One-handed catch


For this task, you’ll need:

  • 2 pylons (3 metres apart – child at one, assessor at the other)
  • Tennis ball (or similar)


“I want you to catch the ball that I throw to you with only one hand. You can use whichever hand you like, but only one hand. I want you to catch the ball with one hand the best you can. Please try to catch the ball the best you can. Ready? Catch now.”

young girl catching a yellow ball with one hand

Rating System



Presence of numerous major gaps in execution

  • Unable to track the incoming ball
  • Does not move hand to ball purposefully
  • Shows an elbow-flexion-style of a clutching catch
  • Bats at ball to only make contact 


Limited number of major gaps, but able to execute basic sequencing of the task

  • Tracks incoming ball poorly
  • Moves hand to ball but fumbles or bobbles during catch and/or drops ball
  • Uses “stiff” limb motion during catch



     Basic level of execution with minor     sequencing errors

  • Tracks incoming ball well
  • Moves hand to ball and receives the ball well
  • Minor fumbles
  • No bobble or loss of contact (no double catch)
  • Does not exhibit clasping or clutching grasp


     Overall proficiency is depicted by the     quality of the movements

  • Fluidly moves to intercept ball in the air with positive hand reception
  • Capable of snatching the ball out of the air

Assessment Example

Jamal is one of the facilitators of a fundamental skills camp for youth at the local fitness centre. Today, the kids are practicing their one-handed catching, as per the PLAYfun Tool. Jamal lines up across from Jody, who just turned eight years old.

The first thing Jamal notices is that, while Jody tracks the ball well and moves her hand toward it purposefully, she has trouble catching it. She tends to swat at it, and even when she “cheats” and tries to catch it using both hands, she still fumbles it or bobbles it. Jamal also notices how stiff Jody's arm is when she goes to catch it.

Jamal knows that eventually Jody will begin catching the ball, and that at that point her tracking and purposeful movement will aid her, but for now he places a mark under “Emerging” near the “Initial” line.