

VIP is my favorite because I enjoy working together as a team and protecting my friends. Both winning and losing is so much better with friends. I’m not vert good at being the VIP myself, but I do enjoy protecting others. Also, I get to see the ridiculous and creative sides of people while we come up with a team name and charity.”

Carson lives in Eureka, IL and goes to school at the University of Southern Illinois Carbondale. Better than dodgeball.

Carson Mack of Carbondale, IL

Zombies! It’s so intense and people play it the way Johnball’s supposed to be played; no one runs away from the battles. I always love the very beginning where the alpha zombies approach the human phalanx. In that moment, I know that chaos is about to erupt. And the whole game… when you play it, it’s sheer madness.”

Franzen goes to school at UWEC [University of Wisconsin Eau Claire] and loves the wacky sport of Johnball more than Goof Troop for the SNES.

Eric Franzen of Eau Claire, WI

“I like Fashion Wars the best because it is one of the few game types where the player never gets eliminated from the game even if they get hit. Also, it brings out a lot of the wackiness  that comes with Johnball as people come up with crazy styles and creative names for their fashions.”

A proud and heartfelt member of the Minneapolis Chapter of Johnball. Picture from Nationals at Nelson Dewey State Park.

Victoria Shield of Minneapolis, MN

Detonation in particular is really appealing to me. It’s a combination of mental and physical demands and involves a lot of team strategy. Before each round, your team gathers and decides what each member will do out on the field- offensive or defensive playing. And if you’ve played with the group before, you can evaluate the other team and choose how to counteract their strengths. The skills of each player are played off of and built off of other players on their team– and I really enjoy that.”


Johnball at UND. Dodgeball in the gym. Fun sports with plastic bats.

Greg Pokorny of Grand Forks, ND

“I like the idea of changing loyalty to a team you don’t start on, so I really really like games like Zombies, Down With The King, Fashion Wars, and Seabass.”

Student at Saint John's University [SJU]. Warriorspirit.

Wade Kohls of Mound, MN

Free-for-all. Everybody starts on a level playing field and it usually ends in dramatic tension.”

Eureka, IL (Illinois) Johnball extraordinaire. A lad with a winning personality.

Tyler Dietrich of Carlock, IL

Doubles can help strengthen the bonds of two Johnball players like very few other gametypes can. You must work together and communicate with your teammate or all hope is lost!”

From New London. (NL-S). Adam is a college student at SJU (Saint John's University) CSBSJU. Outside Patrick Hall on campus. Dodgeball.

Adam Steinbach of New London, MN

Johnball: The Movie. While it may not be played often, it is one of my favorite gametypes. I enjoy pretending that I am storming the Black Gates into Mordor. Or that me and Maxwell Majeck have just defeated the evil Lord Dagda. Or that I have just watched all my friends die and am fighting to keep He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named at bay. Nothings better than being a little excessive with Johnball.”