Team Handball

Team handball is considered the number two sport in the world. It originated in the early 1900’s in Europe. This fast-paced sport is gaining popularity throughout the world, and is played by 39 million people in 159 different nations.

Basic rules of team handball

The players consist of two teams that each have seven players including one goalkeeper and six court players per team. The players have to throw the designated ball past the goalkeeper in hopes of it going into their opponent’s goal. Players can advance the ball by throwing it from player to player down the court.

Possession of the ball:
A player can run with the ball, but must stop every three steps and not move for three seconds before they are allowed to take three more steps.

Dislodging the ball from another player:
Players are not permitted to hit, pull or punch the ball. Players cannot try to dislodge the ball from another player. They also cannot use the ball to try to endanger their opponent, or make contact with the ball below their opponent’s knees. These are considered major or minor fouls.

Penalty for committing a foul:
When a player commits a foul, the other team is allowed a free throw.

Free throw:
When a foul occurs a “free-throw” is given either at the point of the violation or at the point nearest the 10 yard line if the foul happened between the goal-area line and the 10 yard line.

Keeping the ball from being passed:
Players are allowed to use their body to block the ball from being passed, but they are not allowed to charge into another player.

Length of the game:
A match will consist of two 15 minute periods including a half time of 5 minutes.

Stopping the clock:
The clock can be stopped if a player is injured, a team takes a timeout or the referee decides to do so for another reason.

Overtime period:
Unlike many other sports, team handball does not have an overtime period.

How the games is started:
The game is started at center court with a jump ball.

Ball possession after a player scores:
After a score the other team’s goalie may throw the ball back into the court for play without the game being stopped.

Weight and size of ball:
The official team handball weighs about 16 ounces and is 23 to 24 inches in circumference. In American Team Handball, the ball is 22-23 inches for men, 21-22 inches in circumference for women and is easily gripped in the player’s hand.

Court size:
The court is approximately 66 feet wide by 131 feet long and looks similar to a basketball court.

For questions contact Michael Bryan at 

Teams will be limited to 7 players (may be co-ed) with games on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11 p.m. in the Sommer Center.