Swedish handball

Minutes: 5-30 Players: 6-20 Ages: 7-99


1. Movement, warm up. 2. Teach pass and move concept. 3. Teach importance of passing. 4. Teach importance of moving into space. 5. Improve teamwork. 6. If nothing else, the kids love this game–it can be exciting and fun.



This is a team game. 3v3 4v4, 5v5 etc. Set up a goal at each end of the field. Goal can be a small (5×5) square or a circle or triangle–does not matter, just a dedicated area where the ball can be placed. Field size varies depending on number of players, for 5v5 I would suggest 40 by 30.


The aim of the game is to pass the football among your team WITH HANDS, keeping possession and working up the field in order to score a point. Each team scores by placing the ball (or throwing the ball down) in their opponents goal.

To pass the ball you must use TWO hands (just underarm, or for older kids overarm as well helps with throw in practice). Before passing to a team mate you must touch the ball on the ground–then pass. Once the player receives the ball they cannot run, they are frozen (or can just take one step) and then must pass to a team mate (you can use your judgement depending on kids, maybe have 1-2 or 3 steps, can enforce time, i.e.. must pass within 5 seconds). The opposing team can only intercept between passes–they cannot grab the ball out of players hands. If the ball goes out of grid award throw in to opposing team.

Team scores if they place or throw the ball down into the opposing goal. You may need to enforce a 1 or 2 defender rule, otherwise defending players tend to just crowd around the goal area.

In have been coaching in the US now for a few weeks (I am a UK FA coach) and the kids love this game and it is truly amazing to see how they spread out and pass and support. I have used this game as a great way to give kids a practical example of how to play “give and go” soccer.

Adaptations or Progressions.

Spike Ball — one team plays Swedish Handball and tries to spike the ball used by the other team who are trying to make 10 consecutive passes.

1, 2 or 3 touch small sided football.

Head Ball

Same as Swedish handball–adapt rules so that every second pass is a header and that opposition cannot gain possession from a header