Monday, December 22, 2014

Handball and Dodgeball Birthday Party!

Handball and Dodgeball birthday party and one tournament for my December baby. Sports theme birthday party for boys is always a fun adventure to put on. Read the story of how it all came together through the eyes of Field Trip Dad.
It happened.  Our children are growing up fast.  Alma and I are running out of themes for birthday parties.  It is becoming difficult to plan a unique and creative event.  Over the last year or so, our kids have spiked and bounced their way through 3 rubber handballs, better known as a dodge ball.  Our boys play handball daily with their friends at school and it seems that the sport that my wife and I grew up with has re-emerged and morphed into an exciting game with plenty of new spins and a variety of added rules.  When we asked our son what kind of party he wanted, he quickly said, "Let's have a handball party."

In my search for information to create the over the top Bosek Family birthday party as we strive to do for our kids, I found it difficult to find anything on the sport.  There were no party wares, there were no rules, there were no other parties I could tailor to make my own.  So off we set on this field trip adventure to create the first known (or at least to our knowledge) "HANDBALL TOURNAMENT BIRTHDAY PARTY!"


handball birthday party photo handballparty_zps049c0cbe.jpg
 To get started, Alma and I had to do some research.  How old did I get to not know what a toilet bowl, a slicey, a pop and a bullet were!  These are the playground names of various ball strikes to win the game.  We took the kids over to a park near us with an outdoor racquetball court so we could play and learn the new terms.  There were many rules that the boys wanted to impose during the game, so Alma and I had to help set them.  Once we set the rules, the game ran smooth with no arguing and everyone knew when it was their turn to play and when they were out.  I quickly went home and wrote down the rules of play in terms the kids could understand.  I have added a link to this in a downloadable document that you can use for your next handball tournament.
HANDBALL RULES

1. NO TOILET BOWLS, SLICEYS, ETC. ON SERVE. THE BALL MUST BE HIT TO THE WALL WITH A SINGLE BOUNCE BY EACH PLAYER AND FOR EVERY TURN. NO RAINBOWS ALLOWED.

2. NEW INCOMING PLAYER SERVES.

3. 2NDBOUNCE, OUT OF BOUNDS, BULLETS, POPPIES, MISSING THE BALL, STOPPING THE BALL, HITTING THE BALL TWICE IN ONE TURN OR NOT RETURNING THE BALL TO THE WALL WITH ONLY A SINGLE BOUNCE ARE AN AUTOMATIC OUT.

4. A PLAYER MUST CALL INTERFERENCE BEFORE 2ND BOUNCE WHICH CAUSES AN AUTOMATIC REPLAY. LAST PLAYER TO HIT THE BALL SERVES.

5. CROSS COUNTRIES AND BABIES ARE GOOD PLAYS EXCEPT ON SERVE.

6. UNTIED SHOES ARE AN OUT AT SERVE, REPLAY IF IT HAPPENS DURING PLAY.

7. ALL ARGUMENTS AND CUTTING LINE ARE A DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE TOURNAMENT.

8. FIRST PLAYER TO REACH 10 WINS, WINS THE TROPHY.
9. REFEREE HAS FINAL WORD ON EVERYTHING.
We decided to give the winners of the tournament a trophy.  Since we didn't know how long the game would take, we bought three hand balls just in case the games went quick.  We booked a spot at our local park where we knew there was a handball / racquetball court and set up our party nearby to ensure all of the parents could watch the game.  I was the referee and decided to get the games underway.  We had 13 kids, all of varying ages. At the last minute, I shifted the plan of having all 13 kids play together in one tournament with first person to 10 wins being the winner of the trophy.  There were 1st graders and 6th graders playing and I thought it would not be fair to the little ones having to compete with an 11 year old.  With three trophies, I lined everyone up in height order from shortest to tallest and then split them into 3 groups so that there were only 4 or 5 kids in each group.  Then, each group moved to a separate line around the court and I asked the youngest group to play first.  We all read the rules together and I answered all of their questions before starting.  Each group played through all of the players in their group and as a person won, I would give them a check mark next to their name for each win.  Once each group played through all of their group members, I stopped play and invited the 2nd group to start play.  We rotated through all of the players in group 2 and I then asked group 3 to play, rotating through the players in each group and rotating group to group to prevent anyone from getting bored. 
The kids had a blast, there were cheers from the big kids for their favorite 1st grade player and cheers all around for great plays and individual rallies!  There was no arguing as they all knew the referee had the final ruling.  Soon, we had our first winner in one of the groups and I presented them with their trophy.  After all of the winners were determined, I learned that age had nothing to do with ability as many of the younger players were just as talented as some of the older kids.  It came down to the players ability, experience and passion of the game.  To download a copy of the trophy instructions, click on the attached link..
Overall, the Handball themed birthday party was a huge success.  We ordered fried chicken from our local Albertsons grocery store deli, served fruit, potato and pasta salad and some amazing handball themed cupcakes.  We had budgeted for $400 for this party and came in significantly under budget, around $280.  Are you looking for help with your next birthday party?  Try this unique and fun idea or email us for additional help.  To download a copy of the Handball Rules and Score Keeper click on the link below.
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