ArmstrongBall is a game that evolved from playing with my children, behind our garage. Because we have a variety of ages, we devised rules that let the game be enjoyed even with vast differences in abilities, and with different numbers of players.

At its core, it is simply one person rolling a ball down a small hill, while everyone else tries to kick it back up, past the roller, and into a goal. It has similarities to soccer, but the rules differ, and the scoring is vastly different.


Note: this is an informal game for family and friends. Feel free to modify any of this to make it work for you.
If you enjoy playing, please use the links under the equipment section to buy some equipment. It will toss a few cents our way

Equipment Needed

How to set up the field:

  • Select up a field approximately 40ft wide x 60ft long. Ideally, the first 10-12 feet of the field are on a small hill, but it can be played on flat ground.
  • Set up one large, or two small soccer goals at the top of the hill
  • Mark the corners of the field with cones or some other kind of visible marker.
  • Put 2 cones down to mark a 6ish foot space at the front of the field. This is the rolling zone
  • Put 2 more cones down 6 feet beyond the rolling zone, to mark the No-Kick Zone.
  • Put 4 more cones/markers, evenly spaced along the back line, to create 5 similarly sized sections of the back line.

Where to Be:

  • 1 Person stands at the top of the field, in front of the goal. (The Roller)
  • Everyone else spreads out across the rest of the field / Kicking Area. (The Kickers)

How to play:

  • If this is your first time playing, the youngest player starts as the Roller. If you have already played the game, whoever had the least points in the prior game starts as the Roller. In case of a tie, the youngest player is the Roller.
  • The Roller rolls (or throws, kicks, etc.) the ball down the field. If it goes off the back of the field, the roller gets points. (See scoring chart below.)
  • The kickers try to kick the ball back up the hill - if they get it into a goal, they get one point.
  • If the roller catches a kicked ball in the air, before the 1st bound, they get one point.
  • As long as the ball is moving, people can keep kicking it, or the roller can grab it to start over.
  • When the ball stops moving, or goes off the side of the field, it goes back to the roller, to roll again.

Kicker Rules:

  • There are more scoring opportunities for the roller than the kickers -- To become the roller, kickers can catch the ball and pick it up. If they miss/drop the ball, the roller gets a point. This is only allowed after the roller has rolled 5 times.
  • Kickers may not kick a stopped ball - the ball must be kicked while in motion.
  • Kickers may not kick / touch the ball twice in a row.
  • If the ball touches any part of a kicker’s body above their knees, the roller gets a point. Play continues after this occurs, so it is possible to get multiple points on a single roll.
  • Kickers may not enter the No-Kick Zone.
  • If a kicker violates a rule, the roller gets a point.

Roller Rules:

  • The roller must be behind the first line on the field when rolling the ball.
  • The roller can roll or throw the ball in any way they like, but it must touch the ground before it is halfway down the field.
  • The roller cannot deliberately throw the ball at a kicker, in an attempt to make it hit them above the knees.
  • If the roller violates a rule, no points - roll again.
  • Part of the fun of being the roller is that you are allowed to be tricky. There is deliberately no rules about waiting for kickers to be ready, or not trying to trick them into not paying attention


  • If playing with children, The game is over when someone scores as many points as their age. (Maximum: 25)
  • If playing without children, The game is over when someone scores 10 points.

Action # Points For:
Ball rolls through outside sections of back line1Roller
Ball rolls through center section of back line3Roller
Ball rolls through others sections of back line2Roller
Kicker kicks ball into a goal1Kicker
Roller catches a kicked ball in mid-air1Roller
Kicker breaks a rule1Roller