A game of handball

Few sports grabbed the public’s imagination at the London Olympics last year like handball. It’s a quick-paced, high-scoring, all-action sport, and your players can really benefit from what it offers in terms of teamwork, vision and positional awareness.


  • Handball is played with six outfield players plus a keeper per side. The object of the game is to get the ball into the opposition’s goal.
  • We’ve shown a simplified version of the game. It is played on a court measuring 40×20 yards, with a three-yard wide goal at each end. You’ll need a handball, or a size 3 football, which is of approximate size.
  • Players move the ball forward by throwing the ball to one another, or can ‘dribble’ forward by bouncing the ball as they run.
  • An interception or tackle can only be made by a player using his hand.
  • The keeper is the only player allowed to step into the zone immediately in front of the goal. If an outfield player shoots and his momentum takes him into the zone, the ball must have left his hand before his feet touch down in the area, otherwise it’s a free throw the other way.
  • If the ball goes out of play, restart as you would do in a soccer match.
  • Play for 10 minutes each way.

Technique and tactics

  • Your players can be any build or size to play handball – the skill is in having the vision to find opponents with good passing and smart running.
  • And because a player standing still cannot be tackled, the game offers a great opportunity for players to take their time, survey options, then make a pass. But, in general, this is a fast-paced game that’s great for improving players’ reactions as they construct moves at pace.
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