Table Ball PE Game Idea 23




14" (0.36 m) to 24" (0.61 m)

Age group

8 years old and +


12-30 participants



Activity Type



Table Ball
Table Ball


Participants are placed into groups of three at each table. Two players face off across the table from one another. The extra player stands near the table and is also the judge.

When a player makes a mistake, they switch places with the judge, like king or queen of the court style play. The winning player stays and is called the “expert.”

The player that rotates in is known as the non-expert. The non-expert rolls the ball (serves) first.


Strike the ball back onto the table after it bounces on the floor one time.

How the game is played

The game starts with a gentle ball roll “serve” across the table to the expert who then lets the ball bounce on the floor only once then hits the ball back onto the table. The opponent must strike it with an open palm (1 or 2 hands) back onto the table. The ball can hit the table an infinite amount of times, but can only hit the hands and floor once.

The ball can bounce onto any side after the serve, and players can move around the table as needed. If a player lets the ball bounce twice on the floor, throws the ball (an underhand scoop is fine), catches the ball. serves it with bouncing, or misses the table on their hit they lose the round.

The judge breaks any disagreements. If the judge didn’t see what happened, then players perform rock-paper-scissors to a judgement.

Note: Edge-Hits. The most complex rule is the same edge rule. You’re allowed to hit any edge of the table except for the one you’re closest to. If the ball bounces back to you , you lose the point.


  • Only strike the ball using one hand
  • Catch ball on bounce and underhand toss back on table instead of striking the ball
  • Play 2 on 2

Teaching tips

It’s important to remember “Table, Floor, Hands, Table, Floor, Hands, etc”. Additionally, teaching participants to strike ball with open hands instead of only one may increase success. Position yourself where the ball will be after it bounces one time.

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