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Volleyball Games for Kids: Integrating 6 Volleyball PE Games into Physical Education Lessons

For physical education teachers, volleyball lead-up games can be the perfect opportunity to get students excited and engaged in their learning. Adding these small and large-group games into your lesson plans can be a great way to keep students on task and motivated. Volleyball lead-up games aren't just highly engaging, they can also enhance a student's volleyball skill development while still maintaining the element of fun in the lesson. These games can help break up the monotony of volleyball drills and get students practicing and thinking in game-like situations.


6 Awesome Games for Volleyball: How to Incorporate them in Your Physical Education Classes

Pics by Jared Carder @jcarder87


In this blog post I will discuss the benefits of adding volleyball lead-up games into your PE program and provide tips for implementing the games in a typical volleyball PE lesson. I will also highlight 6 solid net-based games that are great for physical education classes. Let's get volleying!

 

Why should I incorporate volleyball games into my PE lessons?

  • Volleyball is an interactive and engaging game that encourages teamwork and collaboration among students.

  • It helps teach coordination and agility, which are essential skills for any physical educator to impart.

Pics by Lines PE Teachers @LINES_PE

  • Students can practice their skills in a competitive and fun environment, making them more likely to stay engaged with the material being taught in class.

  • Volleyball games provide an opportunity for students to work together while facing challenging opponents and situations that require problem solving and quick reflexes.

  • Students can practice strategizing by discussing offensive tactics, defensive strategies, positioning of players, reading their opponent's movements, using correct body form when serving the ball etc., all of which will help them think critically about game play overall.


Pic by Middleton Physical Education @DMcWherterPE

  • Because it’s often played outdoors, volleyball provides an excellent opportunity for kids to get out of the building and get some fresh air!

  • Finally, it's just plain fun! With its fast pace and exciting rallies, volleyball is an awesome way to get kids moving -and having fun at the same time!

Furthermore, the highlighted PE volleyball games in this blog post perfectly align with SHAPE America Standard 2 that states: The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.*



 

What are some tips for implementing volleyball lead-up games into physical education


1 - Ensure the court or playing area is marked properly with enough space for all players to move around freely.


2 - Adapt the rules of the game to fit different sized groups or classes, if needed.


3 - Prior to implementing the lead-up games, discuss and incorporate basic drills and stations that build on fundamental skills such as setting, bumping and serving.


Volleyball Skills Visual

4 - Invite a few select students to come forward and show the class (or small groups) how to execute the activity prior to officially beginning.


5 - Encourage teamwork by having participants work together in pairs or small groups throughout certain lead-up games–this can help draw out different strengths from each individual student!


Pics by Jared Carder @jcarder87


6 - Make sure to have clear objectives as well as rules in place before starting any volleyball lead-ups; this helps keep everyone organized and focused on the task at hand!


7 - Familiarize students with key volleyball terms early on in the unit.


Volleyball Terms Visual


With these tips in mind, PE teachers and volleyball coaches should have no trouble introducing fun volleyball games to their classes. There’s no better way to get kids moving and having fun! So grab a volleyball or a beach ball and let the games begin!

 


6 Volleyball Games to Use in Your PE Class


Since we're aware of the fundamental role that lead-up games play in volleyball, and have gained several helpful insights on how to incorporate them, here are six distinct game experiences you can utilize during your PE lessons.


1. Small Court Volleyball


Overview

  • Small sided teams of 3 or 4 students play warm up games over a net on a small court attempting to have the ball hit their opponent’s floor within their lined boundaries

Skill Focus: bumping, setting, and serving


Equipment

  • 1 volleyball, volleyball trainer or beach ball per playing group

  • 2 poles/small standards per playing group (small volleyball court)

  • Every four to eight students should have their own individual, small net attached to a pole (or two students can hold it)

  • Lines or cones are set for court boundaries


Small Court Volleyball Diagram

Game Instructions and Rules

Set up a tennis/badminton type net or string across a line somewhere in a gym, field or blacktop. Break students into teams of 4 or 5. Set the net height at a developmentally appropriate height for the age group of the class. Use cones or lines to set small-sided boundaries

  • The game begins with an overhand throw or underhand serve from the back of a designated team’s small-sided court - The ball must go completely over the net on the serve

  • Each team has up to 5 volleys to return the ball over the net- using sets and bumps

  • If, on your side of the court, either a ball touches the ground or is "hit out" by any player from your team's end, it will be scored as a point for the opposition side or cause you to lose serve if you are the serving team

  • All balls that intersect a court boundary line are considered "in bounds" and counted as legal strikes

  • Players may not hit the ball 2 times “in succession” and may not touch the net

  • Extra players can be used to hold the net and can rotate in the game from the side

  • Games go to 5-11 points (must win by 2 points) and teams can switch courts after games - If a team wins, the losing team moves off the court and a new team comes in


2. Beach Ball Volleyball Game


Overview

Great for Inexperienced players - A large beach ball, or multiple beach balls are used to play modified volleyball games utilizing a net and a court.


Skill Focus: serving, bumping, tracking, coordination & agility

Equipment

  • One or more 16” or 20” Beach balls per playing group (per net)

  • 2 standards and 1 large net per playing group- Appropriately adjust the net's height based on your classes developmental level

  • Lines or cones set for court boundaries

Beach Ball Volleyball Game Diagram

Game Instructions and Rules

The game is played with teams of 6 - 9 players on each side (other players can rotate in from the side). Set up 2 standards, 1 net and a court on either side of the net (as in a regular game)- Set the net height at a developmentally appropriate height for the age group of the class Multiple games can take place around the gym/blacktop/field at one time.

  • The game begins with an underhand volley type serve from a line somewhere around mid-court. Students that struggle with serving can throw the ball over the net for their serve

  • Serves can be helped over the net by fellow teammates with a set or bump

  • When passing the beach ball over the net, a team can hit it an infinite amount of times; however, one individual may not make back to back hits

  • If a player on a team causes the ball to go out of bounds or a team does not return the ball over the net, the other team is given 1 point

  • Students must stay within their designated area and rotate around the court either by row or through a "scramble" pattern in order to maximize playing potential



3. Volley Bounce

Overview

Students follow established volleyball rules and rotations as they volley a ball back and forth over a lowered net, while adhering to a one bounce rule that allows for only one contact with the ground between each hit.


Skill Focus: serving, bumping, setting, tracking, & agility


Equipment

  • 1 volleyball, volleyball trainer or large bouncy foam ball per playing group - per net

  • Every group should be equipped with two standards and one large net, set up at a height of about four feet

  • Lines or cones set for court boundaries


Volley Bounce Diagram

Game Instructions and Rules

The game is played with teams of 9 players on each side (other players can rotate in from the side). Set up 2 standards, 1 net and a court on either side of the net- Set the net lower than usual- around 4 feet high off the ground. Multiple games can take place around the gym/blacktop/field at one time.

  • The game begins with an underhand volley type serve from the back right corner into the other teams court- When serving the ball, it must sail over the net without touching it in order for a point to count. Students that struggle with serving can throw the ball to serve

  • During the game, the ball is permitted to make one bounce on the floor before it can be bumped, set, dug or saved with a shot and sent back over the net

  • Teams have three opportunities to hit the ball across the net for a successful return.

  • If the ball touches the floor twice consecutively on one side before it can be hit by your team, or if it goes out of bounds from anyone’s hands and cannot be retrieved after a single bounce, then you will either lose serve to the other team or they are awarded with a point

  • Students should move freely within their designated court area and shift positions regularly to maximize skill development


4. Cooperative Volleyball


Overview

  • Two teams collaborate with the same ambition - to pass a volleyball or beach ball back and forth from one side of the net to the other, keeping it airborne as long as possible. Helps to work on ball control.

Skill Focus: serving, bumping, setting, teamwork, & coordination

Equipment

  • 1 volleyball, volleyball trainer or beach ball for each playing group - per net

  • 2 standards and 1 large net per playing group- Tailor the net's height according to your students' developmental level for an effective learning experience

  • Lines or cones set for court boundaries


Cooperative Volleyball Diagram

Game Instructions and Rules

Teams of 6-9 players can compete on each side in this volleyball passing game and extra players may take turns entering from the sidelines. Set up 2 standards, 1 net and a court on either side of the net- Set the net height at a developmentally appropriate height for the age group of the class. Simultaneously, several games can be played in your learning area.

  • This is a cooperative game with 2 teams working together for a common purpose

  • To kick off the game, players must execute an underhand volley serve from a line situated at mid-court. Struggling servers can even opt to simply throw the ball instead of serving it!

  • Serves can be “helped” over the net by fellow teammates

  • As long as the ball remains on one side of the net, players can continue to hit it an unlimited number of times. But each player is only allowed to strike the ball once in succession before passing it over the net

  • Each time a player makes a hit (serve, set, bump, dig or save), OVER THE NET the entire groups shouts out that number

  • When a mistake or infringement has been committed by either side, the players must cease counting

  • The ultimate aim is to surpass the previous best score every round!


5. Four Court Volleyball


Overview

Teams strive to serve, pass, set and dig a ball in an effort to hit it over the net into one of three courts arranged in a 4-way volleyball system.


Skill Focus: serving, bumping, setting, spiking, blocking, tracking, & agility


Equipment

  • 1 volleyball, volleyball trainer or beach ball for each playing group - per net

  • 2 standards and 1 large net per playing group- Tailor the net's height according to your students' developmental level for an effective learning experience

  • Court boundaries are clearly defined by either lines or cones


Four Court Volleyball

Game Instructions and Rules

Groups of 6-9 people can compete on each side in this game, with additional players allowed to take turns joining the action from the sidelines. To maximize learning, set up two standards and a net in the center between them in various places in the gym or outside. Adjust the height of the net to fit your students' developmental stage. With this setup, you can facilitate multiple games at once for your learners!

  • The game begins with a thrown or underhand striking serve from the back of a designated team’s other court- The ball must go completely over the net on the serve to any of the other 3 courts

  • In order to abide by the basic rules of volleyball, you must either hit the ball before it touches your court's ground or ensure that it crosses over into one of your opponent's courts in bounds

  • When a player or team causes the ball to go out of bounds, or fails to return the ball over the net, they are awarded 1 point in this reverse scoring system

  • The team that earns the lowest score at the end of the designated playing time, is declared the winner- teams can rotate to another court after a set time or when a game is over


Video by Mrs. Hochman (& Mr. Ramlow) @CopelandD70PE


6. Surprise Volleyball

Overview

Teams serve, bump and set a ball across the covered net in an attempt to outplay their opponents while preventing it from touching the floor within their court


Skill Focus: serving, bumping, setting, blocking, tracking, & agility


Equipment

  • 1 volleyball, volleyball trainer or beach ball for each playing group - per net

  • 2 standards and 1 large net per playing group- Adjust the net to an appropriate height that corresponds with your students’ age and capabilities for a successful learning experience

  • 1 to 3 sheets or parachutes to lay over a volleyball net


Surprise Volleyball

Game Instructions and Rules

Up to nine people on each side can join in on the fun at once and battle it out, with more teammates allowed to rotate in from the sidelines. Set up two standards and a net in the center between them in various places throughout your the gym or in an appropriate space outside. Adjust the height of the net to fit your students' developmental stage. Cover the net with some items such as a parachutes, bed sheets, blankets, etc.

  • To start the game, a player from one team must throw or hit an underhand serve to the other court at the back of their opponents' side

  • Each team has unlimited volleys to return the ball over the net- sets, bumps, saves, and digs

  • The ball is hidden from view until it rises over the net, as the sheet or parachute temporarily obstructs each team's visibility

  • If the ball falls to your court or is driven out of bounds from anyone's hands on your team, it'll be a point for the other side or else result in a "loss of serve" for you

  • Players may not hit the ball 2 times “in succession” and may not touch the net

  • In order to win a game, teams must score at least 15 points and lead by two or more points. After each match is over, both teams will switch courts for the next one

Pics by Stephanie Weber @MrsWeber_PE

 

Final thoughts

Adding variety to volleyball games in physical education classes is an outstanding way for students to remain engaged and for them to cultivate a multitude of skills. The games highlighted above are not only fun, but also provide a variety of opportunities for learning different aspects of the sport like serving, bumping, setting, blocking, spiking, tracking, agility, hand-eye coordination and teamwork.

Beyond what has been presented here, there's a multitude of alternatives to explore and discover. Don't be afraid to mix up the games, add your own twist and explore different strategies that can help improve students’ physical literacy and boost their overall motor development. Challenge yourself to find more games for volleyball and make your physical education classes even more fun and educational!

Good luck and happy volleying!!!

Do you have any games for volleyball that you'd like to share? Let us all know in the comments below! Everyone in the PE world would love to hear from you!

 

Need some FREE physical education games?


Do you need some FUN games for your physical education program that include detailed instructions and play diagrams? Cap'n Pete's Power PE has you covered!

Need some FREE physical education games?

Fill in the form below to download the FREE Physical Education Games Packet- 18 Game Set to use in your PE program! Inside this package are 18 fun and exciting PE games for students, designed for a wide range of ages.


This set is a PDF digital download that includes selected games (3 from each) from the following sets from Cap’n Pete’s PE Games Super Bundle.


1. PE Base Games, 2. PE Basketball Games, 3. PE Soccer Games, 4. PE Volleyball/Net Games, 5. PE Disc Games, and 6. PE Small Group Multi-skill Games

 

If you're looking for a ton of PE Games that are ideal for large, medium or small-sized groups, check out Cap'n Pete's PE Games: Super Bundle- Basketball, Soccer, Net, Disc, Base & Small Group Games.


PE Games: Super Bundle- Basketball, Soccer, Net, Disc, Base & Small Group Games.

This Super Bundle includes 150 games from 6 PE game sets that originate from the following resources: PE Base Games, PE Basketball Games, PE Soccer Games, PE Volleyball and Net Games, PE Disc Games, and PE Small Group Multi-Skill Games. Each set has 25 top-rated games that can be used by PE and classroom teachers to teach skills and keep students HAPPY and ACTIVE!!!


You can download them from either of the following platforms: Cap'n Pete's Power PE Website or Teachers Pay Teachers- Cap'n Pete's TPT Store