TGfU Category: Net/Wall Games
Locations: gymnasium, multipurpose room, outdoor space (e.g., field, tarmac)
Net/Wall games are activities in which players send an object toward a court or target area that an opponent is defending. The aim is to cause the object to land in the target area while making it difficult for the opponent to return the object. By playing these games, participants develop skills and tactics to play other net/wall games or games that require the application of similar skills, concepts, and strategies (e.g., sitting volleyball, tennis, badminton, squash, racquet ball, volleyball, Sepak Takraw, wheelchair tennis).
Participants learn about and practise sending and receiving a ball off a wall to attempt to score a point in their opponent’s court.
Key Movement Skills, Concepts, and Strategies
Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for sending a ball off a wall and into a designated area. Participants learn about and practise defending an area on their side of the court. Note that this list is not exhaustive and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.
Movement Skills and Concepts
- Manipulation skills and effort awareness: applying a controlled force to send/receive the object to/from a wall (e.g., hitting the ball with a flat hand, facing the inside of the hand to the desired direction of the ball, keeping the wrist straight).
- Body awareness: recognizing the relationship between certain body movements/positions and successful play when sending/receiving the ball to/from a wall (e.g., position the body with knees bent and feet shoulder width apart, hands out, eyes focused on the ball to anticipate where it is going).
Understanding and developing tactics to participate successfully in the game (e.g., using different amounts of force to send the ball off the wall at varying angles and distances).
- Incorporate some or all of the variations listed in the “Variations” section while planning the activity. This will help to best meet the diverse backgrounds, identities, needs, and interests of participants and maximize the fun, inclusion, participation, and success of everyone.
- To elevate participant voice and choice, periodically pause the activity and share the variations with participants. Ask them to determine how they would like to change the activity to maximize the fun, inclusion, meaningful participation, and success for everyone. Encourage participants to add any variations of their own.
- 1 ball to send per pair (e.g., various sizes and textures of balls)
- 1 implement for striking per participant (e.g., foam racquet, paddle) (optional)
- 6 markers to identify the boundaries of playing areas/zones (e.g., pylons, cones, rubber/vinyl spots)
- Inspect the equipment and activity area to identify and remove hazards. Check that the activity surface provides sufficient traction.
- Establish the boundaries for the designated playing area at a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Share the boundaries with participants.
- Review the safety rules and activity instructions with participants prior to the activity.
- Instruct participants to be aware of their surroundings, including the locations of other participants during play.
How to Play
- Divide participants into pairs.
- Assign each pair to a space against a wall.
- Provide pairs with 6 markers (e.g., pylons, cones, rubber/vinyl spots) to designate their playing area, their “court”. Pairs place 2 markers to indicate the two back corners of their court, place 2 markers against the wall to indicate the two front corners of their court, and 2 markers between the back and front corner markers to divide their court in half.
- Pairs choose the ball they would like to send. Pairs may also choose to send their ball using their hand or with an implement for striking (e.g., foam racquet, paddle). Pairs may change their ball and/or choice of striking implement at any point during play.
- One participant stands on each side of their court.
- Participants use their hand or a striking implement to send the ball so that it hits the wall and bounces into their opponent’s area.
- The opponent tries to return the ball to the other side of the court before the second bounce. Participants try to hit the ball against the wall so it is challenging for their opponent to receive it or make a return. Participants may choose to catch the ball before sending it back to their partner.
- A participant scores a point if their opponent is unable to return the ball before the second bounce or if the ball goes out of bounds.
- After a period of play, provide participants with some or all of the variations. Ask them to decide how they might change the game to enhance their fun, challenge, and success. Encourage participants to add any variations of their own.
- Consider having pairs/groups share their variations and select another variation to try with their group.
Image: Visual Depiction of the Activity Instructions
Pause for Learning
Throughout the activity, ask open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement skills, strategies, and tactical solutions. Examples include:
- How do you decide where to send the ball against the wall in order to make it a challenge for your opponent to return the ball to you?
- How does your body position relate to successfully sending the ball to or receiving the ball from a wall?
- How do you apply the phases of movement when sending the ball back to the wall?
- Which part of your hand or striking implement do you use to successfully hit the ball to the wall?
- How do you decide on the amount of force to use when hitting the ball to the wall so that you are successful at scoring a point?
- What factors do you need to consider when sending the ball? How do you hit the ball with the greatest power without losing control?
- Which games or sports have you played or know about that use similar rules and strategies to the ones used in this game?
- Allow 2 or more bounces before receiving the ball.
- Remove the dividing line and work as a pair to keep a rally going.
- Play 2 on 2 with participants in the same group alternating hits.