email this idea to a friend Export to pdf Export to doc

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.


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:


Materials Needed:

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.

Assessment Ideas:

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.

Submitted by Chris Dulavitch who teaches at West Jefferson Hills School District in Pittsburgh, PA. Additional authors for this idea were None. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 12/16/2010.
Viewed 56176 times since 12/9/2010.

| More

Knee Ping Pong

Post a Comment:

Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:


this game is very interesting all of my gym hour they got a little bored towards the end

Search for lesson ideas