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, 10 cones/dots/etc.

Execution: Similar to Giovanni’s Serving & Passing, split the squad in half and each team fields a group of passers, with the remainder serving. Set up the cones so that there are 5 on each side of the net on the side of the court , equally spaced starting from near the net running toward the end line similar to this:

The objective is for one team to move the coach all the way to their last cone (+5) using this scoring:

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

Where a +1 means moving one cone in the direction of the team that scored.


  • 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. For example, you could make both Ace and Perfect Pass +2, then have +1 to the passing team for a 2-pass and +1 to the serving team for an out-of-system pass.
  • Rather than the players on one side taking turns serving, you could have a server who scored a point serve again, like in a real game.

Additional Comments:

  • This game was shared in a Learning Lab for the 2022 AVCA Virtual Convention by Giovanni Guidetti. He said his players love it!
  • Giovanni runs this game using a series of 5 cones on each side. Every time a team scores, he moves one cone in their direction.
  • You need not use the outcome based scoring featured above. You could just as easily use process scoring where you give points based on things you are working on unrelated to outcome.

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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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