AFL 'Clean Hands' Handball Test

This is a test of Australian Rules Football handball skill, and was conducted at the Australian Rules Football (AFL) draft camp from 2010 to 2016. The test was designed by former Essendon AFL player Matthew Lloyd.

purpose: this test measures the ability of a player to gather the ball cleanly and deliver quick accurate handballs using both preferred and non-preferred hands.

equipment required: grass field, ground markings, marker cones, 6 footballs, 6 other players to receive handballs.

procedure: This test comprises six takes and six handballs to various targets nominated randomly by the assessor. Kicking TestTarget players stand at cones at 6m, 8m and 10m away, on each side of the player. The targets are at an angle of 45 degrees away for the 6m target, and less for the others. A 'feeder' delivers the first three balls rolled towards the player (from 8m in front) and the final three are kicked (from 10m in front). The 'feeder' also calls the required target for the handball - Short Left or Right (6m), Middle left or Right (8m) and Long Left or Right (10m).

scoring: The assessment is based on the ability to get a clean take of the ball at varying heights, quick execution of a handpass with perfect spin and reaching the target at the right height and speed. Scoring for each handball is based on the table below. See some results on the AFL draft camp results page.

points rating description
5 Excellent Clean take, quick execution with perfect spin and target not moving to receive ball at chest height.
4 Very Good Clean take, quick execution and good spin with target moving slightly to receive.
3 Good Clean take, satisfactory execution with target able to take the ball after moving.
2 Marginal Fumble but recovers to reach target with good technique.
1 Poor Fumbles and gets ball to target with poor technique.
0 Fail Fumbles and misses target completely.

target population: This test was designed specifically for AFL, though it could be adapted for other sports in which ball passing skill is important.

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