Handball originated in Europe in the1900s and recognizes over 140 countries as
members of the International handball Federation (IHF).
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.
Simplified Rules of the Game
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Players are allowed to:
are not allowed to:
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.
These are fouls that require more punishment than just a free-throw. “Actions”
directed mainly at the opponent and not the ball are
(actions consist of reaching around, holding, pushing, hitting, tripping, or
jumping into opponent).