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Games using a giant ball are a standard part of school athletic festivals.
Every year, in spring or autumn, school kids all over Japan, from kindergarten through high school, take part in sports day. On this day, athletic meets are held to give kids a chance to test their skills and compete with each other in a variety of events. It is also a great chance for the whole family to enjoy fun time together. This is particularly true of elementary school meets, where large numbers of families often come out to cheer on the kids.
There are two basic kinds of events - individual and group. A running race is an example of an individual event. Group events, where students are divided into teams, include tug-of-war, and ball-tossing games. Kids usually compete against those of the same grade, but there are also relay races between teams made up of kids from all grades.
Some schools also include non-competitive events like folk or traditional Japanese dancing. At the high-school level, students do more than just compete in sports events; cheering contests are often held in which each class makes up its own cheers, adding even more energy to this exciting day.