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In this article we deal with 'The Scoop' the second of the three catching methods also known as handling zones.

catching zones sml

They are:

basics scoop intext2


This catch is the preferred method when a ball is struck between the zone of the shoulders and above the pelvis. See example picture. Also view catching zone diagram for area this catch is performed. To correctly perform this catch you should already be familiar with the basic coaching sessions of – 'Set position' as this is the position you should start from. You may also have advanced to the sessions of 'Into line of the ball' & 'Down the line of the ball' to then get into a 'set position'.


As the ball impacts you below the shoulders or midriff area you are looking to wrap the ball into your arms against your chest. The most secure technique (although others are coached) consists of the arms crossings at the wrist with the hands finishing towards the top of the ball (again see picture). The elbows should finish tightly into the body and as close to each other as possible. At the end of the movement the head dips so that eye contact is maintained with the ball.


It is important that you always perform the catch against your body and not to the sides as this will weaken your grip also leaving large gaps as the shoulders will not be in line. If this is happening you need to work or return to the coaching session – 'Into line of the ball'.


thescoop 1To get comfortable with the technique of this catch before you have someone distribute the ball do the following – with your weakest hand holding the ball, arm out-stretched, bring the ball into your chest, your strong hand then wraps around the ball with wrists crossed. Check your grip; remembering that your fingers will be over the top of the ball; also look to see if you have secured the ball so that there are no gaps for it to spill through.


In relation to your age, strength and capabilities you can try the following to see how firm and what level of control you have:


  • Fall to the ground maintaining hold of the ball.


  • Have someone try to 'hit' the ball downwards out of your arms.


Once confident you should now combine the catch of 'The W' with 'the Scoop'.



With practise your mind will quickly assess which of the two catches above you will perform as the ball approaches. They are catches you will perform constantly as a goalkeeper, therefore quality and consistency is your objective.


When you have achieved that quality and consistency proceed to 'The Scoop & Fall' or practise further these catches (if you have covered those sessions) while getting 'Into line of the ball' or 'Down the line of the ball'thescoop 2