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Handball Rules for Kids at Home or School | Here’s How to Play Handball!

Are you looking for handball rules so you can make sure you are best player? You’ve come to the right place! 

Our article will give you the basic handball rules of how to play this fun and exciting game. You can play school handball or handball at home and we have school handball rules to make sure you win all the games against your friends.

History of Handball

Students in schools in Australia play school handball games that may be known as four square or square.  The court may look like a plus sign (+) with lines around the outside making a perimeter of the shape.  They will usually play handball at school with a high bounce rubber ball or bouncy tennis ball.  Unlike American handball this game does not involve a wall (unless played by one player).

Rules of handball for schools

how to play handball

At its basic level the game of school yard handball is very simple. Handball Australia have simple handball rules for kids.

We’ve outlined the basic how to play handball rules below:

  1. The person in Kings serves the ball by hitting it in their own square and then someone else’s.
  2. The receiving player must hit the ball in their own square and then someone else’s square.
  3. If the ball bounces twice or more times in someone’s square they are out and proceed to dunce or the end of the line of players waiting to join the game.
  4. If Kings gets out they proceed to dunce and the new King serves.
  5. When a higher ranking square gets out all below that square proceed to the next square up.
  6. All above a square who gets out stays where they are.
  7. If a person who is not in Kings, Queens, Jacks or Dunce interferes with the ball it is called ‘intos’ (meaning interference) and the game is replayed.
  8. If the ball bounces on a line it is called ‘lines’ and the game is replayed.
  9. If a player doesn’t hit the ball in their own square first it is called a ‘foul’ and they are out.

In Australia handball rules for school games are played with a minimum of two players and there is no maximum of players. The number of kids that play school handball is often dictated by the number of squares that have been created on the ground for the ‘team’.

Some kids playing handball like to take chalk and draw their own handball court or extend the existing court with more sqaures to extend the size of the game.

School handball court size in Australia

You school handball court size can be any size to fit the space you have. Generally we make the court 3meters x 3 meters.

Some of the terms you may hear in a handball game

  • Bounces Twice in one square – Dubbs (doubles)
  • Player hits ball into opponents first – Foul
  • Ball bounces on line – Lines
  • Ball bounces of solid object – Rebounds
  • Ball is hit out of square – Out of square
  • Replay Game – Replay
  • Ball goes above players head – TreeTops
  • Ball is hit at ground level – Low serve
  • Ball is rolled – Rolls

Basic handball game setup

Find a piece of hard, smooth ground on which to draw your court.  With a piece of chalk draw a 4×4 square with K,Q,J and D in the right places with a metre x metre  perimeter.

That’s it, now get ready to play and make sure you follow the handball rules so everyone enjoys the game!

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

24 thoughts on “Handball Rules for Kids at Home or School | Here’s How to Play Handball!”

  1. In our school handball is very complicated we have rules such as swap and duel. There are also things like ace hold and super shot

  2. I went to two different primary schools back in the early 90s. HANDBALL WAS A WAY OF LIFE. I grew up in SW Sydney but we lived in the Upper Hunter Valley for a few years…
    “Different schools, Different rules”.

    In Sydney when any player yelled at the King for “service” they could request “Babies or Giants” (low or high ball serve).
    Kids played 1-on-1 low-bounce games of “Babies” (usually in the library or when we weren’t meant to be playing handball). “Baby Angles” was a more challenging diagonal version.
    An intense rapid-fire rally would usually become a game of high speed “rolls” and everyone would graze their fingers on the asphalt.

    In the country, there was a rule specifying that if the King serves from outside their square (after retreiving the ball etc.) He/She must shout out “OOONCE!!” (?) as they serve… Failure to shout this results in losing your position and becoming Dunce.

    Kids have far to much spare time on their hands… As do I, obviously.

  3. We play ace, kings, queens and dunce we play by all the rules except treetops and low serve. We also don’t allow headsies. We allow Footsies but not Footsie fouls.

  4. in my school we also do DEATHS when you say it,who evers square the ball bounces in must bounce,header,or skim the ball back to u.
    POISON when the player the ball bounces to can’t give it to you this turn
    DEATHS MATCH when two players only play at each other until one of them dies.it gets really heated sometimes


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