Gnomeballs are received by winning 5 points in a game of Gnome Ball (ask the referee for a ball, walk out the arena, and the gnomeball will appear in your inventory), or from the Gnome restaurantminigame. With the item in their inventory, the player can click "Use" with it, and click another player. If the player has both of their hands empty, they will catch the ball, and it will end up in their main hand slot. It is not advised that it is thrown to a random unknown player, as they could very easily walk away with it.
It should also be noted that this item can help in reporting users suspected of macroing. By throwing a gnomeball at a player suspected of being a macro, there is a chance to mess up its programming and halt them, thus revealing whether or not they are macroing. However, this may not work against some programs (e.g. some Hunter bots). They may simply continue to hunt with the gnomeball wielded.
Winning multiple games in a row will not result in more than one gnomeball as a reward.
Before the Dragon Token was patched it could be rubbed inside the Gnomeball arena, doing so would call you out of the game as you left because you were teleported into the cutscene. Once you left the cutscene and were teleported back into the game you were still inside the arena while still not being part of the game. Attempting to tackle an npc for the ball after being called out of the game would yield the message "Error: tackle1001 (Please report this!)".
It is possible to take the gnomeball from the arena without first winning the game.
When inside the arena you cannot equip any kind of weapon and attempting to do so will yield a message similar to "You can only equip gnome balls inside of the gnome ball arena.". This message will even appear if you try and equip another gnomeball while already having one equipped.
There is currently a glitch with the gnome ball arena where if you enter the arena with more than one gnome ball they are all taken away however upon leaving the arena you are only given one back regardless of how many were taken.
This item was once used in a scam in which the scammer would find a player with an item with a very high market value, but a very low High Level Alchemy value. Such items include partyhats, Santa hats, and Hallowe'en masks. The scammer would ask the victim to come to the Wilderness or dangerous Clan Wars with their valuable item, and to activate Protect Item to make them feel safe. The scammer and victim would then fight, and once the victim was low on health, the scammer would throw a gnomeball at the victim, who would catch it and automatically wield it. This was possible even when Accept Aid was turned off. Because the gnomeball's alchemy value would be higher than the victim's expensive item, the victim would keep the gnomeball on death and lose the valuable item. An update on 19 April2011 changed the system by which items are kept on death, this scam is now completely obsolete.
If you try to teleport a gnomeball with an Imp-in-a-box, a message box will appear with the imp in the box saying: "I'm not touching a gnomeball; that's a vicious game! I might die!"
Tossing a gnomeball to suspected botters worked well to stop people from botting Dungeoneering, since you can't bring anything into Daemonheim. However, it was also used to annoy legitimate players and was thus banned from the Daemonheim staging area on 20 June2016.