Head Up

The Rules

One team of three starts in each half of the grid. Unlike head tennis, the object of the game is to head the ball out of the grid over the end line.

The team moves the ball using the sequence throw, head, catch until an opportunity arises to head the ball high over the end line working on the principals of height and distance.

The opposite team can stop the ball any way they want including with their hands, so even goalkeepers get to practise here too.

Teams score a point for each header that clears the end line.

Play first to 5 or 10 and, if using more than one grid, play a round robin to see who the champions are.

Main Objectives

Improve defensive heading.

Set Up

Area: 20×30 yard grids with a marked halfway line
Players: Ideally 3v3 but 2v2 and 3v2 also work
Equipment: Lots of cones, balls

Head Up drill for 9 to 11 year olds - part 1

Teams try to score by heading the ball over
their opponent’s end line.


Head Up drill for 9 to 11 year olds - part 2

The opposition can stop the ball with any part of their body.


Head Up drill for 9 to 11 year olds - part 3

Teams move the ball in the sequence throw, head, catch.

What To Call Out

“Attack the ball”
“Eyes open”
“Head under the ball”


To make it easier allow only one player from each team to save with their hands, others must use their head.

Allow players to exploit a weak header by heading straight back over the opponent’s end line.


Stand centrally when refereeing for the clearest view.

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