Tennis: The Four-Second Game for Physical Education Class

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

1. Challenger Hits a Winner
1. Challenger Hits a Winner

The Four-Second Game is a group contest that involves three to seven students. It forces players to recognize when they've made a good shot and have the opponent at a disadvantage. It provides acknowledgement for those who have made a good play and also improves your students' court-speed and fitness.

How to Play
The “Champ” stands on one court, racquet in hand.  The other players involved in the game—the “Challengers”—line up behind the opposite baseline.

Challenger #1 (from the front of the line) hits the ball over net to initiate play with the Champ. They then play out the point. If Challenger #1 wins the point, he has four seconds—counted out loud by the teacher—to sprint to the other side and replace the Champ.  The old Champ runs to the back of the line.

2. Then Sprints Around the Net to Replace the Champ
2. Then Sprints Around the Net to Replace the Champ

Challengers who don't win a point move directly to the back of line.

As soon as a new Challenger reaches the front of the line, he hits the ball across the net—unless the previous Challenger made a successful shot (and is running around the net). In that case, the Challenger has to wait for the count of “four” to hit the ball.

The new Champ's reign will be short-lived if he doesn't get to the other side within four seconds, ?because the Challenger will be hitting his ball after four seconds.

Safety Warning
Be sure nobody attempts to jump the net in an attempt to get
to the other side.

Reference: Bruce Gullikson, Drills and Games for High Performance Tennis. Championship Productions, DVD, 2007

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