Budgetball is an innovative team-based sport that combines fiscal strategy and physical play. Budgetball is designed to help participants experience managing debt and savings. As a result, Budgetball serves as an entry point to connecting youth with learning activities related to personal financial literacy and the nation’s fiscal future.
Participation in the game of Budgetball, and in related educational and civic engagement activities, helps students understand the issues regarding fiscal responsibility and empowers them to participate in conversations about issues that will impact their personal financial health, as well as the fiscal future of their communities, states and nation. Budgetball aims to build a new generation of concerned and motivated youth who possess the knowledge, skills, and determination to address complex fiscal challenges.
Budgetball is a new kind of “serious game”. It uses a bold, fun approach to raise awareness about a serious issue. Budgetball teams have a clearly defined goals and must work together to figure out how to take advantage of the opportunities and advantages available to them—by earning, saving, spending, or borrowing. The game lets players experience the power and the pitfalls of debt, as well as the sacrifices and security associated with reserves.
Played on a field between two teams of six players, Budgetball players must pass the ball to a teammate in the end zone in order to score a goal. During Budget Sessions, which take place at the beginning of each period of play, teams also have the opportunity to earn, save, spend, and borrow Budgetbucks (the currency of the game) as they choose a field strategy for the upcoming period of play. At the end of a single game (or at the end of the final game in a tournament), each team’s Budgetbuck balance (debt or savings) is converted to points which can make the difference between winning and losing.
The Budgetball website (www.budgetball.org) is home to the rules, Budget Session materials, posters, and other valuable materials and tools related to fiscal responsibility. Game materials can be downloaded easily for use in school, at recreation centers, and by other programs. Additional equipment needed includes items that can be found easily at school or home (e.g., volleyball, oven mitts, etc.).
For more information about Budgetball visit www.budgetball.org.