On a recent vacation trip with the family we stayed at a resort with loads of kids’ activities. While we were initially just interested in the pool and slides we quickly founds tons of other games.
One that I remembered playing as a child was tetherball, and my own kids were fascinated by it. It’s such a simple game that even a 3-year old can pick up in a matter of minutes.
So, when I came back, I went and bought a set I saw on offer at a local sports store. Unfortunately, it was quite flimsy and didn’t stand up to some Spalding family beatings for more than a weekend. After some initial tears, I did some more research and found the best tetherball sets based on actual customer reviews.
I needed something that was tough, ideally made with galvanized steel or aluminum to be able to leave it outside. After hours of research, I had my list, and I thought I might as well share it along with a buying guide.
Our Top 7 Best Tetherball Sets Recommendations
From Baden Champions Series Tetherball with quality features to options that have galvanized steel, there is no shortage of choices. With summer fast upon us and park sun sports becoming popular, owning a permanent outdoor tetherball set or portable one can make this season that much more exciting for the whole family.
#1 - Lifetime Portable Tetherball System
||5.0 stars out of 5|
#2 - All Surface PRO Swingball Tetherball
||4.5 stars out of 5|
#3 - Squirrel Products Swingball
||4.0 stars out of 5|
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top 7 Best Tetherball Sets Recommendations
- 2 What Are The Rules For Tetherball?
- 3 Can You Use Your Feet In Tetherball?
- 4 How High Should A Tetherball Pole Be?
- 5 Who Invented Tetherball?
- 6 How Do You Hit A Tetherball?
- 7 Conclusion
Easy for everyone in the family to use but tough enough to stand up to a lot of use, this Lifetime Portable Tetherball is ideal for home use. Because it’s rust-resistant, it’s a great option for when you want to set games up outside and not have to worry about weather conditions.
The base is designed to be used wherever you like, from grass to sand, making it a versatile option to choose for any kind of setting. Because it’s a portable set, you can bring it with you wherever you want, so you can always liven up any party.
Many reviews state how easy it is to set up this portable tetherball set, as long as you follow instructions. Some also commented on how the pole tends to sway but nothing too drastic that will distract from the game.
Many users love how stable the base is, especially when filled up with water and not sand. Because of the unique design that doesn’t require you to set it into the ground, it’s easy to move from one place to another if needed.
- It has a stable base for dependable use.
- The instructions are clear on how to set it up, so you don’t have to stress about assembly.
- It is highly weather-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it in the yard.
- Users like that it’s portable and easy to transport.
- It’s priced fairly, making it an attractive buy for many.
- The base is made from plastic, which can wear down if you regularly move it..
This outdoor tetherball set is a great option for summertime fun. Many reviews love just how affordable this option was, and some people appreciated that the set came with everything you need, from the bats to the pro swingball.
The base can be filled with either water or sand, which makes it easy for you to choose where to use it, so you don’t have to dig a hole in your yard to play one of the best sun sports around.
The design is bright and attractive and perfect for an outdoor play set-up. Many reviewers love that this design is taller than most and also appreciate that the base is quite sturdy. Users also commented on how easy it is to put the set together, so you can get started playing as soon as possible. The pole is made from metal while the rest of it is mostly plastic, but it’s still a highly sturdy option.
- Users appreciate the solid, sturdy construction found in this option.
- Easy to set up, so you can start using it right away.
- It has an attractive design that looks great in yards.
- Highly affordable, so you don’t have to spend a lot to have fun.
- It is portable and easy to move around.
- It does tend to topple if the game becomes “very lively.”
- It isn’t as durable as some other options on the market.
If you just want a simple outdoor tetherball set that is reasonably priced and has the basics, then this could be ideal for you. It’s not going to provide the most reliable and durable use as some other ones would, but for what it costs and it’s decent design, many reviewers were happy with it.
You can use it anywhere you like since the pole doesn’t have to be put into the ground. The base can be filled with water or sand so that you can use it indoors or outdoors. As a highly portable option, you’ll be glad to know that all the parts can be folded into the base, so you can easily carry it from one place to the next.
Users who played with it indoors commented on how the water doesn’t splash out and make a mess, which is a plus if you have beautiful hardwood floors that you don’t want to ruin. While it isn’t the most durable choice, it’s quick and easy to set up and will last for quite a while with regular, easy-going use.
- It’s super affordable and yet reliable enough to play with on a regular basis.
- It’s bright and attractive and will stand out anywhere.
- Users like how it’s designed to be used anywhere, whether outdoors or indoors.
- Whether you fill it with water or sand, it doesn’t make a mess, thanks to the sturdy construction of the base.
- It is highly portable and can be easily transported in your car.
- It’s better for small children to use than older kids or adults.
Definitely considered to be one of the best tetherball sets by some people, this Franklin offers pretty solid construction that you can depend on if you’re looking for something durable.
It’s highly easy to assemble and comes with quality parts that are constructed to last for months to come. It’s conveniently priced, so you don’t have to break the bank to start playing tetherball.
It does tend to wobble a bit, but for average play with the little ones, it isn’t something that will matter too much to them. This one is designed to be put in the ground, which some people consider to be better than more portable options. If you want to use it inside the house, this will be an issue.
- It is affordable and offers decent quality.
- Base and poles are built to last, making it a solid option.
- Easy to assemble, in many people’s opinions.
- Includes a pump, so you can inflate the ball as needed.
- The set has everything you need for a great game.
- The pole tends to be a bit too wobbly.
- The connection pins are flimsy, so you’ll need to handle it with care.
If you want to be able to use this option anywhere and everywhere, it’s the perfect all surface set that can be used anywhere. While the paddles aren’t as durably constructed as the rest of the outdoor tetherball set, it still lasts for quite a while before you have to get new paddles.
The pole is pretty decent in comparison to other products that tend to wobble a bit more and the unique texture of the paddles, helps to make it easier to grip them. The unique base is easy to fill up with water or sand, and the whole set is easy to assemble.
The lid is designed to prevent leakages, so if you want to use this game in your indoor playroom, you can do so without worrying about your home’s floor. While it isn’t as cheap as some other options, it promises durability and versatility to make it worth it.
- The base won’t leak water, so you can set it up anywhere you like.
- It has a solid tetherball pole that is stable enough for easy play.
- Users appreciate that it is more durable than many other options on the market.
- The paddles are designed for easy gripping.
- It is a versatile option that you can use anywhere.
- The paddles tend to wear out after about a year or so.
- It isn’t as cheap as some other options.
This is a great portable tetherball system, as it comes designed for easy use and portability. With everything you need, including a carry bag, you can be sure that you’ll be able to play tetherball wherever you like with this Champion Sports option.
While it isn’t the best construction on the market, it offers fair quality for the price. The ball itself is standard-size, so if you’re a tetherball fanatic, you’ll be happy about this feature. Many users weren’t very happy about the flimsy pole that tends to wobble, and many stated that if you’re using it with younger kids, it should work fine, but won’t stand up to use with older children.
It’s easy to assemble, and the set includes a great pump that you can use to inflate the ball as needed. It’s not the best around, but it’s decent enough for when you want a portable option that is fairly priced.
- Easy to transport with a carry bag.
- It is simple to set-up, according to users.
- Includes a pump for the ball, which is always a good feature.
- Users like the accessible pricing on this option.
- The instructions are clear and easy to understand.
- The pole has been known to be quite wobbly and easy to break.
- It’s not as sturdy as some other options.
What if you want to play when it’s dark? There is no limit to when one should be able to play tetherball, and that’s what makes this one of the most attractive tetherball balls around.
Whether your tetherball set’s ball has given up the ghost or you simply like the idea of one that can light up the night, this is an attractive product for a lot of tetherball fans.
It’s also made to last with a soft-stitch outer shell and includes the rope for easy installation onto your current tetherball set.
Users commented on how smooth and light the ball felt during the game. It’s not hard to get the glow, as you can leave it outside in the sun all day, although some consider it to react better to artificial light. Either way, you’ll be sure to be able to use it day or night, with or without light. It can be a great addition to switch out every so often with your current ball or replace the one you had, if it’s damaged or not working out for you.
- Designed to last with great soft-stitching on the outer shell.
- It’s conveniently priced and offers top quality.
- Easy to get it glowing by simply leaving it in the sun during the day or even under a lamp inside.
- It includes the rope that makes it easy to start using it right away.
- Reviews stated that the ball is durable and built to last.
- It isn’t very soft, so some users mentioned they didn’t like the pain felt when it hit them.
- The glow-in-the-dark feature may wear out over time.
What Are The Rules For Tetherball?
So, you’re looking at tetherball sets but do you know how to play? It’s easy. This wouldn’t be a favorite family game if the rules were overwhelming, and it’s something that even the smallest of children can understand and learn how to play. The following are the basic rules of the game to get you started:
- The player that serves first can decide which direction they want to hit the ball.
- The opposing player will hit it back in the opposite direction.
- You want to hit the ball in your direction as to win it, you’re going to need the rope to wrap around the pole.
- You win a point when you wrap the rope as far around the pole as possible in your direction.
- You can’t go on your opponent’s side.
- Double hitting the ball is not allowed.
- You are not allowed to hold or catch the ball.
- You cannot grab the pole.
- If you grab the pole or do something against the rules 3 times, you automatically lose the game.
- After playing 7 games, whoever has the highest score automatically wins the game.
The fun thing about playing tetherball is that once you get the rules of the game down, it’s pretty easy to follow them and it’s a lot of fun to play, so you kind of forget that there were even any rules, to begin with. If you want something to pass the time that isn’t highly competitive or challenging to play, this could be it.
Can You Use Your Feet In Tetherball?
Hitting the ball with anything other than your hands or arms is considered a penalty, so the only way to use your feet during a tetherball game is to use them to keep you on the ground and in the best position for winning.
How High Should A Tetherball Pole Be?
For a grown-up game, the tetherball pole is typically at 10-feet. This makes it easy for you to reach and hit the ball comfortably while playing—which is important for you to win the game.
If you’re playing with your children, you don’t want it to be too high for them, as that would, obviously, make the game very frustrating. Most people lower the pole to about 8-feet so that the rope hangs low enough for children to hit the ball. If you have very small children, you can lower it to 6-foot to ensure that they can have the ability to even reach the ball.
Keep in mind that many sports permanent outdoor tetherball systems actually have a 12-foot pole. This is so that you can insert some of it into the ground. If you aren’t investing in a sun sports permanent outdoor tetherball but rather one that has a base that can be placed above ground, consider the length. It shouldn’t be at 12-feet as you don’t need that extra height.
Of course, some options do include the option of adjusting the height, as some people are taller than others. Consider the needs of your family before deciding on a specific set. The good news is that as long as everyone is happy with the height for you all to play, there’s no standard height to worry about according to rules and regulations.
Pro tip: Be careful about poles that require many parts to be set up. They tend to break with too much use and can be a pain to install as well.
Who Invented Tetherball?
So, this game is fun and has you entertained for hours, but who invented it? It’s always interesting to find out where our favorite games come from, isn’t it? The story has it that this game was invented all the way back in 1875—so, rumor has it.
It was said to make its way from Britain to the United States in 1881. A mere 20 years later, some man named Mr. Lehmann was said to be the one who made up this game that was taking playgrounds and yards by storm. While no one can say for sure where exactly this game came from, you can be sure that many people are happy it was created by someone—whoever he or she may be.
Back in the day, the ball was played with racquets, and although some games still do include racquets, the more common way of hitting the ball is with hands. It really hit the mainstream by 1912, when playing tetherball became quite a common occurrence for anything from backyard fun or schoolyard play.
How Do You Hit A Tetherball?
You want to know how to win the game, right? This is where knowing how to hit a tetherball comes into play. Most people will hit the ball with a closed fist as this is how you get the power to actually send the ball around the pole.
While it may be awkward at first to hit the ball with a closed hand, once you get it, it becomes easy to control the strength needed to wrap it around the pole as many times as possible to win the game.
Holding a fist to hit the ball also helps you avoid catching it in your hands, which is a penalty and won’t be good for your score. It also keeps you from accidentally grabbing the rope, which is also a penalty.
Think about why you serve a volleyball during a volleyball game with your fist? It allows you to get the ball as far as possible, which is essentially what you want to do with the tetherball, but around the pole instead.
Are you ready to invest in a tetherball game? You can be sure that it’s one of the easiest and yet most fun outdoor products around. Relatively safe, space-saving, and easy to set up, it’s a great alternative to other common backyard items like trampolines or playgrounds.
The above-mentioned options are mostly tetherball sets that you can move from one place to another. They stay stable by filling them up with water or sand. If you’re not about portable sets, then there are options that allow you to set them up in the ground for a sturdier and more reliable experience. Do you know which one you like best?
If we had to pick one, it would be the Lifetime Portable Tetherball System as we allow the rust-resistant, weatherproof feature that keeps it looking great throughout the seasons. It also makes it possible for you to use it in the sand or your backyard, so if you’re looking for an option that allows you to play anywhere and everywhere, this is a great choice for you.
When searching for the right one, always look for options that have sturdy anchors and pieces, to avoid accidents from flying poles or ropes or even the tetherball system toppling over. It doesn’t happen often, but anything that is too cheaply made could be best to avoid.