Sunday, May 27, 2012


Wipeout is another tennis oldie-but-goodie, an exercise in consistency cleverly designed as a lighthearted romp. It is easily adapted for all ages and abilities. Best for large groups but even with smaller groups you can get your point across.

Divide players into two groups and send to opposite ends of the court. One player from each group plays out a singles point. Teams alternate feeding first ball. First ball is a bounce feed and must bounce before played. The loser goes to the back of his/her line; the winner gets to add one player to the court to help play out the next point. So the second point will be 2 vs 1. If the side with 2 players wins the next point, they add a third player. However if the side with 1 player wins, the other 2 players are 'wiped out', sent to the end of their line, and a new player comes in to play singly against the 2 players on the winning side. If one side wins several points in a row, you could have 3, 4, 5 or more players vs. a single player on the other side.  Game is over when one team has all their players on court and defeats the last remaining player on the other team.

To simplify: the team losing the point is 'wiped out' and goes to the end of the line; winning team players stay on court and add a player.

Naturally you play singles lines on the side with one player; doubles lines on side with 2 or more players.

Yesterday I attended a Recreational Coaches Workshop and learned a fun new variation on this game. Instead of slowly adding players based on winning points, to begin play, all players take the court. Point is played out. Whichever player makes the error leaves the court. So the players are wiped out one by one until there is one victor. Some different rules apply to this version.

  • Players at service line or closer to net cannot play the first ball. 
  • As players are eliminated, remaining players are repositioned on court making sure rear positions are filled, then mid-court, and finally net.