Mini handball can serve as an integral approach to training because the game is based on speed, agility, spatial-temporal orientation, rhythm and coordination in general. With rules similar to handball and natural forms of moves, activity is adapted to children up to 13 years and can be carried out in mixed groups. Activity can be implemented on every outdoor/indoor handball field, but also in nature and on a sand court (e.g., beach volleyball court). Specifics of the activity is in teamwork and collaboration as mini handball rules limit dribble possibilities and put focus on passing and sharing the ball. Side activities that follow up the game are exercise activities played in pair (non-disabled children and children with disabilities) through which coaches can show basic handball moves (e.g., passing the ball) and create/adapt showed exercises. Added value of the activity is in creating an environment with common goals in which all participants involved will reach the objective.

Mini handball is the most successful version of the handball game in terms of working with children and children with disabilities as it targets harmonic growth of technical-motorial-emotional-cognitive skills of the athletes and the group. All the mentioned skills are emphasized in mini handball because it abounds in natural forms of movement such as running, throwing, catching, jumping, etc. It has similarities to handball so it can be easily coached by handball coaches. It also provides new dimension in training for coaches and has the ability to promote a training apart in which non disabled children can help educate disabled children through activities performed in pair.

Mini handball is the most successful version of the handball game in terms of working with children and children with disabilities. It is played on a smaller field, with smaller goals, with a smaller ball and according to rules that are easily understood by children.

The game is played by two teams with the goal of scoring the goal by getting the ball in the net of opposing team. Each team has 7 players, 6 of whom play in the field (3 children with and 3 without disabilities), and 1 is a goalkeeper who must not cross half of the court. The game is played according to the rules of 3 seconds, 3 steps and 3 meters: player cannot hold the ball more than 3 seconds, take more than 3 steps and dribble the ball more than 3m. Those rules apply for non-disabled children, while disabled children have the rule 5 seconds, 5 steps and 5 meters. The most important rule is that children without disabilities can’t pass the ball between themselves more than 2 time as the 3rd pass must be addressed to child with disabilities.

The dimensions of the mini handball court are 20 x 13 meters, and the goals are 2.4 x 1.7 m. The goalkeeper’s space is 5 m from the middle of the goal. The ball is spongy and has a volume of 48-50 cm. The penalty kick is taken 6 m from the middle of the goal. The duration of the match is usually played 2 x 10 minutes but can be modified according to participants capabilities. The initial throw is performed by the goalkeeper from the goal area as well as the ball is thrown into the game after the goal has been scored. 

Location: Outdoor/indoor handball field, nature, sand beach field.

Environment: Activity can be carried out on any outdoor/indoor field as long as the surface is flat and there are 2 handball goals. It is recommended to play on sand beach field because the surface is soft.

Equipment: spongy balls, cones for marking the field

Specifics of mini handball is that participants can’t dribble the balls which makes the game simpler and require teamwork. Emphasized need for teamwork creates an environment in which each participant contributes to the activity according to their capacities. Also, by limiting passing between non-disabled children it creates a situation in which children with disabilities need to be included.

The basic rules of the game are quite simple which is great for all participants and it is easily managed by trainers. Coaches can be creative in their approach to the game and adapt the rules on the spot if they want to further express participants potential (e.g., non-disabled children can pass the ball only with weaker hand).

The method deliberately puts children with disabilities as equals in the game which affects all participants. They will start to communicate and collaborate more in order to play the game.

Side activity is oriented on handball exercises that target participants handball passing skills. Participants are divided in pairs from which each pair is consisted of 1 non-disabled and 1 disabled child. Each pair has the ball and they are 10m apart. The goal of the exercise is to pass the ball between the pair.

The coach can create addition exercises according to the capabilities of the participants by adding certain segments as an upgrade to the basic addition. For example, participants can firstly pass the ball basically: with their dominant hand and without touching the floor. An upgrade can be performing a bounce pass in which the ball must touch the floor once or passing the ball with weaker hand. In this side activity coaches can explore the many possibilities, create its own passing exercises and use participant as demonstrators.

Non disabled children under age 13 – 4 players per team (3 players and 1 goalkeeper)

Disabled children under age 13 –3 players per team

Handball coaches and associates from sports organizations – 1 coach per team

Through the mini handball and side activity exercise non-disabled children are motivators and educators to children with disabilities. Training apart where 1 disabled and non-disabled children work together creates an environment in which they need to communicate and work together.

Coaches have the possibility to create and adapt the activity depending on the capabilities of participants. Therefore, activities and exercises can easily reach common goals in which all participants involved fulfil their potential.

PlayInc Key Aspects

Mini handball meets the key aspects by setting up specific rules in limiting dribbling and passing that emphasize need for teamwork and communication between participants. Also, by playing together the game creates sense of belonging, focusing on the values and the roles that every participant involved in the activity could play to promote inclusion.

Side activity exercise performed in pairs enable harmonic growth of technical-motorial-emotional-cognitive skills of the athletes and the group according to their capabilities. Coaches can also educate themselves and children about sports for able-bodied and for people with impairment through same handball passing exercises.

Contact the organisation


Name: Health Life Academy Association (HLA)

Web: https://healthlifeacademy.com/

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