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Team Handball

The Game
The game of Handball combines stamina, speed, endurance, strength and mobility. This fast moving, exciting game utilizes the basic skills of running, jumping, catching, and throwing. The basic objective of the game is to out-maneuver the opponent by passing the ball quickly and then throw the ball past the defense and goalie to score.

The Court

1. The object of the game is to throw the ball into the goal. This scores a single point. The goal area line or crease is the most important line. No one except the goalie is allowed in the goal area, although players may dive into the area prior to releasing the ball. 2. Only 6 court players and one goalkeeper are on the court at one time 3. Team handball is basically a passing game. Players are allowed to hold the ball for a maximum of 3 steps or 3 seconds. A violation of the 3 step/3 second rules causes the ball to become the property of the opposition. 4. Body Contact is not allowed.

5. Possession of the ball may be gained in these ways: a) interception b) incomplete pass c) out of bounds d) infringements of the rules by the opponents 6. The ball must completely cross the goal line to score. 7. Passes: a) Overhand pass most frequently used, most accurate and controlled ball at head height b) Push pass short one hand pass, good deceptive pass, wrist and fingers snap on release c) Pronation pass or side pass passed laterally (to the side) short pass, can be done while running, whip the forearm 8. Shots a) stem shot usually used to shoot under a defenders arms/ overhead or a sidearm shot/ step left, step right, lunge left shoot with low center of gravity/ wrist and fingers snap on release b) jump shot usually used to shoot over a defender, very powerful/ same footwork as stem shot except instead of lunge, plant left foot and drive right knee into the air. During the jump shot, a player is not considered to be in the goal area if they are in the air and release the ball before landing.

The Ball
The ball used in team handball looks like a small soccer ball or volleyball and is made of leather. In class, we use a softer, vinyl-covered foam ball.

The Players
Each regulation team has seven players, six court players and one goalie. (Teams in class may vary in size). The players may play over the whole court (no offside rule).

Starting the Game

A regulation game starts with a throw-off after the official's whistle. A coin is flipped to determine who will have possession of the ball. The throw-off will restart play after a goal in a regulation game, but in class the goalkeeper restarts play after a goal.

A throw-off takes place from the centre of the court. The thrower must touch the middle line with one foot, and all the other offensive players must stay in their half until the referee restarts the game. The defending players must keep a distance of at least three metres from the thrower. A throw-off occurs at the beginning of each period and after the opposing team scores a goal (or as in our class the opposition gets possession).


Balls must completely pass the goal line inside the goal to count as a score Goals may be scored from all formal throws (throw-ins, throw-offs, free throws, and goal throws by the goalie) All goals count 1 point

Goalie Rules

When in the circle, the goalie is not limited to the 3 step, 3 second rule. Goalie may not score when inside their own defensive circle or crease. Goalie becomes a regular court player when leaving the defensive circle. Goalie may not kick the ball.

The Goal Area

Only the goalie is allowed to stand inside the goal area. If an offensive player is in the circle or on the line, the ball is given to the opponent and the goal does not count. If the defensive gains an advantage by being in the circle, a penalty throw is awarded. A ball inside the goal area belongs to the goalie. However, the ball is not considered to be in the goal area if it is in the air.

Playing the Ball

A player is allowed to run three steps with the ball or hold it for three seconds. In competition play there is no limit to dribbling the ball, but in class we do not dribble. A player is not allowed to play the ball with their legs below the knee. Players are also not allowed to dive on the floor in an attempt to play the ball. In addition, it is illegal to keep the ball in a team's possession without making a recognizable attempt to try and score (no stalling).

Defending the Opponent 1. Players are allowed to use their body to block an opponent's movement & shots with
or without the ball. 2. Defensive players may not push, hold, trip, or hit an opponent. 3. Defensive players may not knock the ball away from an opponent's grasp. 4. Offensive players may not charge into defensive players.

Violations of above rules: Opponents receive a Free Throw

In a regulation game, a throw-in is taken if the ball goes out of bounds on the side line. In class, throw-ins are unnecessary because everything is considered "in play". When taking the throw-in, the defense must be three meters (10') away when the ball is passed in bounds.

A FREE THROW is given for minor infractions of the rules, similar to a violation in basketball. The free throw is taken immediately, without the referee handling the ball, from the place where the violation occurred. The defense must remain 3 meters away. The thrower must throw or pass the ball within 3 seconds.

A PENALTY THROW is given for personal fouls of a more serious nature. The majority of penalty throws are given when an offensive player is fouled while shooting. However, a penalty throw is not awarded unless the referee feels that the offense has a sure chance to score when fouled. The officials follow the "advantage rule": if a team fouled against is able to gain the advantage, play continues without penalty.

Principles of Shooting
The best shots in team handball are simple, directed to an open space and taken on the move.

Points to Remember when Shooting

Shoot for the high and low corners of the goal. Rebound the ball off the floor and into the goal. Do not shoot at extreme angles. Do not shoot with defender directly in front. Do not shoot from far out. The best shots are from 9 and 6 meters. If able to drive past the defenders, jump into the circle to get closer to the goal; watch the goalie and shoot for the corners. The ball must be released before you land.

Basic Strategy:

Offense: o Attempt to out-maneuver your opponents with quick passing & deception o Take shots "flying in" from outside the goal area circle o Use set "plays" that employ picks & screens to beat the defense & goalie

Defense: o Set up as a base on the perimeter of the goal area o Always make the offense shoot over defensive players o Never let an offensive player shoot uncontested at your goalie o Concentrate on stopping the opponents top scorers o Teams play both "Man-to-Man" and Zone defenses