Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Roll the Dice

I don't know if this is the actual name of this game. If not, it is now! We played this at the recent PTR 10 and Under Tennis Conference in Hilton Head. It was part of Mike Barrell's evolve9 presentation at the end of Day 1. We played three other formats during that presentation as well, so I will get those to you shortly. BTW thank you, evolve9, for the grub and beverages! Much appreciated!

Mike had a large group of players to manage for this presentation. He had four regulation size courts, each set up with four mini-nets for a total of 24 foam ball courts. Players were divided into four different teams. Conveniently enough, the four courts were separated by an observation pavilion. So it was easy for Mike to send two teams to one side and two to the other. Then each team lined up separately and waited to advance up the line and out onto the court.

Here's where the dice comes into play: when it was your turn to play, you and your opponent each took a turn at rolling a big plastic dice (or 'die' I guess is the correct singular but it sounds weird and depressing!). Whatever you rolled, that was your starting score. You then went out to court and played a 7 point tiebreaker, starting with the dice scores. Players alternate serving, but don't bother switching ends. Once the breaker is complete, both players leave the court and get back in their respective team lines to play again. Because the team sizes are not uniform and players are finishing at random times, the chances of you meeting the same opponent again were low. But if you do, just switch it up when you get to the head of the line again.

These are not exactly what we played with, but they are
just the right size. 
If you won, you received a ticket when you came off the court. Tickets were deposited in team boxes off court and toted up at the end of the event. Or you could just show accumulated points on a white board, or hand out stickers and count them up at the end.

It was fun, it was quick, and between the random starting scores and the foam balls, playing levels were somewhat equalized. Perfect for any number of players of any level.

Variation
Whatever you roll is your opponent's starting score, and vice versa. You may also use playing cards or dominoes pulled out of a bag if no dice are easily available.