Handball for kids – best age, benefits, cost, choose academy

Team handball or handball is a team sport in which players use their hands to throw a synthetic ball. This sport resembles football and basketball.

In this article, For Kids will explain all the necessary information you need to know about handball for kids, starting from the basic rules and the best age for the child to start this sport.

Also, you’ll learn about the benefits, disadvantages and medical contraindications associated with the sport, as well as the cost of handball equipment and lessons and how to choose the right handball coach and academy for your child.

Handball for kids

Table of Contents

How to play handball

Team handball or handball is an Olympic team sport that’s played mostly on indoor courts. There is also beach handball, which is an outdoor activity.

Each team consists of seven players (six on the court and a goalkeeper) with five more players for substitution.

A men’s handball match lasts for 60 minutes. It’s divided into two halves, with 15 minutes of rest between the two halves.

For women’s matches, each half runs for 25 minutes.

Players bounce and pass a handball ball made of leather to each other, similar to the passing done in basketball.

To score a goal, they have to throw the ball into a net, which is two meters high (6’7”), three meters wide (9’10”) and one meter deep at the base of the goal. It’s usually guarded by the goalkeeper of the other team.

The best age to start handball for kids

The best age for children to start playing handball games is seven or eight years old, but optimally nine to 12 years old so they can run fast and exercise good ball control.

The older the child, the greater the requirements for their physical fitness when playing this game.

Throughout the selection process of a young handball player by professional clubs, the co-ordination of each player’s movements and their general physical characteristics are assessed.

In modern handball, growth is also important. It’s difficult to evaluate children by this criterion since they’re still actively growing and changing rapidly.

Benefits of handball for children

Handball for kids

Handball is good for the body and mind

Thanks to this kind of sport, children develop:

  • Overall endurance when responding to physical stress
  • Quick exercise reaction times
  • Agility
  • Improved co-ordination of movements.

Handball is also useful for the intellect: the logic and speed of thinking develops.

In order to pass the ball, it’s not enough to be just deft and quick. It’s necessary to think, predict the course of events and quickly make the best decision.

It’s useful to some body functions

Handball develops the cardiovascular system, and the lung volume of handball players is almost the same as that of swimmers. It also enhances bone mass and physical fitness (Source: Science Direct).

It strengthens muscles

Unlike soccer, handball develops musculature not only of the legs, but also of the arms and the upper body.

It aids with character formation

In a sports game in which there are elements of competition, the child will develop qualities such as purposefulness, a strong work ethic, will, endurance and patience.

Disadvantages of playing handball

When signing kids up to play handball, parents should understand that this is a traumatic sport.

Fortunately, children cope with injuries better than adults, as they recover quickly.

Over time, they develop so-called “sports immunity” and they become more resistant to injury.

Most common injuries associated with handball

According to a study published by the Wiley Online Library, it’s been revealed that:

The incidence of injury among professional players in major tournaments is, on average, 108 injuries per 1000 player hours.

The most common sites of injuries during handball matches is as follows:

  • The lower extremities (42 percent)
  • Head injuries (23 percent),
  • Upper extremities (18 percent)
  • The trunk (14 percent)

Kids handball: Medical contraindications

As with other contact sports, handball has a number of medical contraindications associated with it. Kids can’t participate if they have one of the following health problems:

  • Vision problems that necessitate wearing glasses
  • Chronic heart diseases
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Diseases of the musculoskeletal system

How much does handball stuff cost for children?


Handball clothes

In such an active game as handball, clothing should be comfortable and not constraining to movement.

Most often, a set of clothes will include a T-shirt, a jersey and shorts. It’s desirable that the fabrics contain a lot of cotton, for ventilation purposes.

Such clothing sets aren’t expensive, ranging from $30 to $40 in the children’s departments of sports shops.

Handball Shoes

The next thing you need to buy is handball shoes.

With handball for kids, it’s advisable to use lightweight sneakers with a flexible sole, which will offer the child perfect adhesion with the court floor.

This is important not only for a child’s mobility during the game, but also for security. At a sports shop, such shoes can cost from $75 to $120.


You may need to buy a ball for the game. It should be made of rubber so it’ll be unlikely to slip out of an athlete’s hands.

For children, a small ball is used. Its circumference is 50 to 52 cm and its weight is 290 to 330 grams. Such a ball can cost $20 to $30.


Knee guards, elbow support and a jockstrap for males are always needed, especially for the goalkeeper.


Handball lessons for children usually aren’t expensive. There are often free handball lessons at schools.

Where to play?

Find domestic handball clubs registered with USATH (team handball) in your state at TeamUSA.org.

Choosing a handball academy

Handball academy for children

First of all, ask your child’s school about the presence of kids’ handball activities.

If there’s a handball court at their school, this is convenient in the sense that you can take the child to training immediately after their main activities without spending time on the road.

There are also handball sections in almost every sports academy and at sports clubs, which can offer handball camps and a special handball program for kids.

When choosing, we advise you to consider the following factors:


If you want to develop a professional player, look for sections that give each child the opportunity to participate in international tournaments and competitions.

Keep in mind that pursuing ambitious goals will cost more, financially.


Every coach has their own approach to working with children. One coach may have just the training basics, but treat the kids in an excellent manner, while another may be a professional who knows everything about the sport.

Go to the trial classes at different academies and determine where and with whom your child will be most comfortable training.


Check out the handball club recommendations online. Talk with other parents and find out what they liked and what they didn’t like within the training sessions.

Summing up

Handball for children comes with a number of useful features.

This sport develops physical endurance and involves all muscle groups.

A handball mini-game is suitable for both girls and boys. It doesn’t require large financial investments and has no strict contraindications.

Handball will suit your child if:

  • They like team sports games
  • They’re active and mobile
  • They have observable leadership qualities that can be fostered further
  • You want to keep them physically healthy and in good shape