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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: No Racket Tennis
Purpose of Activity:
To teach scoring and positioning of players on a tennis court during a game of tennis
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
Tennis courts and 1-2 tennis balls per court
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

Before doing this activity make sure to spend time in the classroom on scoring and court positioning in a tennis match.

This activity allows students to play a tennis game just like if they had rackets, but they aren't allowed to have rackets. Arrange the students on each court with a doubles team on each side. The game begins with a serve, but the server throws the ball over the net into the proper service box using an overhand throwing motion. The returning team must catch the ball with their hands and while standing in their own self space they throw the ball using an underhand throwing motion back over the net. Underhand throws are exchanged for the rest of the point. The ball must hit inside the court where the other team must now catch the ball (either in the air as in a volley or after it bounces once) and return it. This will continue until one team scores a point.

A point is awarded when the ball does not hit within the court or the ball is dropped by the team catching it, or it bounces twice on the court. You can even alter this scoring system more for those classes/players that don't throw and catch very well. This can be done by allowing two bounces or changing the size and type of ball.

The score is then called out (i.e.,15/Love, 30/15, etc.) and the server now changes sides of the court. The game is played just like a tennis match. Teams change sides of the court after odd games. Play as many sets as you want in the time allowed.

NOTE: The game worked really well and taught the players the movements on the court during a game. I found that the less skilled players perferred playing this game more than the real game of tennis. (The "lower skilled" players could play a game and have some success).

Teaching Suggestions:

Only allow overhand throws on the serve! Underhand throws should be used for the volleys thereafter

Encourage students to use medium speed throws on the serve

Do not allow students to dive for balls--they must stay on their feet at all times

Give feedback about court positioning and scoring throughout the lesson
John Trott who teaches at Atlee High School in Mechanicsville, VA. Posted on PEC: 8/29/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
Products for This Lesson: