Swing Ball / Tether Tennis

  Swing Ball also known as Tether Tennis, combines the popular outdoor games of tetherball and tennis into a fun-to-play game that doesn't send balls flying all over the yard.

Players take turns striking the ball to swing it in opposite directions, and the ball moves up and down a spiral slider during play. Getting the ball to the top or bottom ends the game and the player striking in this direction wins.


1 vs. 1.


Short / Medium / Long

Game of Skill.


Tether Tennis was invented in England in about 1880; possibly by a certain “Mr. Lehmann, of Oxford University.”

The new game had one great advantage over regular tennis; it eliminated the hassle of chasing down balls as explained by an article in the New York Sun in 1881: “A new game called tether ball met with approval in England last year, and promises to be a favorite this season.

The court is similar to that of lawn tennis, and the players number either two or four. Instead of a net, a pole in the centre, ten feet high, is used, to the top of which is attached an elastic cord sufficiently long to allow the rubber ball at the other end to swing clear of the ground.

Racket bats are used, and the elastic tethering or fastening of the ball corrects a great fault of lawn tennis, in which time and temper are lost in recovering over shots”.The Sun (New York), March 28, 1881, page 1.

Various accounts of the game referred to tetherball as a, “new game,” in America in 1897, 1901, 1905, 1911, and 1915. The continued “newness” of the game may stem from the fact that it was apparently not widely adopted until after 1899.

Game Setup and Rules

Two players are allowed to play in a game of swingball.

Like in tetherball, players stand on opposite sides of the pole and aren't allowed to move from their positions.

A player serves the ball underhand in either direction of the other player. Once a direction is chosen, that is the direction the ball needs to go until the next serve.


There are several penalties in the game of swingball. Some of them include stepping offsides, touching the rope and double hitting. A player may hit the ball only once each time it wraps around the pole. However, if the ball hits the pole in between, the player may hit the ball after it has hit the pole. If a player causes a violation, the ball is stopped, wrapped around the pole where the violation began and given to the other player to serve. If a player grabs a pole, that player loses the game automatically. If both players cause a violation, a ball drop is introduced. Both players have one hand on the ball, raise it three feet away from the pole and drop it towards the pole. Once the ball hits the pole, then both players are able to hit the ball.

Included in the Kit:

1 x Swing Ball Set