Bonga Bonga

Release Date: 
Friday, November 15, 2002
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Play Duration (new players): 
Play Duration (experienced): 
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by Jonathan Leistiko and Phillip W.


Bounce a ball across to your partner a specific number of times.

(Bonga Bonga has more in common with a game of catch than traditional competitive games. The play process is more important than the objective.)

You Need

  • A ball, any size, that bounces satisfyingly and is easy to catch
  • A flat, hard surface (an gym floor, asphalt playground, office desk…)

Setting Up

Assign an area to be your playing area. You start on one side of the playing field facing your partner, who starts on the other side. You start with the ball.


Toss the ball across to your partner. Before tossing the ball, declare how many times the ball will bounce before it gets to your partner. If you predict the number of bounces correctly, then good for you! If not, then figure out what went wrong and try again.


Did you pass the time and/or amuse yourself? Then you win! If you’re feeling competitive, then check out the variants below.


Escalation: On your first toss to your partner, your goal is to bounce the ball once. If you’re successful, then increase your next goal by one bounce. The first player to successfully complete six bounces wins.

Simon Says: Instead of choosing how many bounces you’re trying for, your partner decides for you. If you’re feeling competitive, count each successful throw as a point, with the first player to reach 10 points as the winner. If playing for points, put a limit of 6 or 7 on the number of bounces the caller can call.

Bonga-Bonga-Bonga: There’s nothing that says that you can’t play with more than two people. We think you can figure out the rules.

Bonga: You can also play Bonga Bonga by yourself. In an office cube, just use your cube wall as your partner. On a playground, use the wall of a building.

Origin and Credits

About three or four months ago, my cube-neighbor Phil and I were really bored. We started rolling a hard rubber ball back and forth on the table between our cubes. The rolling led to bouncing. The bouncing led to Bonga-Bonga. Thanks for the inspiration, Phil.

I’m glad to include Bonga Bonga in the 2002 free game lineup. Without Bonga Bonga, 2002 would’ve been the first year without an active game.

[Editor’s Note: People who bounce balls in their cubes should be shot. With a suction-cup gun.]