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Schools Handball Explained

Handball is a fast paced, highly skillful, hugely entertaining, and fully inclusive sport.

There are various strands of GAA Handball for Schools which we will detail below.

1) Schools 1-Wall Initiative

The School 1-Wall Initiative is our recreational programme, ideal for any School willing to start playing. All that is needed is a ball and a wall. Suitable for Primary & Secondary. It has seen an explosion of growth nationwide, and pleasingly, in many areas not traditionally associated with Handball.

See here for full details.

2) 1-Wall Schools Competitions

Due to the huge and continuous rise in popularity on Schools starting to play Handball via the 1-Wall Initiative, there has been interest expressed on competitions for these new schools not typically associated with Handball Clubs. Unfortunately GAA Handball do not have the capacity at present to host such events at present.

However there are still opportunities for Schools in local clusters to host invitational tournaments to provide a competitive outlet for their students. Contact darragh.daly.handball@gaa.ie for help, guidance, and a list of possible schools to invite in your locality.

Luckily for schools based in Ulster, Ulster GAA staff coordinate an excellent annual programme of 1-Wall County & Provincial Blitz Days aimed at beginners.  These Blitz Days are played as Team of 4 Events, with players taking it in turn to serve twice, thus balancing out the playing standards. Players who have previously won a Provincial title in any code of Handball are ineligible. Email shane.mccann.ulster@gaa.ie for details.

3) Cumann na mBunscoil

Each year there are County and Provincial CnaB series' in the 4-Wall code of Handball (Handball codes explained). This is for age groups U11 & U13, Boy's & Girls, with Singles & Doubles grades provided. Schools are advised to contact either the County Handball Secretary (Secretary Contact Details), or the County Schools CnaB Rep to enter.

Winners of each Provincial event proceed to participate in the National Cumann na mBunscoil Day, hosted by GAA Handball in February/March each year. Contact development.handball@gaa.ie for details on the National event.

At present there is no CnaB structure for 1-Wall. However this concept is something GAA Handball are looking into for the future.

4) 2nd Level Competitions

County, Provincial & All-Ireland Schools Series are ran every year for the 4-Wall & Softball codes (Handball codes explained). Schools are advised to contact the County Handball Secretary (Secretary Contact Details) to enter.

  • Boys Colleges Singles & Doubles Grades - 1st Years (to Provincial only), Junior (U15), Intermediate (U17), Senior (U19).
  • Girls Colleges Singles & Doubles Grades - 1st Years (to Provincial only), Junior (U16), Senior (U19).

5) 3rd Level Handball

3rd Level Handball in Ireland is run by the Irish Collegiate Handball Association (ICHA), who cater for a wide range of playing abilities and codes. Find out more about the ICHA via their Facebook & Twitter pages.

6) Useful Resources for Schools

We have produced a large bank of useful resources for Schools that are available here. They comprise of School Lesson Plans (18 Lessons), and a Fundamental Handball Booklet (75 Game Cards). See also our excellent Coaching Video Series for 30 short videos explained key coaching points.