Get Involved

Headers and Volleys, Wembley... Your game, your rules

Monday 02 Jun 2014
You only need a football to take part in Reds v Blues
The Football Association’s weekend of football celebration – Reds v Blues – starts this Friday, meaning it is almost time to dust off the boots, grab a ball and get out to play football.

The weekend, which will be called Reds v Blues – marking the classic team colours synonymous with the sport – has the aim of inspiring people of all ages and abilities to sign up and represent a Red or Blue team before playing football in whatever form they wish.

As well as more than 50 events organised by the network of county FAs, The FA is also encouraging people to enjoy playing football in their garden or down the local park.

As inspiration to get involved, here The FA provides a guide to the top informal forms of the game enjoyed by children and adults around the country. These simple and fun ways of playing prove that all you need to enjoy football is a ball and some mates.


Players required: Four or more (one as goalkeeper).

Overview: As with great cup competitions like The FA Cup, the rules of this one are simply beat your opponents to progress to the next round. 

Typical rules state that one goal secures a players progression to round two. 

Players that have scored wait off the pitch until all but one of the other players has scored. 

This is repeated until two players remain and the ‘final’ is played. 

Who scores first in the final is crowned the champion. 

Key rules: Goal-hanging is not allowed! Some people like to introduce a ‘no scoring inside the box’ rule in order to eliminate any possibility of goal-hanging. In the event of a handball then it’s ‘penalties all round’, meaning that every other player in the competition gets a penalty kick.

Also known as: World Cup, Cuppy, Worldy, Knocky-outy, World Cup Willy, Wurly.

Headers and Volleys

Players required: Three or more (one as goalkeeper).

Overview: If you like to score a spectacular header or volley then this is the game for you. 

Very simply, one player crosses the ball and the other players attempt to score with a header or volley. 

Dozens of different variations of the game exist, including keeping life tallies – lives are lost by strikers when they miss or goalkeepers when they concede. 

However, the phrase ‘let’s play standard rules’ is commonly heard before a game of Headers and Volleys as it’s a version of football that celebrates the simple fun of the sport.

Key rules: Only goals score with a header or volley count.

Also known as: Cage Rage, Crowcombe Rules, Gooma.

Football Tennis

Players required: Two to six.

Overview: Played around Europe since the 1920s, Football Tennis actually has its own international association and World Championships. Played as singles, doubles or trebles, the rule are identical to lawn tennis – but you are kicking a football over the net instead of hitting a ball with a racket. 

‘Sets’ are played to 11 points with a two-point difference, the maximum score is 15:14. 

To win a match, teams have to win two sets.

Key rules: Players cannot touch the net during the game, if they do a point is awarded to their opponent.

Also known as: Footnet

One Bounce

Players required: Two or more.

Overview: All players start with three lives, the aim is to keep the ball in the air with the allowance for a single bounce between touches. 

A player loses a life by failing to keep control of control or pass the ball before the second bounce – or if they play a poor pass.

Key rules: Players tend to define their own rules for One Bounce – including left foot only. These rules are usually introduce after three touches.

Also known as: One Touch.


Players required: One or more.

Overview: All the best players in the world are experts in keep-ups. All you need to do is keep the ball from touching the floor – and you can use any body part to do so, apart from your hands. 

For the more confident players, tricks like ‘Around the World’ can be introduced. 

The winner is the person who achieves the most Keep-Ups before the ball hits the floor.

Key rules: Once the ball bounces, its game over.

Also known as: Keepie Uppies, Kick-Ups.

Wally (pronounced Wall-E)

Players required: Two or more.

Overview: This game is loosely based on a mix of football and squash. The target area is a hard area, commonly a wall. 

Each player takes turns in kicking the ball against the target area. 

If a player misses the target area they get a letter of the word WALLY, when a player receives all the letters they are out of the remainder of the game. The winner is the last player remaining.

Key rules: Players can strike the ball whilst moving or once it’s come to a standstill, but can only use a single touch of the ball.

Also known as: One-Touch, Dead Duck, 5 Alive, Wall Ball.

Crossbar Challenge

Players required: Two or more.

Overview: The game involves two teams, stood either side of a set of goals, attempting to hit the crossbar. One team starts with the ball and aims to hit the crossbar. 

If the ball hits, that team is awarded a point. At the start of the game the teams decide on a target points figure and the winner is the team that reaches that figure first.

Key rules: If your team hits the bar then the ball is returned to you to have another go.

Also known as: Barsie, Barsies.

By FA Staff