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 (wash) 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 after a big point. 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. The latter maximizes time working on weaker rotations (but watch fatigue levels).
- 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.
- You can do it 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. That keeps things moving 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.