One Bounce

Primary, Junior

TGfU Category: Net/Wall Games

Locations: gymnasium, outdoor space (e.g., field, tarmac)

Game/Sport Connections

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).

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise sending and receiving an object with a partner to create a rally.

Key Movement Skills, Concepts, and Strategies

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to help participants send and receive an object over a net to effectively create a rally. Note that this is not an exhaustive list 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 an object over a net to/from another participant (e.g., sending the ball over the net with a force that is not too hard and not too soft, making sure that the ball is in an optimal position and sent at a speed that makes it easier for the partner to receive).
  • Body awareness: positioning oneself when sending/receiving an object and the relationship of how the body is moving when sending/receiving an object over a net to/from another participant (e.g., when receiving the ball while standing in the middle of the playing area in a ready position to easily shift forward, back, and side to side).
Movement Strategies
  • Applying appropriate skills to be proficient at sending/receiving an object over a net to/from another participant in a designated space (e.g., having arms and hands out ready to receive the ball).
  • Making quick decisions about what to do to increase chances of success with sending/receiving an object to/from another participant (e.g., anticipating where the ball will go to keep the rally going).


  • 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., beach ball, tennis ball, foam ball, rubber ball, wiffle ball)
  • Objects to mark playing lines (e.g., skipping ropes, floor/painter’s tape, small cones, chalk) (optional)


  • 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.
  • Pairs set up an activity area in a safe space away from other pairs with a line down the middle, so each participant has their own side. Use a chalk line, floor tape, or a skipping rope if lines do not exist. Participants may increase or decrease the size of the playing area at any point during play, being mindful of other participants’ designated playing areas.
  • Each pair selects a ball to send (e.g., beach ball, tennis ball, foam ball, rubber ball, wiffle ball). The ball can be switched at any time.
  • One partner begins the rally by bouncing the ball on their side of the line and then strikes the ball with an open palm over the line to their partner’s side. The partner lets the ball bounce once on their side and then returns the ball using an open palm. Participants can choose to catch the ball before returning it to their partner.
  • Partners count how many times they can consecutively strike the ball off one bounce and keep it within their activity area.
  • When the ball goes out of bounds or bounces more than once, the rally ends and participants play again, trying to match or exceed their previous score.
  • After each round, pairs may choose to play with another pair with 2 participants on each side, so that 4 participants are working together to maintain a rally.
  • 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 groups share their variations and select another variation to try with their group.

Video: Visual Depiction of the Activity Instructions

Video link

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, ask open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement skills, strategies, and tactical solutions. Examples include:

  • What is the best location to send the ball in order to help your partner be successful at receiving the ball?
  • When receiving the ball, how should you position your body?
  • 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 bounces before receiving the ball.
  • Change how participants choose to send the ball over the line (e.g., underhand throw and catch).
  • Play seated or kneeling.
  • Modify the striking techniques (e.g., use only non-dominant hand).
  • Use an implement to send the ball (e.g., lollipop foam paddle).
  • Play the game against a wall.