Heidelberg Ball School


The Heidelberg Ball School tries to teach children the ABCs of playing. It's not about early specialization in a sport, but about the broadest possible training. First and foremost, it is about popular sporting and rehabilitative goals.

  • Emotional
  • Motor and
  • Social competence

The focus of the Heidelberg Ball School is on perceiving and experiencing game situations. The latest sports science and psychological findings are included in the concept in order to promote the development of children as precisely as possible.

Ball school in general

In a ball school, the model of playfully implied learning (MSIL) is used. The ball school consists of three levels:

  • 1st stage: Learning the ABC of playing in the 1st and 2nd grade (general ball school independent of sports games
  • 2nd stage: Semi-integrative ball school in 3rd grade (sports game-oriented training)
  • 3rd stage: Introduction to target game in 4th grade (specific training)

The versatile, unsupervised playing with the foot, hand or a bat makes perfect.

What's this ABC of playing

  • A: playful situation-specific (tactics)
  • B: skill-oriented (coordination)
  • C: skill-oriented (technology)


The Heidelberg Ball School was founded in September 1998 by Prof. Dr. Klaus Roth founded. At that time, cooperation partners were the Institute for Sport and Sport Science, FT Kirchheim and some local elementary schools. The intention was to teach children aged 5-8 the ABCs of play. The focus is on the age-appropriate development of children in ball games. Over 3,000 children have already taken part in the Heidelberg Ball School.

The concept

The Heidelberg Ball School consists of working groups (AG's) the primary school that organize themselves. The Institute for Sport and Sport Science takes on the function of registration, implementation and control. Exercise instructors are sports students with additional qualifications from University of Heidelberg. In the case of offers in a sports club, the control is the sole responsibility of the club, with the ball school providing the necessary assistance.

Target groups

In recent years, the Heidelberg Ball School continuously expanded in their areas of application. Starting with rehabilitation up to the promotion and screening of highly talented children, the school offers numerous possibilities. The talent development program started in 2006/07 in Rhine-Neckar area began. The Heidelberg Ball School cooperates with 4 top sports clubs (TSG Hoffenheim, SG Kronau-Östringen, Adler Mannheim and USC Heidelberg).


The offer of Heidelberg Ball School is aimed at children in the 1st and 2nd grade and is used in addition to normal physical education at the participating schools. Talented children are partially specialized from the 3rd school year.The decision for shooting at goal games or ball game throwing is entirely up to the children themselves. From the 3rd school year onwards, various measures are taken to integrate the children into cooperating clubs.

In the area of ​​rehabilitation, the attempt is not made in a deficit-oriented manner, but rather in a resource-oriented manner. The focus is on having fun in physical activity. The rehabilitative training takes place integratively. A Fitness training is conveyed in a playful and experience-oriented way in order to achieve long-term participation in sport.

In connection with the currently increasing problem, an additional sub-project for overweight and obese children used. The Heidelberg Medical Clinic is a cooperation partner in this area.

The concept has already proven itself in children with ADHD. Participation in ball school projects led to significant improvements in motor skills, the ability to concentrate and psychosocial characteristics. One of the latest projects of the Heidelberg Ball School is the integration of physically handicapped children in ball school sports lessons.

For three years now, the Heidelberg Ball School has also been offered to children aged 3 to 5 as an exercise program in kindergartens.

Where is the Heidelberg Ball School?

The concept of this ball school was initially only offered in the Rhine-Neckar area. Thanks to sponsors, the ball school was able to expand across Germany.