Handball (school)

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Handball (School)
Players 2 minimum
Skill(s) required Manual dexterity
Social skills
Hand-eye coordination

School students in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji often play a style of handball (Also known as four square or - square, with the number in the latter determined by the amount of players) that is different from nearly all other types of handball. The game is played at recess or before and after school. It can also be played at home or anywhere that has a hard surface and at least one line. It also has quick set-up time and easy rules.

Unlike most types of handball, this version doesn't incorporate a wall, instead relying on lines on the ground. A handball court is a square split into four, typically by expansion joints, with the highest and most prestigious position on the court being King, second Queen, third Jack and the lowest ranking, Toilet, rubbish bin or dunce, Ace, King, Queen and dunce, depending on the version. The most radical change from American handball is that the player must bounce the ball (usually a tennis or high-bounce ball) in his square first, until its allowed to bounce in the other players square. Each player, if the ball bounces within their square, must then hit the ball with their hand, have it bounce within their own square once, and then an opponent's square. Failure to do so results in the player being relegated to the lowest position on the court, or the last of the players waiting to enter the court.

Due to the social nature of handball at school and the simplicity of playing, many variations to the rules can occur. For example, one group may play in a square of four while the next school over, they play in a straight line of six squares, radically altering the game. As a result, this article only covers the most common rules and is not representative of every variation.

Basic Rules[edit]

  • Must have at least two players
  • The "Ace" serves the ball, bouncing once within their square before entering an opponent's square
  • Once the serve is complete, the receiver must hit the ball to another player.
  • The ball must be hit so that it bounces in your square on the first bounce, and into another person's on the second bounce.
  • If the first bounce hits another player's square, the player has 'fulled' or has hit a 'full'. They are out.
  • If the first or second bounce lands outside of the court, the last person who touched the ball is out. Normally called as 'out'.
  • If the ball bounces twice in a person's square, the person who is in that square is out. Usually known as 'double' or 'double bounce'.
  • If the ball is touched twice in a row by the same person, they are out. Usually known as 'double touch'
  • If the ball is held or scooped, the person who did it is out.
  • If a player physically or visually interferes with another player, he/she is out.
  • If an outside object interferes with the play, the point will be done over. This is called an "interference" or an "into".