Swingball Directions

Updated February 21, 2017

Swingball is similar to tetherball: two players stand either side of a pole and pass a ball back and forth. However, whereas in tetherball the ball is passed between hands, players of swingball use rackets. It is popular with children and adults alike, as it is simple to play and requires relatively little skill compared to tennis. Check that you know the directions before you get started.

Stand opposite your opponent on either side of the swingball post. Choose who goes first by flipping a coin.

Confirm the score at which you will declare a winner. For example, announce "the first player to get 20 wins." Agree on this with your opponent.

Serve the ball. The server hits the ball using the centre of the racket, either clockwise or counter-clockwise around the pole. Either way, an underarm stroke must be used.

Wait for the ball to be returned to the server. The server cannot hit the ball again, until the second player hits the ball back.

Score a point every time you hit the ball so that the rope wraps itself around the post. This means your opponent has failed to react and return the ball. Consequently, you receive a point.

Swap the server each round to maintain a fair balance. Performing a good serve is advantageous, so take turns doing it.


Touching the rope or ball with your hand, arm or leg is forbidden during a game of swingball. A player cannot hit the swingball twice in a row. Repeat a point if neither player can agree on the outcome of the point.

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About the Author

Based in Bristol, Philippa Jones has been a music journalist and script writer since 2007, working across a range of radio programs in the U.K. and Australia. Her articles have appeared in "Impact Magazine," "The Mic" and in local newspapers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of Nottingham.