Sure Physical Education is a blast, but we know that those moments inside the high-school gymnasium were nothing more than glorified training exercises. Practice your shot. Run a lapClimb the rope.

Why did we participate in these heart-racing activities?

So we could kick ass when the Recess Bell rang.

5. Tether-ball

tetherball Screw P.E., These Are Our Favorite Recess Games

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

It was either this or hopscotch.

Yes, the great game of Tether-ball has been played for generations. Your mom played it. Your grandma played it. Your great-grandma would have played it, but she sucked at sports and was always picked last.

Which is odd, because ANYBODY can play Tether-ball. The rules are simple: hit the ball, try to hit it again, try to hit it harder. If all else fails, try to hit the ball straight at your opponents face. They can’t knock one back at ya if they’re knocked out!

4. 4-Square

4 square Screw P.E., These Are Our Favorite Recess Games

Micah Walter / Getty Images

Cunning. Deceit. Strategy. Balls.

4-Square requires 4 players, a ball, and… well, four squares. Can you effectively knock out the other players? Can you lock yourself in as the King of 4-Square? If you can, not only are you the best but you’re also in charge of making the rules.

Can only play with one arm! Must dribble 3 times before you hit it! You can carry the ball for 5 seconds! Only Cherry-Bombs!

The coveted King is a wonder – if you’re talented enough to hold onto the position for the entire 25-minutes you and your classmates are outdoors, hell. They may as well call you the King of Recess.

3. Dodgeball

dodgeball Screw P.E., These Are Our Favorite Recess Games

Micah Walter / Getty Images

Teamwork. Strength. Blocking. Throwing.

Long before Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller popularized tossing balls back and forth, kids everywhere engaged in the vicious red ball onslaught known as Dodgeball.

Two teams enter, one team leaves. Can you hit your opponent before they hit you? Hope so. Those balls sting after a while.

2. Kickball

kickball Screw P.E., These Are Our Favorite Recess Games

Offense. Defense. Kicking. Catching. Endurance.

Kickball is the beautiful lovechild of Baseball and Soccer. One is America’s pastime, the other is Europe’s only love. Once they got together, Kickball swept over school yards everywhere faster than diarrhea swept over after Lunch lady’s Choice.

Kickball uses the same rules, structure, positions and scoring as baseball. However, instead of attacking a tiny ball with a long, wooden bat, you kick the s#!t out of a big, red ball with  your foot. Sweep that leg! Home run! GGGOOOAAAALLLLL!

1. Swinging

swingset Screw P.E., These Are Our Favorite Recess Games

Majid Saeedi / Getty Images

Stamina. Persistence. Tenacity. Doggedness. Grit. Determination.

You expected something else?

Swing sets are the staple of the American playground. Before you can walk, you have to learn to crawl, and before that you gotta learn to swing. Somehow, we all know how to swing intrinsically.

Kick off, pump, enjoy, repeat. It’s easy, it’s refreshing. You feel like you’re flying. You can do it alone or you can play against a friend.

How high can you swing? How fast can you go? How twisty can you get? Can you wrap around the top? Ever gone sideways? Quick, see if you can jump past this marker!

The possibilities are endless.

Plus, swinging is the most dangerous sport here on this list- if you do it wrong, you may end up swapping your wife for the evening.


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