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Name of Activity:

Hockey Stick Handling

Purpose of Activity:

To have students learn how to control an object with a hockey stick.

Activity cues:

Two hands on stick with dominant hand placed in middle of shaft, other hand at top of stick, stick blade flat on the floor, knees bent.


Students will need to know how to correctly hold a hockey stick with two hands – dominant hand placed in middle of shaft, other hand at top of stick, and blade is flat on the floor. Students understand what a zigzag pathway looks like.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

20-30 whiffleballs, 20-30 beanbags, 20-30 beanbag animals or other type of stuffed animal that can easily slide across gym floor. A hockey stick for each student in the class. A large hockey net and several cones.

Description of Idea

Place all of the whiffleballs, beanbags, and animals on floor at one end of the gym. Tell the students that the Fish Delivery Truck had an accident earlier today and that all of these fish were stranded on the side of the road, they cannot breathe, and they need to be rescued as soon as possible!

The whiffleballs are “whifflefish”, the beanbags are “squarefish”, and the animals are “penguinfish” or “bearfish” or whatever type of animal-fish.

On the other end of the gym, designate three areas for the fish rescue. Tell the students to stickhandle all of the squarefish into the lake (rectangle basketball paint), all of the whifflefish go into the net (use a hockey net), and the animalfish go into the underwater cage (build with cones an enclosure against the back gym wall).

Teacher demonstrates how to stick handle one fish at a time; using soft taps with both sides of the blade to have your fish move in a zigzag pathway, keeping fish in close proximity to your blade – I call this keeping your fish on a short leash (when I teach soccer dribbling, I tell kids to keep their ball on a short leash).

Students begin to rescue the fish, one at a time, then return to fish pile and repeat until all of the fish have been rescued. You can play multiple rounds by transferring the hockey net (fish net) and cone enclosure (underwater cage) to the other end of the gym and using the basketball paint (lake) on the opposite end of the gym, and having the students stickhandle the fish in the opposite direction.

I often use a timer to record the fastest time that each class can rescue all of the fish or compare fastest times between different classes.

Assessment Ideas:

Teacher Checklist…
4 – student is using both sides of blade, fish is travelling in a zigzag pathway, and fish is on a short leash
3 – student is using both sides of blade, fish travels zigzag, but fish escapes leash
2 – student is using one side of the blade and/or fish escapes leash
1 – student is dragging fish under blade and/or blade does not remain flat on floor

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Students with physical disabilities may use a lighter weight hockey stick or a stick that is shorter or longer; as well as a lighter weight or larger ball such as a beach ball, in order to stick handle.

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Submitted by Dave Isenberg who teaches at Millville Elem in Millville, MA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/23/2015.

Viewed 23497 times since 9/22/2015.

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