Team Handball

Team Handball originated in Europe in the1900s and recognizes over 140 countries as members of the International handball Federation. Handball first appeared in the Olympics in the 1936 Berlin Games as an outdoor sport, with 11 players on a side. It was not played again at the Olympic games until 1972, where it was played indoors with 7 players on each side. Women’s handball was added to the Olympic Games in 1976.

Rules of the Game

1. Object of the Game

Handball combines the elements of soccer and basketball, as six players move the ball down a floor that is larger than a basketball court and try to score by throwing the ball past a goalkeeper into the net. A successful scoring attempt results in the award of a single point. Typical final scores in this action-packed game run in the mid twenties. 

A regulation game is played in 30 minute halves with one team timeout per half. A coin toss determines which team starts the game with a throw-off. The clock stops only for team timeouts, injuries, and at the referee’s discretion.    

2.  Field of Play

The court is slightly larger than a basketball court.  Regulation size is 20x40 meters (65’7” x 131’ 3”).  All court lines are referred to by their measurement in meters. 

The most significant line on the court is the 6-meter line or goal area line. Only the goalie is allowed inside the goal area. Players may jump into the goal area if they release the ball before landing in the area. The 9-meter line, or free throw line, is used for minor penalties, while the 7-meter line, or penalty line, is used for penalty shots, much like penalty kicks in soccer.

 A versatile game, team handball can be played indoors in the gym, outdoors on the grass, on a paved area or on the beach.

3. The Goal

An official size goal measures 2 meters high (6’7”) and three meters wide (9’10”). The net is one meter deep at the base of the goal.

4. The Ball

A handball is made of leather and is about the size of a large cantaloupe. It varies in size and weight according to the group playing. The ball for men weighs 15-17 oz. and is 23-24" in circumference. Women and juniors use a smaller ball weighing 12-14 oz. and 21-22" in circumference. Youth use smaller varieties of balls for mini-handball.

5.  Teams

A game is played between two teams. Seven players on each team are allowed on the court at the same time (6 court players and 1 goalie).  Unlimited substitution is allowed. Substitutes may enter the game at any time through their own substitution area as long as the players they are replacing have left the court.

6. Playing the ball

            Players are allowed to:

Players are not allowed to:

7.  Penalties

Free-Throw – for a minor foul or violation, a free throw is awarded to the opponents at the exact spot it took place. If the foul occurs between the goal area line and the 9 meter line, the throw is taken from the nearest point outside the 9-meter line. All players on the team taking a free-throw must be outside the 9-meter line. Opponents must be 3 meters away from the ball when the throw is taken.

 7-Meter Penalty Shot is awarded when

All players must be outside the free-throw line when the throw is taken. The player taking the throw has 3 seconds to shoot after the referee whistles. Any player may take the 7-meter throw.