Jewish Camps Spawn a U.S. Playground Hit
...gaga court, eager to play a game like dodge ball that is fast becoming an obsession at camps and schools nationwide. Believed to have originated in Israel, the game — which translates to “touch, touch” in Hebrew [and so, that should be transliterated as "ga-ga"] — has been a standby of Jewish summer camps and community centers in the United States since at least the 1970s. Now, to the surprise of parents who recall the game from their youths, gaga is solidly mainstream.
Young people are playing gaga this summer with fervent devotion...in Woodside, boys and girls play gaga in shifts to avoid overcrowding. After lunch one recent afternoon, 20 girls lined the interior of the court, known as a pit in gaga parlance — in this case a shaded five-sided enclosure made of chain-link fencing and PVC piping. A counselor dropped the large cushioned rubber ball into the court. It bounced three times, while everyone said, “ga, ga, ga,” and then it was game on.
In gaga, players lob the ball underhand, trying to hit one another below the knees (or below the waist, depending on where you’re playing) to eliminate their opponents from the court. If the ball goes over the wall, or if it is caught before bouncing, the person who launched it is out of the game.
Go, go, ga-ga.