The rules of handball
THE GAME, THE RULES
Handball is a team sport played by two teams of seven with one ball, on a rectangular court (40x20m) divided into two halves. The aim of the game is to place the ball in the opposing team's goal more times than the other team. The player who has the ball in his/her hand moves forward by dribbling and may pass the ball to a team-mate. The player may not take more than three steps without dribbling and may not keep the ball in his or her hand for more than three seconds while motionless.
In general a match is played over two halves of 30 minutes, separated by a half-time of 10 minutes. However, the length of the match depends on players' age class:
- Under 17 years of age: 2 times 25 minutes.
- Under 15 years of age: 2 times 22 minutes.
- Under 13 years of age: 4 times 10 minutes.
This is the only player who is permitted to touch the ball within the zone. The goalkeeper's aim is to save or return the opposing team's shots. Players who play in this position must be supple in order to reach the ball with their hands or their feet in all the corners of the goal.
Placed on the left-hand side of the court, the left wingman takes the extreme left position in defense (along the touch line). When the opposing team loses the ball, the left wingman must run as quickly as possible towards the opposing team's end in order to receive the ball from his/her team-mates and take a counter-attacking position. In defense, this player's role is to prevent his/her opponent from having enough of an angle to score a goal, but also to come to his/her team-mate's aid in order to close off or reduce the attacker's space.
Located at the rear, (beside the centre backcourt), this position often takes charge of long-distance shots at goal. The left backcourt's mission is also to pass the ball to the wingman and to the pivot in the opposing team's defense.
Located in the middle of the court, this player is also known as the team's "playmaker". The centre backcourt directs attacks and tells the team which strategy to use. This player can penetrate the opposing team's defense. When defending, he/she will usually be placed just in front of the defense in order better to disrupt the opposing team's circulation of the ball.
Located along the 6-metre zone at the heart of the opposing side's defense, the pivot marks the opposing team's defenders either by standing in front of the opponents' goal or by maneuvering around the zone. In defense, this player's role is to assist his/her team mates as they move around him/her. He is generally in charge of marking the opposing team's pivot or preventing him/her from obtaining the ball.
Located on the right-hand side of the court, this player's role is the same as the left backcourt.
Located on the right-hand side of the court, this player's role is the same as the left wingman.
Chabala: a dummy shot, in which the player place a wrist under the ball to slow it down.
Kung-fu: using the space above the goal surface to take a shot. The player jumps and shoots towards the opposing goal before landing on the floor.
Lob: a shot at goal in an arc over the head of the goalkeeper.
Marking: focusing on one player to limit his/her offensive action.
Spin shot: a shot at goal in when the player causes the ball to spin.