Kids Activities: Instructions For Playing Handball

With a few minor changes, the competitive sport of handball can be turned into an enjoyable and energetic children's activity.

Handball is almost perfectly suited for children's play. With almost no necessary equipment, the game can provide hours of fun and exercise at little or no cost. You only need a ball and a wall, and the rules are easy to learn. They may be adjusted for competitive or cooperative play. The game is non-contact, and with soft balls, injury is highly unlikely. And best of all, handball is a very active game, giving children a full body workout as they play. So take a look at the following handball rules, and try teaching your kids how to play this exciting game!

Although three and four wall versions of the rules exist, children often play the one-wall version of the game, as it can be played against almost any wall. The side of a house or building, or and indoor location such as a gym or den are all perfect, and as long as a room does not have any breakable objects nearby, it too can be used for play.

The playing surface of the wall should be between 8 and 12 feet, and what size is used depends a lot on the age of the players. Wall surface does not have to be specified, and the playing area can be adjusted as suits the size of the players involved.

In addition to the wall and playing area, handball only requires a soft ball. While official competition balls are fairly hard and rough, a new ball has come out called the "White Ace," designed with smaller players in mind. With a softer surface and lighter weight, the ball feels better for younger players and allows children to play the game without risk of injury. The balls are available at most large sports equipment stores.

Even without specific equipment, handball can be played with a number of alternatives. Any large, soft ball can be used that fits comfortably into a child's hand. Official rules state that a ball should be around 2 inches in diameter, but for children, a larger and softer ball is often even more fun. A soft Nerf ball is wonderful for young handball players, and it won't break anything if it gets away from the children. However, even tennis balls can be used in a pinch.

One-wall handball can be played with two, three, or four players, but more children can always be formed into larger teams, or the game can be more of a free for all. Handball games can be organized along competitive or cooperative rules. In competitive play, the objective is for the player or team to pass the ball to the other player or team which they are unable to return. In cooperative play, however, the emphasis is on inclusion, and in building up a volley, in which the two teams or players pass back and forth as many times as they can. Scoring is optional for both types of rules.

When playing handball, either the left or the right hand can be used to hit the ball. Unlike volleyball, however, the use of wrists or any other part of the body is not acceptable. Players cannot grab or hold the ball; they should only touch the ball briefly when hitting it back against the wall. Either player can start the ball, but teams and players should alternate who starts and who continues the volley. While competition games are played to 21 points, children should be encouraged to play as long as they want without a strict point count. Games can instead be organized by time, with 15 minute halves, or simply be allowed to take their own course.

In the end, the game of handball can be a fun and non-competitive way for children to enjoy themselves and get a good workout. With little or no required equipment and many possible places to play, handball is sure to become one of your children's favorite games also!

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