Synopsis: Winners is a a rotational game which can be a good warm-up and/or a way to get a large number of players playing for assessment and other purposes.
Age/Skill Level: This game is suitable for all levels.
Requirements: Full court, 9+ players, 3 balls.
Execution: Designate one side of the court the winners side. Have one team of three start there, with everyone else on the other side – the challenge side – with one team on and the rest waiting. The team on the challenge side serves, and the teams play out the rally. If the team on the winners side wins, they stay, otherwise they exit and the challengers move to the winners side and a new team steps in on the challenge side. Continue for a set period of time or until some objective is reached.
- For lower level teams where serving is inconsistent, the coach can initiate the ball to start each rally.
- On a missed serve one can either say the whole team loses and switch in a new team, or just the server can be replaced.
- Fixed teams can be used if there are the right numbers.
- Lower levels players could go with 4s rather than 3s
- To increase rally length (and thereby touches) play could be limited to only part of the court.
- Attacking can be limited to only certain types – back row for example – or anything goes.
- This is a good game to use when you have so many players that 6vs6 becomes limiting, and in tryout type situations when you’re trying to get general playing impressions for a number of players without having the constraint of set positions.
- By incorporating requirements into the play – must have 3 contact, all players much touch the ball, bonus points for quick set kills, etc. – you can adapt the game to work toward the training objectives you have for the session.
- If you are playing 2s or 3s on a full court you likely want to use beach rules in terms not allowing open-hand tipping and requiring sets to be straight forward or back (no sideways dumps over the net). Alternatively, you could just not allow such attacks in front of the 3 meter line.
Synopsis: Bingo-Bango-Bongo is a 6 vs. 6 transition oriented game which gets players focused on scoring points in a row using a little point/big point type of structure.
Age/Skill Level: This game is suitable for intermediate to advanced players.
Requirements: Two teams of 6, two coaches/players, half a dozen balls.
Execution: Start with two teams of 6 on the court and one coach (or spare player) on the sideline on either side of the net with balls. One coach initiates a free ball across the net and the teams play through a rally. When that rally finishes, the other coach initiates a free ball in the opposite direction. The coaches then continue to alternate.
When a team wins a rally they get Bingo. If they win a second rally after that, it’s Bango. A third rally win in a row produces Bongo. At that point the team with Bongo serves for a point. If they win the service rally they get a point and the teams rotate. If not, the cycle begins again fresh with a free ball to the serving team.
Note, when one team wins a Bingo, the other team resets back to nothing.
- In order to give middle blockers a break, you can flip the teams back to front rather than rotating when a big point is scored. I often do something like 1-4-2-5-3-6.
- You can rotate/flip both sides on a big point, or just the winning side if you want to maximize time working on weaker rotations.
- For lower skilled teams (or when you want to move things along more quickly) you can do Bingo-Bango and have Bongo be the big point. In other words, the serve for point would happen after just two rally wins in a row rather than three.
- This could be done with smaller groups, like 4v4, in a smaller space.
- The coaches should initiate balls as quickly as is safe to do so to keep the tempo high. This forces the players to maintain focus and adds a conditioning element.
- Any players not involved in the game should be alert to keep balls out of the way so things can move quickly – and no one risks injury.
- Since this is a free ball initiated game, it offers opportunity to wok on specific free ball plays for teams having advanced offenses.
- Coach should make sure the team not receiving the free ball is quickly getting to defensive base as the ball is being initiated.
- While playing the game with smaller groups like 4v4 would limit the ability to working on full-team free ball offense, there would still be the opportunity to work on elements of it. For example, the setter and middle hitter could work on first tempo balls.