Handball in Primary PE: A Comprehensive Guide to Playing and Teaching


Handball in Primary PE: A Comprehensive Guide to Playing and Teaching

Handball is a dynamic and engaging sport that offers numerous benefits for primary school students. It promotes physical fitness, enhances coordination and agility, and fosters teamwork and strategic thinking. This blog post will provide a comprehensive guide to introducing handball in your primary PE curriculum, including how to play the game and creative lesson ideas.

Understanding Handball: A Brief Overview

Handball is a fast-paced team sport that combines elements of basketball, football, and netball. It involves two teams of seven players each, with the objective of throwing a ball into the opponent's goal. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. Handball encourages physical activity, agility, coordination, and teamwork, making it an ideal sport for primary PE.

How to Play Handball in Primary PE

Playing handball in primary PE involves simplified rules to accommodate the students' age and skill level. Here's a basic rundown:

  1. Teams: Divide the class into teams of five to seven players each.

  2. Playing Area: Use a standard basketball or netball court.

  3. Game Play: Players pass the ball among their team members using their hands, aiming to throw it into the opponent's goal.

  4. Scoring: A goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line.

  5. Restrictions: Players cannot take more than three steps without dribbling the ball and cannot hold the ball for more than three seconds.

  6. Fouls: Fouls include physical contact such as hitting or pushing, double dribbling, or stepping into the goal area.

Primary PE Lesson Ideas for Handball

Introducing handball in your primary PE curriculum can be a fun and engaging experience for your students. Here are some lesson ideas:

Lesson 1: Introduction to Handball

Objective: To introduce the basic rules and techniques of handball.

Activities: Discuss the rules of handball and demonstrate basic techniques such as passing, catching, dribbling, and shooting. Allow students to practice these skills through drills and mini-games.

Lesson 2: Developing Skills

Objective: To enhance students' handball skills and understanding of the game.

Activities: Conduct drills focusing on specific skills such as accurate passing, effective shooting, or defensive strategies. Incorporate mini-games that encourage skill application.

Lesson 3: Teamwork and Strategy

Objective: To promote teamwork and strategic thinking in handball.

Activities: Organise team-based activities that require strategic planning, such as positioning, attacking, or defending. Discuss the importance of communication and cooperation in team sports.

Lesson 4: Handball Tournament

Objective: To apply learned skills and strategies in a competitive setting.

Activities: Conduct a mini handball tournament, allowing students to apply their learned skills and strategies. Encourage sportsmanship, teamwork, and fair play.


Handball is a fantastic addition to any primary PE curriculum. It not only promotes physical fitness but also enhances a range of skills including teamwork, strategic thinking, and coordination. By incorporating handball into your PE lessons, you provide your students with a fun, engaging, and educational experience that they will surely enjoy.


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