Game: 7-point Rotations

Synopsis: This game focuses on serve reception and gives considerable attention to weaker rotations.

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

Requirements: 2 teams, full court, one ball

Execution: This game is actually played as a series of mini-games. In each game one team serves every ball and both teams stay in one rotation for the whole time. The first team to score 7 points wins the mini game and gets to rotate. They serve the next mini game. The losing team stays in their rotation and is the receiving team for the next mini game.

Variations:

  • You can play for more or less than 7 points, depending on whether you want to lengthen or shorten the rotations.
  • Bonus points can be employed to focus on certain things. For example, 2 points can be given in the case of a stuff block, an ace, a successful quick attack, or a first-ball kill.
  • You can play until one team gets through 6 rotations, until both team get through 6 rotations, for time, or for some other objective.

Additional Comments:

  • Because this is a serve-initiated game it will tend to be played at a slower general tempo than games such as Bingo-Bango-Bongo where a new ball is initiated as soon as a rally ends. That could result in lower intensity levels, depending on the team. This is something which must be considered and accounted for in practice planning.
  • Since a team cannot rotate until it wins a mini game to 7, you can easily see situations where one side has to play multiple mini games in the same rotation in a row. This has the plus of concentrating reps on weaker rotations, but has the risk of frustrated players struggling mentally.
  • Also, because a team can win mini games as the serving side without ever having to do serve receive in that rotation, you may want to have a plan for making sure those “missed” rotations get at least some reps.
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.

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