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Name of Activity:
Knee Ping Pong
Purpose of Activity:To teach students the fundamentals of the game of ping pong without having real ping pong tables.
Prerequisites:It is recommended that the students have some practice striking larger balls using their hands or some previous experience using other implements. Prerequisite games include; Four Square, Pickleball, Whiffleball, Volleyball, etc.
Suggested Grade Level:6-8
1) Two different colors of gym floor tape (1" width).
2) Two Ping Pong Paddles per court
3) One Ping Pong Ball per court
4) Two 6" Floor Cones (with a non stick back-easy to slide) per court
5) Two Clothes Pins per court 6) Create a 3' long net using paper that you cut and paste or tape together. I like to use 3 inch high by 3 foot long handwriting paper that the elementary students use to practice their cursive writing on.
Description of Idea
Set up each Knee Ping Pong Court by using the floor tape to mark off a three foot wide by six foot long rectangular area along the gym floor. Use one color floor tape for the two 6' long sidelines and use the second colored floor tape to mark the two 3' backcourt lines. You should now have the proper dimensions to set up your other equipment inside the Knee Ping Pong Table that you taped out on the gym floor.
Create more Knee Ping Pong Tables throughout the gym accomodate for the total number of children that you have in each of your classes.
After marking out the dimensions to each court with floor tape, place two 6" Floor Cones in the middle of each court. Use the two Clothes Pins to fasten the paper net you created to the 6" Floor Cones. Stretch the net width wise across the 3' wide court.
Place one Carpet Square at the baseline of each court. The students will kneel down on the carpet squares while playing Knee Pong on the gym floor. Make sure the carpet squares can move freely. Remind students of the safety issue of sliding on squares.
Give each student one Ping Pong Paddle to play Knee Pong. Give every two students a Ping Pong Ball.
The students will now be able to play an entire class tournament without the use of Ping Pong Tables. All the skills and scoring for a standard Ping Pong game can be used. I like to time each game then have the students rotate partners. The games are up to 21 but if the students have not accumulated 21 points after 5 minutes I rotate them anyways.
The students love this activity. Especially if you create a bracket tournament.
Use Lollipop / foam paddles with bigger surfaces for striking.
Walk around the classroom and check for proper paddle control. Match up students with other students who have similar skills if you are going to play a game. If students need work on paddle control match them up with a higher skilled student to work together to achieve a high score volleying back and forth.