An individual sport suitable for all athletes including those with disabilities, polybat is beneficial for anyone with balance or coordination issues. It has become a popular inclusion in School Games events across the country.
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What is polybat?

Polybat is played with a ball and two bats on a simple rectangular table. The two players sit at respective ends of the table, with raised barriers along each length of the table to prevent the ball from dropping off the side.

Players hit the ball to each other along the length of the table using their bats (glove-bats can be used if necessary) with the aim of getting the ball past their opponent and off the end of the table to win a point.

If a player hits the ball off the table and into the air then they also lose that point, making it important for athletes to concentrate on technique rather than force. The first player to reach an agreed number of points wins the match.

Find out more about how to run polybat formats.

Equipment needed

  • Table tennis-sized table (at a suitable height for wheelchair users)
  • Polybat sides to attach securely to the table
  • Bats (ideally wooden or plastic)
  • Low-bounce ball (e.g. soft plastic airflow golf balls)
  • Skittles or plastic cups

A brief history of polybat

Polybat was developed by Nottingham Trent University as a solution to the increase in demand for inclusive activities for young people with limited movement. By 1999, the sport had obtained the support of both the Youth Sport Trust (YST) and the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA), and the three organisations shaped the formal aspects of the game. These aspects include support, competition, coaching, and organisation.

Since then, polybat has been incorporated into the National Junior Wheelchair Games, and has been recognised as a table tennis-based game for people with disabilities by the British Table Tennis Association.

Get involved

The School Games is inclusive to all young people and provides opportunities for everyone to get involved, either within school, against other local schools, or at county or regional level.

School Games Organisers

School Games Organisers (SGO) help schools coordinate appropriate competitive opportunities for all young people from Key Stage 2-4, to recruit, train and deploy a suitable workforce, and to support the development of club.

Sign up to find your local SGO

Quick and easy polybat activities

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