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Name of Activity:
Quick Serve Tennis
Purpose of Activity:To introduce the basic play of tennis without the requirements of serving into the service box.
Prerequisites:Students must have practiced the basics of forehand and backhand stroke and their corresponding grips. Students also need to be introduced to the rules of tennis prior to participating in this lead up game.
Suggested Grade Level:9-12
Materials Needed:Tennis courts or gym floor with a modified net. 8-10 tennis balls per court and 4 rackets per court. Set up as many courts as possible.
Description of Idea
Quick serve tennis is a fast paced game used to introduce the basic play of tennis without the requiremnts of serving into the service box. Particular emphasis should be placed on the pace of play and the players being ready for balls put in play.
*The game is played as a doubles game with two players performing as teammates on each side of the net.
*4-5 tennis balls are placed at the net on each side.
*In order to score, the team must have been the serving team.
*Play begins by a pre-determined team running up to the net, picking up one of the balls, and hitting it with one bounce landing in front of their opponents.
*If the serve doesn't bounce in front of the receiving team, the serve is replayed with no penalty.
*Once the serve is in play, the rules of tennis apply and the point is played out.
*Once the point is completed, the team that won the point sprints to the net, picks up a ball and play begins again.
*The players do not need to chase the balls because it slows down play. Have the other students, who are waiting to play, retrieve the balls and put them back in the bucket. Note that a ball must be picked-up from the bucket before it is served.
*If the serving team wins the point, they score a point.
*If the receiving team wins the point, they are now the server, but no point is awarded (much like a side out in volleyball).
As students progress in skill, you will see longer rallies, creative strategies and communication between teammates. As this occurs, it would be appropriate to begin regulation tennis play.
Play it as a round-robin tournament.
Play it like "work-up", winners move up a court, the non-winners move down a court.
After each game, partners switch, so with every new game, there are new teams.
Play singles on a smaller court.
Give each team 2 minutes between games to discuss their strategy and make any changes before the next game.
The instructor can determine the winning score based on the number of students in the class and the available courts. Be advised that most games will be completed in a short period of time so 5 points would be a good baseline number.
Students will enjoy this game as a lead up to regular tennis. Less skilled students will have opportunities for success due to a reduced need for precise shots and and easier serve to return. Students will learn the value of being prepared at all times.
Time the first day of rallies then time the last day of rallies to determine if the time increased.