Monday, February 3, 2014

Tennis Checkers

Thanks Martyn Collins for tipping me to this site. Lots of fun game ideas here. They call this game Ultimate Sponge Ball so look for that title if you want to see the original instructions. Looking at the game diagram I am reminded of the game of checkers, so pardon my name change. I am a little unclear on a couple of the rules so I am clarifying them on the fly here. Best with groups, good for warm-up.

Divide group into two even teams. If you are playing this on the tennis court, perfect - each time stakes out one end of court. Object of the game is to be the first team to move the ball behind other team's baseline.

  • Ball can only be moved by throwing/catching. Players may not run, walk, or otherwise move with the ball. Players who do not have the ball may change positions including moving around net to opponent's end of court when on offense and taking up defensive positions when not.
  • Defending team may not move to interfere with a thrown ball - no batting out of the air, jumping up and down, etc. Defender must remain one arm's length plus one racquet length away from opponents. Note this is approximate distance one should be from ball at point of contact.
  • Dropped ball or ball thrown out of bounds results in a change of possession. Original game did not say where change of possession should take place, so I am arbitrarily saying baseline of other team.

Here's how I envision this game working: game commences with one player tossing a ball to another teammate to advance the ball toward the opponent's baseline. All players are able to change positions except the person who has the ball. So let's say Player A has the ball. She waits until one of her teammates is ready (Player B), then throws it to them. Player B now must decide which teammate to throw the ball to, standing in place and waiting until her teammates have rearranged themselves and are ready to receive the ball. In the meantime, the defending team can also move around relative to the offense's movements as long as they stay appropriate distance from any player. Defense can play zone or man-to-man, whichever they think will be most effective. So this game should be very dynamic and have kids moving around constantly to either advance or defend their positions.

First team to 7 wins, best two out of three.

If this is too difficult, allow one bounce or use a bigger ball.