top of page

9 Essential Team Handball Stations and Small Group Games for Physical Education Classes


Team handball is an exciting, action-packed game that's perfect for physical education classes as it encourages multiple skills and provides plenty of physical exercise. Handball combines elements of basketball, soccer and ultimate disc and can be a great way to introduce kids to these sports in an exciting group setting. During the late 19th century, handball was first invented in Denmark and refined over time. By 1947, it was officially regulated by the International Handball Federation. Nowadays, this beloved sport is enjoyed across countries all around the globe!

9 Essential Team Handball Stations and Small Group Games for Physical Education Classes

Pic by Corey Winter @MrWinterOA


There are several skills involved in team handball that can easily be utilized and taught in a PE unit. By teaching the fundamentals of passing, catching, shooting with an overhand throw, dribbling, defending, and goalkeeping , handball lesson plans can help students become proficient in this fast-paced sport while also keeping them physically active. Lessons can begin with a review of the basic handball rules and then progress onto skill-specific drills, stations and some awesome small-sided games.

This article will provide you with different strategies to integrate team handball PE activities into your lesson plans for maximum engagement. On top of that, I will provide you 9 ideas on the different types of stations and games you can use to make your handball unit even more enjoyable! It's time to get your students up and moving - let’s introduce them to the exciting sport of team handball!

 

What is team handball?


Team handball is a fast-paced indoor or outdoor sport that is typically played by two teams with six players on each side in a 130' x 65' handball court. The goal of the game is to score more points than your opponent by dribbling, passing, and then shooting a ball into their goal. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. Modern handball is a team sport with an emphasis on developing not only physical fitness and agility, but also teamwork and communication skills. Women's team handball has exploded in popularity over the past couple decades. Whether players are beginners or an experienced pros, this game can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels!


What is team handball in PE?

Pic by Miss Volz @volzpe


Can team handball stations and games help students meet PE standards?


Incorporating fun team handball activities and small-sided throwing games not only makes PE a blast, but it also helps meet district, state and national standards. Handball is the perfect way to develop essential and fundamental motor and manipulative skills that should be a part of any well-rounded physical education program. This blog post outlines physical education activities in line with SHAPE America Standard 1 that states: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.*


SHAPE America Standard 1- Team Handball

Pic by Nicart Obsuna @PECREDENCE

 

Tips for implementing team handball activities and games in PE classes


You can make learning the fundamentals of team handball fun for students with small group stations and games. Follow these 10 practical tips to design quality lessons that your students will love.


  • Teach the basics of team handball like passing, catching, shooting, defending and goalkeeping.

Team handball skills
  • Make sure activities are appropriate for the age and ability of your students.


  • Before beginning any handball station or game, be sure to explain and showcase the rules, regulations, and boundaries so that everyone is aware of what's expected.

Team handball discussion
  • Make sure there is enough space in your gymnasium or classroom for handball games and stations, such as creating two separate courts if needed.


  • Design stations with different activities that focus on specific skills like passing or shooting drills that they can practice at their own pace while rotating through them all over time

Team handball stations

Pic by Jana Paulk @Paulk_PE

  • Whenever possible, break students up into smaller groups to provide each one with an opportunity to be more engaged in the specific movement experience.


  • Begin introducing team games with simpler versions that involve fewer players to ease your teammates into the rules and regulations of the game. As they become more confident in their knowledge, you can move on to slightly more complex games for a greater challenge.

Team handball in PE games

Pic by Caleb Hill @hillcaleb17

  • Sportsmanship is an important quality to discuss prior to in any team competition. It's essential for players to foster a sense of healthy competition, but also remember that everyone should have fun and learn from each game no matter the outcome.


  • Familiarize students with key volleyball terms early on in the unit.

Team handball terms

 

9 Dynamic Team Handball Stations and Games for PE


Ignite your students' enthusiasm with these nine interactive team handball lesson activities, featuring fun station and small-sided game ideas!


A- Stations

Stations typically involve engaging activities that focus on one or more specific movement skills such as passing, catching, shooting, defending, and goalkeeping. During the station-based activities, students are given the opportunity to practice their skills and build confidence in a safe and supportive environment.

1: Target Throw: Students can work on their throwing skills by taking turns launching the ball towards a target on the wall from various distances. They must stand behind the start line cone, select a distance to throw from, and then throw the ball in an attempt to hit it! After they have completed two throws, they should go back to the start line and repeat this process until for a set amount of time. Keeping and recording scores can add an exciting element to the station!


Target Throw- Team Handball Stations

2: Partner Wall Throw and Catch: Students should alternate between passing and receiving the handball with a partner, each taking turns to throw it off the wall. As they become more comfortable with this activity, encourage them to gradually move further away from the wall when making their passes. This simple activity can help develop their coordination and improve communication skills!


Partner Wall Throw and Catch- Team Handball Stations

3: Pass and Move: Traveling from one end of the court to another, have students pair up and pass a handball back-and-forth. As they reach the other side, they immediately run their way back to the starting line. It is important for them to lead their partner (pass in front of their movement)when passing the ball and maintaining eye contact with it when receiving it.

Pass and Move- Team Handball Stations

4: Run, Jump, and Shoot: Students have the opportunity to showcase their agility and skill as they sprint from a marked cone, propel themselves over the goalkeeper line, and shoot for the goal while in mid-air! They must take off before the goalkeeping line and release it before they land as they would in a real game. After collecting their ball, students shift to the side and wait for their next turn on the court.

Run, Jump, and Shoot- Team Handball Stations

5: Spot Shot: Students first dribble from the start line to a poly spot and then take aim at the goal. If they score, they get to keep that polyspot. On unsuccessful attempts, students must return the ball to their place in line for another turn. The goalkeeper will do all it can to block each shot - but if even one sneaks past them, be sure to claim your reward of that coveted polyspot!


Spot Shot- Team Handball Stations

 

B- Small Group Games

Small group games (small-side games) are an excellent way to further develop your students' learned handball skills while having some competitive fun. A team handball game (small-sided) usually involves fewer players than traditional team sports, making it easier for everyone on the court to be involved and stay engaged.


6: Handball Keep-Away (2 vs 1): 2 Offensive players strive to throw and receive a ball while a defensive player attempts to impede or intercept it. The thrower is permitted to pivot, but must remain stationary. A guard or interceptor should be situated no less than 3 feet away from any thrower. When a ball has been blocked or intercepted, students should switch roles for optimal practice.

Handball Keep-Away (2 vs 1)- Team Handball Games

7: 2 vs 1 and a Goalie: Students will alternate between offense and defense in engaging, action-packed rounds. Use a soft ball for safety. One team should have one defender and a goalkeeper for defending goals, and the other team has two offensive players working together to pass the ball around the goalie line at least three times before attempting a shot on goal. Only the goalkeeper can be inside the free throw line. Offense and defense should switch after a predetermined number of shots have been taken.

2 vs 1 and a Goalie- Team Handball Games

8: Catch Ball: Students compete in exciting Catch Ball matches as they try to make the handball bounce twice in their opponents' court. The game consists of 2 teams of 4 to 6 players. This is one of the best catching games for PE classes. If a player drops it and catches it after one bounce, or if the ball only bounces once before its caught, then play is still alive! Every time a team is able to get two successful bounces on their opposition's side of the court, they are rewarded with 1 point!


Catch Ball- Team Handball Games

9: Small-Sided Handball Games: During small-sided team handball, students play in smaller groups (each team consists of 3 to 5) with modified rules set forth by the PE teacher. There is no contact or reaching in allowed while playing; if the ball goes out of bounds, it will be thrown back into play by the opposing team to one of their court players. Depending on age and skill level, dribbling during play can either be optional or a part of the game. If no dribbling is in effect, players may take up to three steps before they must pass the ball. Only the defending goalkeeper is permitted within the designated crease area and shots must be taken before crossing over it.


Video by 2-4-2 Sports @241Sports

Small-Sided Handball Games- Team Handball Games

 

Final thoughts

Incorporating team handball activities and games into your PE classes is an outstanding way to captivate and get your students moving and learning. With its unique rules, intense action, and fast-paced play, handball is the perfect way to challenge students physically while teaching them good sportsmanship. Handball skills can be greatly developed with the use of stations, while small-sided games are great for bringing concepts to life and fostering teamwork.

Within this blog post, I have highlighted 9 engaging team handball activities and games that you can easily incorporate into your physical education class. I hope you find these activities helpful and enjoy watching your students have fun while learning the fundamentals of team handball! Don't be hesitant to create your own stations and games, as handball can easily be adapted to fit different age and skill levels. Have fun, and enjoy the game of handball!

Do you have any go-to handball activities or games that your PE students truly enjoy? Leave a comment with those ideas below—I'm excited to hear all of the creative solutions!


*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author.

 

Need resources?


Do you need some sport-related skill stations for your physical education program that includes detailed instructions and state-of-the-art graphics and visuals? Cap'n Pete's Power PE has you covered!


20 FREE Sport-Specific PE Station Signs on capnpetespowerpe.com

Fill in the form below to download 20 FREE Sport-Specific PE Station Signs. The set is a PDF digital download that includes two visuals (cards/signs) from the following sport stations sets: 1. Base Games, 2. Basketball, 3. Floor Hockey, 4. Football, 5. Lacrosse, 6. Paddle & Racket Sports, 7. Soccer, 8. Team Handball Stations, 9. Track & Field and 10. Volleyball Stations.



This freebie set will be sure to enhance your PE curriculum for years!

 

If you want even more handball station ideas...my PE Team Handball Stations- 20 Throw-Away Zones resource can be downloaded here on Teachers Pay Teachers.


If you're searching for a way to really spice up your PE program, Cap'n Pete's PE Sports Stations- 10 Product Mega Bundle is the perfect supplement. You'll find over 200 fun-filled, sports-themed station signs/cards (20 stations per sport) in this set. You may utilize them in your gym or specialized learning area.


 Cap'n Pete's PE Sports Stations- 10 Product Mega Bundle

You can download them from either of the following platforms: Cap'n Pete's Power PE Website or Teachers Pay Teachers- Cap'n Pete's TPT Store

This comprehensive collection will help you teach your students important physical education concepts and skills from 10 different traditional sports including basketball, base games, football, floor hockey, lacrosse, paddle/racket sports, soccer, track & field, team handball, and volleyball.



5,061 views

Recent Posts