CROSSNET: The Game Your PE Class Needs

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If you haven’t seen the viral four-way volleyball game on your social media yet, stop what you’re doing and go check out the video below.

After seeing some of the videos, I picked up CROSSNET for my students, and it has elevated our 4-square games (literally)! My students love it! It’s a volleyball game, but can also be used to practice throwing, catching, and introductory volleyball skills at the elementary level. CROSSNET is an amazing way to keep my 2nd-6th graders entertained during our volleyball unit while enjoying the crisp fall New England weather.

Easy Set-Up Information:

  • We set up 3 nets in our outdoor quad. Each net is about 13’L x 13’W.
  • Each net requires anywhere from 5-10 minutes to set up.
  • The height of the net is adjustable for men’s, women’s, and children’s play.
  • The set includes a travel backpack that allows for easy breakdown and storage.

2nd Grade Throwing and Catching:

I’m currently working on basic skills, such as throwing and catching, with my 2nd graders. The four-way volleyball net is for unpredictability and keeping students engaged. CROSSNET features a four-way grid (a new twist on old school four-square) with a player in each of the quadrants. I then have the student in the fourth square throw the ball diagonally to the player in the second square—where they then return the ball within seconds to the players in the other square while avoiding the net. If a student makes a mistake, they leave their square and join another game on one of the other nets. Players rotate in and out, taking turns working on throwing and catching. This was a great way to get kids active and moving the entire class period, while also working on important skills.

4th Grade Volleyball:

For my 4th grade students, I love using CROSSNET to teach more technical skills such as serving, returning, setting, and spiking. Rather than players throwing and catching the ball, the player in the fourth square serves it from out-of-bounds with either an underhand or overhead serve to the player in the second square. From there, players return the ball to any square, and the rallies get intense! Players can keep the ball alive with their hands, head, and feet which is a direct tie-in with our hand-eye coordination unit. The combination of four-square and volleyball rules keeps students excited for hours.

One thing I’ve noticed is that my students see more success since they are able to keep the ball under control the entire time. When I play volleyball using the full court in my gym, it’s hard for students to get more than one or two hits in without losing control. Most of my students stand around the entire time, while only a few participate. This small-sided game keeps ALL my students active and engaged the entire time.

CROSSNET Modification:

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The CROSSNET pack comes with a volleyball, but I’ve had a lot of luck with Gopher’s Biggie! Volleyball. This oversized ball (twice the size of an official volleyball) is lighter, travels slower, and is heavy enough to play with outside. My younger students love this ball!

I’m also beyond excited to use CROSSNET at our upcoming field day! Students always love playing the newest games I bring in, and CROSSNET has quickly become the most frequently requested game at our school.

I am looking forward to seeing our middle school volleyball team use their upcoming indoor model for training purposes.

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