Playing Johnball

 outdoor backyard sports johnball. New Auburn, WI, Wisconsin. Dodgeball with bats, obscure sport. Camaraderie. Robby Prescott, Mary Morgan, Casey Prescott, Anne Morgan, Tom Zydowsky, Thomas Zydowsky, Sarah Joelle Photography


Again, the core idea of Johnball is simple and straightforward:  You’ll use a plastic bat to hit balls at your opponent (while avoiding being hit yourself). But if you’d like to learn more about playing Johnball, read right on.


If you want to play Johnball with some buddies, the first thing you’ll need to do is get yourself equipped. Luckily, there’s only two things you need to play the game: bats and balls.



As long as you use any foam or plastic bat, you’ll be fine. (Obviously, you’ll want to steer clear of all metallic and wooden bats.) These can be picked up at a variety of stores, but don’t forget to check your own garage first! If you find you need to buy bats,  it’s highly suggested that you first check out whatever thrift stores you have around. Secondhand stores often seem to have Johnball bats in stock for super duper cheap.


Launching balls, game commences. Casey Urbach, Jamison Wood, Michael Muenchow,  John Hilsen, Phil Horn, at Grand Forks. Student clubsports.

No need for uniformity. Having an eclectic assortment of bats is the way to go.


DIY Johnball bats in Blaine, MN with Perry Whitlow

You can even make your own Johnball bat out of PVC pipe and a foam noodle.


Wiffle Ball Bats: Always a Solid Choice

Downright good times hosted by merry men. Cody Troop, Alex Herrild, John Hilsen

One bat that will never let you down in Johnball is the wiffle ball bat. You can find these at most sporting good retailers, but this is our suggestion: head on over to the online store of As far as we’ve found, it’s by far the best deal for Johnball bats on the internet, especially considering the free shipping on orders of a dozen or larger.

Plus, if you enter the promotion code “Johnball” upon checkout at ejourneytohealth, you’ll receive 5% off your purchase. Think about all the money you’ll save that you can later put towards that DVD box set of “Monk”!




The sport of Johnball uses  large, rubber balls. These are the kind that can be found in a variety of stores, usually caged in the toy section. Historically, Target, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart have all carried johnballs. Unfortunately, most stores are only seasonal with their stock (However, it’s worth noting that K-Mart seems to carry them year-round.)

Hedstrom Ball Bounce and Sport Inc. ballcage. toy, toys. target walmart kmart. johnball john balls

Always a lovely sight for sore or irritated eyes.

A game of Johnball can have any number of balls in play. Smaller groups will only need one johnball while larger groups will require more. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll want one ball for every 4-5 Johnballers. Though, of course, you have every right to use as many as you’d like; whatever you think would be fun. Some groups like using more balls, some less.

Donate Yo’ Mother: Starting a Game of Johnball


Have you been made aware of how many different ways there are to play this game?