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Tetherball is a fun sport great for families, especially kids (and even pets!). This fun backyard game uses a simple ball (such as volleyball) with a rope, and is easily played in your yard or any spacious area.
So, with that in mind, which tetherball sets are the best out there? I rounded up a couple of picks just for you to help you decide – each with different designs but with the same goal of keeping you active and entertained.
YDDS Classic Tetherball Set for Backyard
My top choice is the YDDS Classic Tetherball Set for Backyard, which uses an 8-inch tetherball (standard size) and everything else needed for setup. For instance, it comes with a 96-inch metal tubing (rod) and a 72-inch cord that’s adjustable (using a carabiner) to match different players’ needs.
When it comes to the base, it has a 30-inch diameter and it’s also designed to be portable – play indoors, outdoors, or wherever you like (so long as you play safely!). To keep the base stable, it comes with three ground stakes to keep it hooked – similar to a camping tent. The set already comes with a pump for the ball for you to get playing as quickly as possible.
Loading the base with either sand or water is simple, using the red plugs on the surface. The plastic base has a weight capacity of up to 700 pounds, so you know that it will stay sturdy game after game – no matter how competitive and rough the players are! Moreover, when you’re done playing, it has a convenient molded storage at the bottom of the base for the poles – handy for traveling.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a convenient molded storage at the bottom for the pole to easily store the tetherball set when not in use. The rope length is easy to adjust using the carabiner to accommodate different players.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The pump that’s included lacks power, so you might want a separate pump.
GoSports Tetherball Game Set
If you’re looking for a different setup, especially for the great outdoors, why not try the GoSports Tetherball Game Set. The method of putting this together uses a screwing pole, which is ideal if you want the tetherball set to be fixed in an area, such as a yard, school grounds, or personal playing field.
All you need to do is to twist the screwing pole into the ground and put the rest of the materials together to enjoy a good game of tetherball. Aside from the standard accessories, such as the rope and ball, there’s also a ball pump included.
Powder-coated steel is used to create a weather-resistant finish for the pole and the base, which is a great feature especially since this is an outdoor tetherball set. The rope spans 5 feet long, while the 8-foot pole has a 1-foot stake (screw part) at the bottom. This totals to 15 feet of playable area.
Although instructions and game rules are included, because it doesn’t have a lot of pieces to put together, the tetherball set is quite straightforward to assemble, even if you aren’t that knowledgeable about the game.
Things I Like About This Product: Setup is quite easy due to the simplicity of the materials that don’t require tools to put together. The product also arrives with the ball already attached and this further simplifies the assembly.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It’s not for indoor use since you need to screw it into the ground.
Champion Sports Portable Tetherball Set
When it comes to casual play, I chose the Champion Sports Portable Tetherball Set, which is a portable pack that’s easy to put together anywhere. Recommended for kids, teens, and family get-togethers, this tetherball set has a 102-inch cord with a carabiner.
The rope is already attached to the ball so it’s ready for gameplay. What’s more, the tetherball is of standard size and comes with a 6-inch inflating pump with a needle. The included pole is a 24-inch telescopic type that’s made of 1-1/2-inch steel. Everything comes neatly packed in a travel bag and ready to be taken to your destination.
Because the pole is telescopic, you can adjust the height to your preference. I like this feature since it allows fair play for different players of various heights, making it a family-friendly tetherball set. It also comes with a 12-inch ground stake sleeve to keep the pole firmly in the ground.
Things I Like About This Product: The telescopic handle makes it easy for players of different heights and ages to play. The setup is also quite simple and the tetherball set comes neatly packed in a carrying bag.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Keeping the pole secured to the ground is a little challenging, unless you either add more stakes, tie it up, or cement it for permanent use.
Swingball Mookie Classic Tetherball Game
If you want a unique set, I recommend the Swingball Mookie Classic Tetherball Game, which uses a tennis ball and checker bats for a more challenging game. Since the base is also the carrying case of the entire setup, traveling with this tetherball set will be a breeze.
To avoid tangles, this tetherball set has a special design – it has a tangle-free spinner top that rotates in a spiral motion. Moreover, the tennis ball included is of regulation size so if you’ve been playing tennis, this is a good training game as well.
The height of the entire setup is 55 inches or 4’7″ so it’s suitable even for kids. Due to the flat surface of the base, you don’t need to insert it into the soil or ground, which also means it’s even suitable for a wide indoor space. To accommodate different player ages and heights, the pole has adjustment features.
Things I Like About This Product: I like its portable design, in which your case doubles as the base of the tetherball pole setup. This allows you to play tetherball anywhere you like and it doesn’t have to be permanent. The added challenge of using a tennis ball and rackets is a unique feature compared to standard tetherball sets.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Perhaps I would recommend a better version of the base that allows you to fill it up with either sand or water, as it is only a carrying case.
Champion Sports Tournament Tetherball Set
Are you looking for a tetherball setup for serious players? Then you will like the Champion Sports Tournament Tetherball Set. This set is ideal for casual and professional tetherball games, and it has a 102-inch cord that’s ready to take on bad weather, as well as 24-inch steel poles that are simple to adjust for various user heights.
This tetherball set comes with other standard equipment, such as a ball with an air pump (with a 6-inch needle), as well as a carrying bag. Since the rubber tetherball is of official or regulation size, it’s a good training setup if you want to get into professional play.
Much like with my previous Champion tetherball set pick mentioned above, the stake mounts into any ground, such as a playing field or your yard. In addition, the included poles are straightforward to put together – these three poles are stackable to form a 24-inch tetherball pole. This allows for portability wherever you want the tetherball set to be placed.
Things I Like About This Product: The setup is straightforward because you only need to connect the 3-piece pole and stake it onto the ground. The pole is even adjustable for different user heights.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: This set only goes into the ground since it lacks a base. This means that you can’t use it for indoor play as you will need to stake it into the soil.
Park & Sun Sports Permanent Outdoor Tetherball Set
Yet another outdoor choice is the Park & Sun Sports Permanent Outdoor Tetherball Set, which has a 2-piece pole that simplifies setup time and effort. With its standard 1-5/8-inch diameter, it’s also relatively easy to assemble due to the push-button locking system so you can spend less time setting up and more time playing.
When it comes to material, the tetherball is made of soft and synthetic material that is softer upon impact when compared to traditional tetherballs. This makes it kid-friendly and pet-friendly as well, and can add stamina to gameplay because it has a gentler impact. The 7-foot cord is made with quality nylon for durability.
The 12-inch pole sleeve is simple to put into the ground to keep the tetherball set in place. When properly set up, the overall height will be 10′ 3″. Moreover, since it is meant to be an outdoor tetherball set, it has been made with galvanized steel to avoid corrosion, resulting in a longer-lasting tetherball setup.
Things I Like About This Product: The galvanized steel construction makes it weather-resistant while the soft outer texture of the tetherball allows you to play for hours without sore hands. This softness will also help during accidents so as not to have a hurtful impact on anyone, especially kids and pets.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: As it is a stake-type tetherball set, it is not meant for indoor use.
Swingball Tether Soccer
Are you looking for something unique? The Swingball Tether Soccer might catch your eye – it combines soccer and tetherball in one game. Ideal for ages six and above, this fun reflex game uses a soccer ball instead of a standard volleyball-like tetherball.
The base is meant to be used for all kinds of surfaces, making this tetherball set ideal for traveling and for various settings – both indoors and outdoors.
Due to its recoil action, it’s a little more challenging than regular tether soccer. If you or your child is a soccer player, then this is a good practice toy for them. The included soccer ball is a size 4, so it’s suitable for most kids to play with.
I like that the base has room to be filled with sand or water, which adds security while also being portable. The 55-inch long nylon string is adjustable so both big and little kids will feel comfortable playing the tetherball set. It also already comes with an inflation pump for the ball, as well as a user guide.
Things I Like About This Product: It’s portable (no stakes needed) but stable because the inside of the base has room for sand or water to keep it in place. The unique take on tetherball involving soccer makes it a unique concept.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The base container could be better to avoid leakage. Ideally, the rope could be longer as well.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Tetherball Sets Featured Above
Now you might be wondering: how did I come up with the list above? Here’s how I picked the tetherball sets – and I hope this also guides you on how to choose yours!
The base design of a tetherball set will usually be either of stakes or a filled base.
A filled base is a hollow base where you stick the pole through a hole in the top. Usually, the manufacturer advises you to fill it up either with sand or water (or any object that fits and will make it heavier). The principle of this base design is to accumulate weight to ensure sturdiness for the tetherball pole.
- The advantage of a filled base is the portability – you don’t have to always play your tetherball set up outdoors as you don’t need to stake it into the soil. There’s no need to commit to a single spot for the tetherball game since it’s easy to move the set from one place to another. Perhaps the disadvantage is that it’s still behind a stake-type base in terms of stability.
A stake-type base, on the other hand, resembles camping tents. You need to hook the tetherball pole into the ground or use a screwing mechanism, much like with my runner-up pick mentioned above – the GoSports Tetherball Game Set.
- The advantage of a stake-type base is that you get more stability, especially on a windy day. It will also withstand stronger players, such as adults and older kids. The disadvantage is that you’ll need to play tetherball outdoors since it requires soil or land.
Ease of Setup
A good tetherball set is simple to put together. For example, a 3-piece set, which is common in most of my picks mentioned above, simplifies the assembly as you don’t need tools to put it all together. Aside from that, many manufacturers already hook the ball into the nylon rope so you don’t need to worry about that step.
A clear set of instructions would be handy, especially for those who never played tetherball before. Aside from setup instructions, manufacturers should also hand out official game rules for the players, especially for those who are new to tetherball.
Portability means the tetherball set is easy to take down and put back together. Most of my picks above are collapsible on their pole design, which is a plus point if you want to take your tetherball set to the beach, a friend’s house, and so on.
Usually, the manufacturers of these sets include a long carrying bag to help you get to your destination without having to carry a large and bulky pole and base with a ball tied to a string. My top pick, the YDDS Classic Tetherball Set for Backyard, was cleverly designed with a bottom recess for you to insert the pole pieces when you’re done playing.
Usually, tetherball sets have a ball that’s similar to that used in volleyball. However, the softness may vary depending on the manufacturer. Certain sets, such as the Park & Sun Sports Permanent Outdoor Tetherball Set, have a softer type of ball.
If you are new to tetherball, or if kids or pets are playing, I advise you to get a softer ball as it won’t cause too much fatigue on the player’s hands. Plus, it will be a safety measure in case of any rogue balls to the face (read further below on the “safety features” section).
Other tetherball sets, however, have different types of balls, such as soccer or tennis balls, depending on the type of tetherball set that they present. For example, the Swingball Mookie Classic Tetherball Game and the Swingball Tether Soccer are unique from the traditional tetherball design and use these different ball types.
As mentioned above, your tetherball set could be a non-traditional type. Hence, it might have different features such as a tennis racket, as featured in the Swingball Mookie Classic Tetherball Game. Each tetherball set will have unique features depending on the style of play.
A tetherball set should have durable parts. For instance, galvanized steel is recommended for outside poles because they work best for bad weather conditions and humidity. Aside from that, a powder coat finish will prevent corrosion from forming easily. Likewise, a durable nylon rope will make the tetherball setup less prone to accidents.
The pole should be easy to adjust in terms of height to accommodate different players. Or, if not, the adjustability should be at least found on the rope.
One of the most frustrating problems of maintaining a tetherball set is the problem of tangles. Fortunately, certain tetherball sets, such as the Swingball Mookie Classic Tetherball Game, possess a spiral-style mechanism to keep the rope from tangling too easily.
Indoor or Outdoor
Will you play the tetherball set indoors or outdoors? It’s up to you to choose the set that works best – stake-type tetherball bases are only meant for outside use. If you’d like to use the tetherball set indoors as well, I recommend the filled base style, such as with the Swingball Tether Soccer.
Safety features are greatly important for all ages of players – especially if your kids like to hit the ball hard! Aside from the tangle-free mechanisms mentioned above, a softer ball surface will help you to feel less hand fatigue when you hit the ball. If you are playing tetherball with either your kid(s) or your pup, a softer ball won’t overwhelm them.
As a whole, my top choice is the Top Pick: YDDS Classic Tetherball Set for Backyard, which is portable and easy to put together while also retaining stability. It’s usable for both indoor and outdoor setups. The next product on my list is the Runner-Up: GoSports Tetherball Game Set, which is for outside play due to its screwing stake and pole setup.
Another worthy choice is the Worth Considering: Champion Sports Portable Tetherball Set, which has a telescoping pole that’s easy to adjust depending on the user’s height(s). For serious players, however, I’d choose the Worth Considering: Champion Sports Tournament Tetherball Set, which is easy to assemble and has a regulation-sized ball.
Another quick setup pack is the Worth Considering: Park & Sun Sports Permanent Outdoor Tetherball Set, which has a push-button locking feature. It even has a softer ball surface to reduce fatigue on your arms and hands.
I also like the Worth Considering: Swingball Mookie Classic Tetherball Game, which has a twist involving tennis for those who are tired of traditional tetherball setups. Yet another non-traditional tetherball setup is the Worth Considering: Swingball Tether Soccer, which, as the title says, adapts soccer mechanics instead of volleyball so it doesn’t have a pole.