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Name of Activity:
Doubles Tennis Baseball
Purpose of Activity:This is an alternative way for students to practice accuracy of their tennis strokes. The purpose is to hit the ball away from your opponents, but within the lines.
Prerequisites:They should already be able to perform forehand or backhand stroke while hitting a ball.
Suggested Grade Level:6-8
Materials Needed:Tennis courts with the appropriate lines or teacher designed courts including lines, 2-4 tennis balls per court, 1 tennis racquet per court.
Description of Idea
1. At each court there should be 4 students (2 on each side of the net), 1 racket and 1 ball.
2. Team A is the offensive team, with the racquet.
3. Team B is the fielding team, with the ball.
4. The student with the racquet stands between the service line and the baseline. His/Her teammate stands behind the baseline,and acts as a catcher.
5. The students on the fielding team stand on the opposite side of the net. It would be good to have the defense spread out so they can cover the entire court.
6. The pitcher, from the defensive team, tosses the ball so that it bounces in front of the batter. The batter hits a groundstroke over the net. The fielders try to catch the ball before it bounces.
7. It is an out if:
The batter doesn't hit the ball over the net.
The ball does not fall within the tennis court lines.
The fielding team catches the ball before it bounces.
8. The offense scores a run when the ball bounces within the tennis court lines, on the other side of the net.
9. Switch offense and defense after 3 outs or use a 3-pitch limit rule. (Each batter receives 3 pitches, then they rotate regardless of the outcome).
You can make the game more challenging by awarding extra points (runs) if:
a. The ball bounces in the alley.
b. The ball bounces behind the service line.
c. The batter uses backhand stroke to hit the ball.
Use a written response or a verbal discussion on the topic of hitting a ball accurately. One of the main objectives in tennis is to hit the ball away from the opponents, so the opponent has difficulty returning the ball.
Questions to be addressed:
1. Where do you want to hit the ball during a tennis game?
2. What is likely to happen when you hit the ball directly at your opponent?
3. What is likely to happen when you hit the ball away from your opponent?
4. Is it more likely that your team will score a point if you hit the ball directly at your opponents or if you hit the ball away from your opponents?
When offense and defense are switching, have the students stay on their side of the court and exchange equipment only.
Observe each game and encourage the students to use proper form, ready position, racquet back, contact on the sweetspot, follow through, etc. Also, remind them to hit the ball away from their opponents.
Use a different kind of ball, a larger ball, or a less bouncy ball.
To make it more challenging, use a multi-sided ball.
Use a variety of striking implements, such as an oversized plastic tennis racquet, or 2-handed square paddle.
Change the court dimensions to suit the needs of the students.
The batter may stand closer to the net.
The pitcher may stand closer and toss the ball softer.
The batter may self-toss the ball and hit it.