Participants learn about and practise sending/receiving a ball to/from a wall with a partner to complete a rally.
- Primary (Ages 6-9)
- Junior (Ages 10-12)
Materials and Equipment
- 1 ball per pair
Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Identify a line a safe distance from the wall that the ball must cross to be played. Players are not to attempt playing a ball that is between the line and the wall. Provide a safe distance between activities.
- Divide participants into pairs.
- Participants select an activity area that includes wall space.
- To prevent participants from coming too close to the wall and injuring themselves, draw a line a safe distance from the wall where the ball is to be considered “in play.” Any ball between the line and the wall is considered “out” and out of play.
- Participants begin by bouncing the ball off the wall for their partner to catch using an underhand throw.
- When their partner catches the ball, they bounce the ball off the wall back to their partner.
- Partners continue to throw the ball back and forth to each other against the wall.
- Each pair counts how many times they can throw and catch the ball without dropping it.
- Once the ball drops, pairs are encouraged to start again and try to improve 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 where the best location is to send the ball on the wall to help your partner be successful at receiving the ball. When receiving the ball, what should your body look like and where should you position yourself?
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:
- Decrease the size of the playing area.
- Allow one to two bounces before receiving the ball.
- Choose the object they want to send (e.g., beach ball, large playground ball).
- Increase the number of participants in the group.
To increase the challenge, participants could:
- Play two versus two, with participants on the same group alternating hits but still trying to keep a rally.
- Change the manipulation to kicking, or using a racquet.
- Increase the size of the activity area.
- Modify the hitting techniques (e.g., use only non-dominant hand).
- Change the ball to a smaller object (e.g., tennis ball, wiffle ball).
- Play over a net instead of playing against a wall.
Pause for Learning
Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies. 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 to/from a wall with a participant to create a rally (e.g., sending the ball to the wall with a force that is not too hard and not too soft; making sure that the ball is easy for your partner to receive)
- Applying appropriate skills to be proficient at sending/receiving an object to/from a wall and into a designated space (e.g., executing shot placement, making it easy for your partner to receive the ball)
- Making decisions on how to respond to the ball bouncing off the wall (e.g., moving quickly to receive the ball to prevent the rally from ending)
- Appreciating the other participant's level of play, and showing respect to her or him and the game (e.g., providing constructive feedback to help a partner be successful at keeping a rally; listening to suggestions from a partner to create a successful rally)
Critical & Creative Thinking Skills
- Applying problem-solving skills (e.g., deciding how to send the object to a wall and into a designated space for it to be received and to create a rally)