Toss Up

Primary, Junior

TGfU Category: Net/Wall Games

Locations: gymnasium, multi-purpose room, 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 working with another participant 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 a ball 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 and effort awareness: applying a controlled force when sending the object over the net to create a rally (e.g., sending the ball with a slight force, with a high arc, and in the direction where the partner is located to make it easy to receive it).
  • Spatial awareness: knowing where and how the body moves to be successful at receiving the object (e.g., being in a ready position and moving in any direction to successfully receive the ball).
Movement Strategies
  • Tactical awareness: developing an understanding of how to send and receive an object to create a rally (e.g., sending the object in the direction of the partner to make it easy for them to receive it, watching the object and getting into position to receive it, with knees bent and feet ready to move).
  • Application of skills: understanding which skills are required to be successful during the activity (e.g., being able to send the object over a net and toward the partner to help create a successful rally).


  • 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., tennis ball, foam tennis ball, wiffle ball, beach ball, soft-skinned ball)
  • 8 pylons or cones per pair


  • 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 pairs a designated playing area, safely away from other pairs.
  • Participants set up a court by dividing their playing area in half. They set up their side of the court using a pylon or cone to mark the 4 corners of their side. Each participant’s side should be set up facing each other, with about a metre or more distance in between.
  • Participants may increase or decrease the size of the playing area at any point during play, being mindful of other participants’ designated playing areas.
  • Participants take up position on their side of the court.
  • The game starts with 1 participant sending the ball (e.g., tennis ball, foam tennis ball, wiffle ball, beach ball, soft-skinned ball) underhand onto their partner’s side of the court.
  • Participants who receive the ball let it bounce once before catching it and sending it back. Participants may also choose to allow 2 or more bounces before catching.
  • Participants work together to maintain a rally and receive a point each time the ball is successfully sent and received between partners. Participants keep track of their points.
  • If a participant tosses the ball outside their partner’s area, or if a ball bounces too many times before being caught, the pair restarts the 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 pairs share their variations and select another variation to try with their pair.

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 send the ball to help your partner be successful at receiving it?
  • What is the best location to send the ball in order to help your partner successfully receive it?
  • When receiving the ball, how do 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?


  • Have pairs play with another pair, with participants alternating sending and receiving the ball.
  • Play from a kneeling or seated position.
  • Add a time challenge (e.g., try to send/receive a certain number of times in a set time frame).
  • Use a striking implement to send and receive the ball (e.g., foam racket) or a hand as a paddle.
  • Put up a net to divide the court (e.g., badminton net, skipping rope tied around 2 large pylons) for participants to send the object over the net.