One Bounce

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise sending and receiving a ball with a partner to create a rally.

  • Junior (Ages 10-12)


  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 1 ball per pair


Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Provide a safe distance between activities.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into pairs. Each pair selects a ball.
  • Pairs set up an activity area with a line down the middle so each participant has his or her own side. Use a chalk line, floor tape, or a skipping rope if no lines exist.

Activity Instructions

  • One partner begins by bouncing a ball on his or her own side and then hits the ball with an open palm into the partner’s side.
  • The partner lets the ball bounce once on his or her side and then returns the ball using an open palm.
  • Partners count how many times they can consecutively hit the ball off of one bounce and keep it within their activity area.
  • Encourage participants to play again and try to increase their previous score.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: Describe the best location to send the ball in order to help your partner be successful at receiving the ball. When receiving the ball, how should you position your body?


To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Increase the size of the activity area.
  • Allow two bounces before receiving the ball.
  • Choose the object they want to send and how they want to send it over the net (e.g., underhand throw a beach ball).
  • Catch the ball before returning it to their partner.
  • Play with two participants on each side, so that four participants are working together to maintain a rally.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Modify the hitting techniques (e.g., use only non-dominant hand).
  • Play sitting down or kneeling.
  • Change the ball to a smaller object (e.g. tennis ball, wiffle ball).
  • Use an implement send the ball (e.g., racquet, paddle).
  • Play the game against a wall.
  • Play with a group of two on each side and each group takes turns returning the ball to the opposing group.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to help participants send and receive a ball over a net to create a rally. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness: applying a controlled force to send/receive an object over a net to/from another participant (e.g., sending the ball over the net with a force that is not too hard and not too soft; making sure that the ball is in an optimal position and sent at a speed that makes it easier for the partner to receive)
  • Body awareness: positioning oneself when sending/receiving an object, and the relationship of how the body is moving when sending/receiving an object over a net to/from another participant (e.g., when receiving the ball, standing in the middle of the playing area in a ready position to easily shift forward, back, and side to side)

Movement Strategies

  • Applying appropriate skills to be proficient at sending/receiving an object over a net to/from another participant in a designated space (e.g., having arms and hands out ready to receive the ball)
  • Making quick decisions about what to do to increase chances of success with sending/receiving an object to/from another participant (e.g., anticipating where the ball will go to keep the rally going)