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Kings/Queens Court


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A racquet sports game for grades 3-6.  
Submitted by Sue Hartzell, Duluth, Minnesota.


Background: Kings/Queens Court Tournament is a very easy tournament format that we have adapted to use with all the racquet sports such as badminton or pickleball. The kids catch on very quickly and there is very little time wasted in changing courts. We do not record winners or scores. The kids just move to the next court and start playing another team.

For example, our gym has six courts. We use a deck of cards to originally set-up who goes where. We use both red (hearts and diamonds) and black (spades and clubs) cards. If we have eight teams, we use the Ace to 8 of hearts/diamonds and Ace to 8 of spades/clubs. We have the girls pick from the red suits and the boys pick from the black suits. That way the teams are coed. The players who have selected the aces go to court #1 with the hearts and spades versus the diamonds and clubs. Players who have selected the 2′s go to court #2, and so on.

Teams 7 & 8 are either subs or doing another activity such as yoyos or juggling while they wait their turn to play. We usually play 5-7 minutes. Court #1 is the King/Queen court. If you win on this court, you stay. If you lose here, you go to the extra area and do an individual activity.

Winners on all the other courts move up one court. Losers stay on the courts they are on. Team #7 comes in to Court #6 to start playing there. On the next rotation Team 8 comes in.

The kids start playing very quickly as they know time is very limited and they want to advance. When we start play the next day, I have them go to the court they were on the previous day and then rotate. Kids get lots of playing time and there is always a new team to challenge them, especially if they are on Court #1 (Kings/Queens Court).

Variations: Here are a few modification for you to consider.

1. Have the kids pick any color card. When I do this I just lay the cards on the floor. There is no switching cards.

2. Switch and have Court #6 to be the Kings/Queens Court.

3. After a couple days of playing, divide the gym in half and only have three courts on each side. Have all the teams that have lost more games than they have won go to one side of the gym and those who have won more games than they have lost go to the other side of the gym. In this case, we have a King/Queen court on each side of the gym.

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