By: Karl Ely, 2016 Central District Middle School SHAPE America® Teacher of the Year
Happy New Year, P.E. Teachers! I have two games that have been some of my past students’ favorites from the last few years. Feel free to give either of them a try and see how your students like them. They both are unlike any other traditional sport or game.
The game was invented in the 1970s in Switzerland by Hermann Brandt. Brandt wanted a game that could be played by different genders, sizes, and backgrounds, without the risk of serious injury. Doesn’t Rebound Ball sound like a great game for your P.E. class already?
The game is set up with two rebound frames on opposite sides of the playing area. Teams can throw at either rebound frame. The object of the game is for one team to throw a ball off a rebound frame so that it touches the ground before the other team can catch it.
Rebound Ball is unlike any other traditional sport. It is appealing to students of all ability levels, because there is no defense allowed. This aspect allows students to throw and catch freely without any defense in their face, making it difficult to see the court. At the most competitive levels, it is a fast-paced game with lots of spectacular plays. The offense team can throw “alley oops” in attempt to score while the defense dives on the ground trying to catch the rebound.
Because the rules are different than most traditional sports, I suggest not playing the full court version until you have done a few lead up activities. Click here to see some of my go to lead up activities as well as the full court Rebound Ball rules I have used in my P.E. class.
Rebound Ball is a great game to assess students’ throwing and catching abilities (SHAPE America Standard #1 – S1.M2 and S1.M3) because of the no defense rule. All of the students enjoy throwing the ball off the frame because of the sound it makes when it rebounds off the frame and the unpredictability of where the ball might go.
I saw this game first at the University of Kansas during the KAHPERD Convention a few years ago. After playing the whole session, I was hooked. The cool part of this game is that you do not need any special equipment; just a few folding tables and a tennis ball.
It is basically a table tennis game that combines ping pong and four square, for a fast-paced, exciting game that I thought my students would enjoy.
Table Ball is a table tennis game that is played using four tables of any shape or size. Each table is positioned approximately 2-3 feet away from the other tables. The space between the tables are called the “alleys.” After the serve, players are allowed to move freely throughout the “alleys” to gain better position. The game is played in a doubles format. Each player is allowed up to two “hand hits” and one “table bounce” before the ball must returned their opponents tables.
My students really like the four square version of Table Ball because it allows them to be partners with lots of different classmates. My students liked this game so much that I added it to their “choice” time activity that they could do while others are still changing in the locker room.
I like to teach this at the beginning of the semester so that my students can then play it during their “Choice” time. I had one group of students who played it every day for the whole semester. It was great to see them enjoy the activity that they picked to play over pick-up basketball or soccer (SHAPE America Standard #5 – S5.M3.8).
Click here to see how I teach my students the skills they need to play Table Ball.
I hope you find time in your curriculum to give either of these games a try, as my students really enjoy both. Table Ball is a great activity if you don’t have to move to the lunchroom or classroom for a few days. All it takes is a ball and some tables and you are ready to play. Rebound Ball is a great game, as well, and the rebound frames from Sportime are also ideal for practicing throwing and catching with younger students. If you have any questions regarding any of these activities, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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