Tennis Ball Soccer
Participants learn about and practise working as a group to invade another group’s territory and hit a pylon to score a goal, and preventing an opponent from scoring goals.
- Intermediate (Ages 13-15)
- Senior (Ages 16-18)
Materials and Equipment
- Tennis balls (1 per 2 groups)
- Pylons (1 per group)
Inspect the area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries at a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Provide a safe distance between activities. Remind students to be cautious when moving and to be aware of the personal space of others. Remind them there is no body contact involved in this activity.
- Divide participants into small groups (e.g., four to six). Two groups play together in game.
- Participants in each game set up a small activity area and divide the area in half so each group has a side.
- Each group uses a pylon for a goal in the centre of its space.
- Each group tries to score a goal while working together to defend its own goal. There are no goalies.
- To score a goal, a player kicks the tennis ball and hits the other group’s pylon.
- Once a participant has scored, the other group takes possession of the ball.
- The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: Describe one strategy you can apply to keep control of the ball. When your group is in possession of the ball, what can you do to help your group move the ball into the other group’s territory?
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:
- Change the target to a bigger/easier target to hit (e.g., knocking off a soft-skinned ball balanced on a pylon, create a net with two pylons).
- Use rolling or throwing before progressing to kicking the ball so that participants can get used to the structure of the game.
- Choose the object they want to send (e.g., beach ball, rubber chicken, beanbag).
- Have two to three balls being used in the game so that it allows for more movement and chances of scoring.
To increase the challenge, participants could:
- Hold the object for up to three seconds before passing or attempting to hit the target.
- Send the object a different way (e.g., non-dominant foot, using an implement).
- Set up a crease that participants must be behind to score a goal.
- Have more than two groups play each other by utilizing the entire space (e.g., four groups play each other and try to score goals against the other groups while protecting their own goals, which can be set up in different corners of the activity area).
Pause for Learning
Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to help participants work together to invade another group's territory. 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 kick the ball to a group member and/or the pylon
- Applying skills and strategies to be successful in the territory game (e.g., creating offensive space by placing the ball away from defenders and using the full playing area)
- Showing respect for the opponent and working collaboratively to achieve a common goal (e.g., communicating with the group to maintain possession of the ball)
Critical & Creative Thinking Skills
- Analysing and evaluating the plays of the game and making appropriate decisions to adapt to the challenges (e.g., playing a more defensive role when the opponent is consistently invading your territory)