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Challenge Task: Partner Throw and Catch

Task Description:

Throw and catch an object with your hands with a partner 30 times in a row without a miss from a distance of 25 feet. Both catches and throws must be made behind the line. If the throw or catch is not made past the line or a throw is dropped the task must be started again. Each youngster will complete 15 throws and 15 catches for a total of 30.

Pictures/Videos of this Challenge

Printable Description of the Partner Throw and Catch Challenge (PDF)

Administering this Challenge:


  • Youngsters must be 25 feet apart when they perform the task and distances must be clearly marked (i.e., with tape, rope, line in ground, etc.).
  • Challenge can be attempted inside or outside.
  • Underhand or overhand throws can be used


  • Youngsters may use any type of object/ball (i.e., beanbags, tennis balls, yarn balls, Koosh balls, footballs, etc.) when performing this challenge.
  • Use tape, rope, cones or some other way to designate the 25 foot distance for the two children.

Challenge Diagram:

partner throw and catch diagram

Challenge Comments:

  • Youngsters may choose to throw underhand or overhand.
  • Youngsters can catch the ball in any way they prefer (e.g., one hand or two hands).
  • Youngsters may NOT use a baseball or softball glove to complete this challenge.

Performance Cues:

Cues for the Overhand Throw:

  • "Side to target": Point non-throwing side/shoulder to the target (i.e., if left handed thrower, point right shoulder/side towards target).
  • "Arm way back": Throwing arm way back behind head.
  • "Step": Step with your opposite foot towards target (i.e., if throwing with left hand, step towards target with your right foot).
  • "Follow through": Follow through by letting your throwing arm come across the opposite side of your body.

Cues for the Underhand Throw:

  • "Face the target": Belly button should be pointing to the target.
  • "Step": Step with your opposite foot towards the target (i.e., if throwing with right hand, step towards target with your left foot)
  • "Bowl the ball": Use a pendulum arm motion with the arm you are throwing with (i.e., like you are bowling).
  • "Follow through": Follow through to the sky or ceiling with hand your throwing hand.

Catching Cues:

  • "Track": Track the ball with your eyes all the way into your hands.
  • "Reach": Reach arms towards ball.
  • "Give": Give with ball as ball hits hands to make it a soft catch.
  • "Pinkies and Thumbs": Pinkies together if ball is below waist. Thumbs together if ball is above waist.
  • "Quick Feet": Move your feet quickly to get into position to catch the ball.

Practice Tasks:

  • Have youngsters throw and catch with a partner so their partner doesn't have to move to catch the object thrown. To begin, start at a distance that is comfortable for them and their partner. Start with an underhand throw and then progress to the overhand throw.

  • Throw a ball against a wall and catch the rebound. In order to perform this task youngsters need wall space. Make sure that the youngsters are spread out along the wall space. Carpet squares are helpful reminders for establishing personal space. At their carpet square, have youngsters throw the ball against the wall and catch it on the return.

  • In their own personal space, have youngsters throw a beanbag (or other type of object) up in the air and catch it. Youngsters can be challenged during this task by throwing and catching the ball at a high, medium, and low level, throwing and catching the ball with opposite hands, or throwing the ball into space and moving to catch it.

Ideas Adapting Challenge for Students with Disabilities:

  • Adjust distance between partners according to ability of student
  • Use Velcro chest vest and Velcro ball
  • Use foot launcher to launch ball 10 times
  • Use beeper ball for visually impaired
  • Use balls of different sizes or colors
  • Use bounce passes
  • teacher to student throw & catch, 10 to 19 ft, minimum 10 catches, ind. ball choice
  • teacher to student throw & catch, 3 to 9 ft, minimum 10 catches, ind. ball choice
  • teacher to student throw & catch, 3 to 9 ft, minimum ____ catches, ind. ball choice
  • launch ball/beanbag chest high 5 times using foot launchers
  • launch ball/ beanbag a self catch _____times out of ten
  • catch/snatch scarf tossed by teacher ____times
  • catch and push beach or bell ball 5 times rolled across ping pong table. (wheelchair pushed next to table's edge)

Helpful References for this Challenge:

PE Central Tasks:

Additional information can be found in:

Graham, G., Holt/Hale, S. & Parker, M. (2001). Children Moving: A reflective approach to teaching physical education (5th Edition). Mayfield: Mountain View, California.(Throwing and Catching Chapter).

Gabbard, C., Le Blanc, B., & Lowy, S. (1994). Physical education for children: Building the foundation (2nd ed.). Prentice-Hall, Inc.: New Jersey. (Ch.12, Manipulative Skills; pg. 199-207).

Kirchner,G. & Fishburne,G. (1998). Physical education for elementary school children (10th ed.) WCB: McGraw-Hill (Ch. 6; pg. 120-126; 460-463).

Moving into the future: National standards for physical education (from NASPE). (1995). Mosby-Year Book, Inc.: MO.

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