Synopsis: This is a competitive serving and passing game that is team vs. team rather than servers vs. passer.

Age/Skill Level: This is an exercise for all levels.

Requirements: 2 teams, one court

Execution: Split the squad in half. Each team then fields a group of passers, with the remainder serving. Teams take turns serving, with the following scoring:

+1 serving side for an ace
+1 receiving side for a perfect pass (or whatever quality pass you’re after)
-1 serving side for a missed serve
-1 receiving side for an overpass

Play to 15 points.


  • You can vary the number of passers you have on the court, and if using less than you’d normally have in a game, you can narrow the area into which servers have to put the ball (e.g. only serve into Zones 1 & 6).
  • You could incorporate out-of-system passes into the scoring as well.
  • If you have radar to measure serve speed, you could give a point for balls with whatever minimum speed makes sense for your level.
  • You can incorporate specific things you’re working on into the scoring. For example, if you want short serves, the serving side can get +1 if the receiver puts at least 1 foot in front of the 3m line, regardless of outcome.
  • Rather than the players on one side taking turns serving, you could have a server who scored a point (or who caused the other team a -1) to serve again, like in a real game.
  • If you want to incorporate setting and hitting, you could add to the scoring based on the outcome of a set-hit attempt.

Additional Comments:

  • This game was shared in a Learning Lab for the 2022 AVCA Virtual Convention by Giovanni Guidetti.
  • Giovanni was explicit that he does not want the game to end on a missed serve. That is why missed serves are a minus for the serving team, not a plus for the receiving one.
  • Giovanni said the game normally takes 3-4 minutes with his teams, but those are high level professionals. Your team may be very different.
  • You my also like this other serving and passing game from Giovanni.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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