Satellite Sports Network Words




  • Team handball is played by seven players on a hard surface area bigger than a basketball court.
  • The basic skills of running, jumping, catching and throwing are combined into a fast moving exciting game.
  • Object of the game is to score more goals than your opponents by throwing the ball into their netted goal.
  • Elements of basketball, soccer, hockey and water polo can all be seen in this Olympic Game that has become the second most popular game in the world.




  • Court size: 20 M by 40 M.
  • Court boundaries are called touchlines (sidelines) and goal lines (endlines).
  • A netted goal 2 M (6') high by 3 M (10') wide) is located on each of the goal lines.
  • A 6 M (19') semi-circle line in front of the goal separates the goal area. (Only goalies can legally stand in this area.)
  • In Phy-Ed classes the basketball 3 point line is used for the 6 M line.
  • Other markings on the court include 7 M penalty marks & the 9 M free throw lines.


  • Official balls are leather and similar in construction to a small soccer ball that can be held with one hand.
  • Official team handballs circumference: Men - 23" , Women - 21" (based upon differences in hand size)


  • 60-minute game with 30-minute halves and a 10-minute intermission
  • No time outs allowed except for injuries


  • Teams are allowed a total of twelve members for a game.
  • Playing teams consists of seven active players (6 court players and one goalie).  Remaining players are substitutes.
  • Court Positions:
    • 1 Goalie (See specific rules below)
    • 2 Wings (Rt & Lt): Shoot from the corners
    • 1 Pivot: Plays on the 6 M Circle Line (similar to the "Center" in basketball)
    • 3 Backs: Usually the top scorers
  • Goalie Specific Rules:
    • Only player allowed in the goal area
    • May play the ball w/ any part of the body (including legs & feet)
    • Is not subject to the 3 step or double dribble rule inside the goal area
    • May leave the goal area but then is subject to all the regular court rules
  • Substitutions:
    • May enter the game at any time
    • Must enter from the substitution area, located on either side of the centerline at the scorer's table
    • During live play a player needs to come off the court before a substitute may enter (similar to hockey substitutions)


  • Coin flip determines who gets first possession of the ball
  • Play begins with a "Throw-Off"
  • "Throw-Off":
    • Offensive team lines up on or behind the centerline and initiates play by passing to a teammate
    • Defense players line up around their 6 M goal area line
    • "Throw-Offs" initiate play for each half and are also used to resume play following a goal.


  • Offense:
    • Attempt to out-maneuver your opponents with quick passing & deception
    • Take shots "flying in" from outside the goal area circle
    • Use set "plays" that employ picks & screens to beat the defense & goalie
  • Defense:
    • Set up as a base on the perimeter of the goal area
    • Always make the offense shoot over defensive players
    • Never let an offensive player shoot uncontested at your goalie
    • Concentrate on stopping the opponents top scorers
    • Teams play both "Man-to-Man" and Zone defenses


  1. Players are allowed to run 3 steps with the ball.
  2. Players may hold the ball for 3 seconds before passing or advancing it in some method.
  3. Players may dribble the ball but are not allowed to "double dribble" (similar to basketball).
  4. A player may take 3 steps, dribble, and take 3 more steps before passing or shooting.
  5. Except for the goalie players may not play the ball below the knees.
  6. A Player may not pass the ball to his/her self by throwing it into the air (air dribble is illegal).
  7. Players are not allowed to dive for a ball that is on the ground.
  8. Goalies may leave the goal area to play the ball but must then abide by all the court rules.
  • Violations of above rules: Opponents receive a Free Throw


  1. Players are allowed to use their body to block an opponent's movement & shots (modified in phy-ed classes)
  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


  1. On the touchline (sideline):
    • Throw-in is taken from the spot
    • Opponents must be 3M (10') away when the ball is passed in.
    • Player throwing must have both feet on the line.
  2. On the goal line:
    • Last touched by a defensive player (excluding the goalie) - Throw-in taken by the offense from the nearest corner
    • Last touched by an offensive player - "Goal throw" by the goalie
    • Last touched by the goalie - Goal throw by the goalie


  • 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 counts 1 point w/ a typical game having 50 goals scored between the 2 teams.


  1. Only the goalie may stand inside the goal area.
  2. If an offensive player is in the circle or on the line, with or without the ball, the ball is given to the opponent and a goal cannot be scored. A free throw is awarded to the defense.
  3. If the defense gains an "advantage" by being in the goal area, a penalty throw is awarded the attackers.
  4. A ball inside the goal area belongs to the goalie.
  5. Player are not considered to be in the goal area if they are in the air having taken off outside the 6 M line.


  1. FT are taken immediately without the referee touching the ball
  2. FT are thrown from the place the violation occurred.
  3. Defensive players must be 3 M (10') away from the thrower.
  4. The thrower must have one foot continuously in contact with the court and must throw or pass within 3 seconds.
  5. FT are taken for any violation not covered by the penalty throw.
  6. If the foul or infringement occurs between the goal line and the free throw line, a free throw is taken just outside the free throw line opposite from where the foul took place.


  1. PT are given when:
    • Offensive player is fouled with a sure chance to score
    • Goalie carries the ball from outside the goal area back into the goal area
    • Defensive player enters the goal area to gain an advantage over an attacking player
    • Defensive player intentionally plays the ball to the goalie in the goal area
  2. Officials follow the "advantage" or "delayed penalty" rule:
    • The offensive team is allowed to continue their play until they lose possession of the ball
    • Once the defense gains the ball, play is stopped and the offended team is then given the penalty shot
  3. PT are taken from the penalty mark and shot with only the goalie defending.
  4. Throwers must keep one foot in contact with the court behind the line until the ball is released.
  5. All other players must stand behind the free throw line until the ball is released.
  6. Once the PT is released the ball is live and regular play continues from that point.


  1. Yellow Card:
    • Given to a player involved in repeated personal fouls
    • Referee stops play and issues a warning to that player
  2. 2-Minute Suspension:
    • Given to a player guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessarily rough play, continued intentional fouls, repeated rule violations, & illegal substitution
    • Referee stops play and sends the player out of game for 2 min.
    • The suspended player's team must play short-handed (minus one player) during the 2 min.
  3. Red Card:
    • Given to a player receiving a third 2-minute suspension or involved in an unusual rule violation
    • The player is disqualified and must leave the court and bench area
    • A teammate must serve the 2-minute penalty.