Game: 2-player, 2-ball Volley Tennis

Synopsis: This is a great warm-up type game that gets players moving and competing while also working on communication and strategy.

Age/Skill Level: This is a game for all levels

Requirements: 4+ players, full court

Execution: Split the group in half and put the teams on opposite sides of the court. Two players from each team will be involved in each rally, so the rest will be off behind the end line waiting to rotate in (if you have more than the minimum).

A rally starts with one player from each team on the court, and one off the court beyond the end line as “server”. The servers count to 3 together, then underhand throw the ball over the net to the other side. From here the teams play volley tennis with one contact per ball per side. Play continues until both balls are dead. If one team wins both balls they get a point. Otherwise, it’s a wash (no point). Game is to 10, or whatever you choose.

Variations:

  • You can play on a reduced sized court for younger players.
  • You could play with teams of 3, but probably wouldn’t want to go with more than that.
  • Illegal “serves” (toss too flat) can either be a replay or you could count them as if they were a missed serve. The latter counts as a ball won by the receiving team.
  • You can split the group out any number of ways – by age, by height, by shirt color, etc.

Additional Comments:

  • This game was first introduced to me, I think, by the Swedish players when I coached at Svedala. They referred to it as Brazilian 2-ball tennis (or something like that). To this day I refer to it that way with my teams.
  • Every team I’ve ever seen play this game – my own and others’ – has enjoyed it a great deal. Even up to national team level professionals.
John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women's team. This follows a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

Please share your own ideas and opinions.