I am always on the hunt for new games and ideas to play during this pandemic. So I present to you, Soccer Tennis! This game is perfect. You can stay 6 feet apart and enjoy this outdoors or indoors. Even when the virus is over, you can still continue to enjoy this game. Soccer Tennis is a great game to teach skill development and work on the skills needed to play in an actual game of soccer. You can practice headers and work on your touch of the ball. We have been doing soccer clinics, but a great way to set up a tournament with your participants, and see who can be the champion. Break it up by age groups, and have fun making this into a competition. Clinics and skill development is fun, but for the competitors this game should satisfy their craving. So how do your play Soccer Tennis?
1.Put two players on each side, much like a doubles tennis match. You can also play 1 v 1. Adjust rules as needed.
2. One player from Team A “serves” the soccer ball to the other side. Once it goes over the net, Team B has, at most, three touches and one bounce to return the ball back to Team A’s side of the court. Team A, then, has three touches and one bounce to keep the rally going. The bounce can come at any point during the return. So if Team B chooses to let the ball bounce before touching it, they will then have three touches to get it over the net without letting it bounce again. Or, Team B can volley Team A’s serve before it bounces, which means they will then have two more touches and a bounce to get it back to the other side.
3. There is no need to alternate touches between teammates, as they’re required to do in volleyball. If one player from Team B lets the serve bounce, then touches it three times without a teammate’s help and gets it back over the net, it is a legal play. However, participation by everyone is encouraged and helpful toward winning a match.
4. Beginners (and those getting used to the concept of the game) should play more defensively, basically making sure they can collect the ball within the rules and get it back to the other side. Once players become more skilled and comfortable, however, they can start playing strategically. For example, Team B can try to return a serve by dropping it behind the Team A players, so long as it stays within the boundaries. A skilled player on Team B can try to kick it (or head it) at a player on Team A, which would put the Team A player in an uncomfortable position of needing to both avoid the ball and return it.
5. Scoring can be structured depending on how much time you have, but the new method of volleyball rally scoring is usually the most exciting–that is, each rally results in a point by one of the teams. As with tennis and volleyball rules, the team that fails to place the ball in the other team’s in-bounds area loses the point.
You can buy the Soccer Tennis net from several vendors. I featured https://www.kwikgoal.com/product/16B6/All-Surface-Soccer-Tennis which is $120. There are a variety of vendors you can purchase from at different price points. You can create your boundaries using field paint, or markers. Depends on your space, budget, etc…
I have added this game to the Resource Zone on my website. Enjoy and stay safe!