Team Handball is a Tier 2 event. The structure of play (e.g., round robin, single elimination) will be determined by the number of teams registered.
Desired roster size is seven (7) players. Five (5) players are required to avoid a forfeit. One player from each team is designated as the team captain prior to start of play.
Start time is forfeit time: there is no grace period for players to arrive late. Two (2) game forfeits disqualify a team from further play.
It is strongly recommended that players wear a mouthpiece. Cleated shoes are not permitted.
Games are played in two (2) 10-minute halves with a 2-minute break between halves. Games may be shortened at discretion of officials; fifteen minutes of play will constitute a complete game. The clock runs continuously except for officials’ timeouts.
Each team is entitled to one (1) 1-minute time-out per half.
In the event of a tie at the end of regulation play, teams will go to penalty shots. Teams alternate shooters. Following seven (7) shots for each team, the team scoring the most goals is the winner. If the game remains tied, shots will continue until one team scores and the other does not. Players who were on the court at the end of regulation must shoot penalty shots before any sideline player.
Substitutes may enter the game at any time so long as players being replaced have left the field. Substitutes must enter the game at midfield. Players may not switch positions with goalie while the ball is in play. A substitute goalie must notify referee upon entering game.
Score by getting the ball into opponent’s goal by taking shots from behind the goal area line. Players may use hands, arms, head, torso, thighs and knees to move the ball. The ball can be passed, dribbled or rolled, but the ball cannot be touched with the feet.
A player may dribble the ball without time restriction, but players are not permitted to dribble the ball after they have dribbled it and picked it up, i.e., double dribble is not permitted.
A player may run (3) three steps with the ball. A player may hold the ball for (3) three seconds. As soon as the ball is held with one or both hands, it must be released after (3) steps or (3) seconds.
No player, except for the goalie, is permitted in the goal area. The only exception is when an offensive player, while taking a shot on goal, is carried by momentum across the goal area line. In this case, regardless of whether the goal is made or missed, the offensive player must immediately clear the goal area. For example, an offensive player may not take his own rebound while standing inside the goal area line and shoot again.
When the ball enters the goal area, it belongs to the goalkeeper only. Any ball out-of-bounds over the endline goes to the defending goalie.
Field players may not enter the goal area (area bounded by line closest to goal). If a field player enters goal area while taking a shot, and scores, the goal is not counted, and ball changes possession.
Most play will occur between the goal area line and 9-meter line. When there is any change of possession, e.g., after shot on goal and goalie is returning ball to play, or ball is returned to play from out-of-bounds, the offensive team must be outside the 9-meter line until field play resumes. On a throw-in from out-of-bounds over the sideline, defending players must stay 3 meters (10 feet) from the ball.
A player is allowed to use the torso of the body to obstruct an opponent with or without the ball. However, using the outstretched arms or legs to obstruct, push, hold, trip or hit is not allowed. The attacking player is not allowed to charge into a defensive player.
A free throw is awarded for a minor foul or violation. The free throw is taken at the spot where the infraction took place, unless the infraction occurred between the goal area line and 9-meter line. In this case, the ball and all offensive players must be behind the 9-meter line, and defensive players must be 3 meters (10 feet) away when the shot is taken. Violation of any of following rules results in a free throw by opposing team:
- holding the ball without moving for longer than three (3) seconds.
- running with the ball for more than three (3) steps without dribbling.
- contacting the ball below the knees.
- pulling, hitting or punching the ball out of then hands of an opponent.
- unintentionally endangering an opponent with the ball.
- unintentionally tripping an opponent.
- charging, rushing or holding an opponent.
- other dangerous play as judged by officials.
A penalty throw, taken from the 8-yard hash line, is awarded to opponents when:
- a foul destroys a clear chance to score a goal.
- the goalie carries ball back into the goalie area.
- a field player throws the ball to his or her goalie in the goalie area.
All players must be outside the penalty line when the throw is taken. Any player may take the shot.
Actions directed toward an opponent and not the ball, e.g., tripping, holding, pushing, hitting, or intentionally endangering opponent with the ball, will be punished with a 2-minute suspension. The suspended player’s team plays short a man for the two minutes. Repeat of aggressive play by any team member will result in exclusion: the excluded player’s team continues one player short for rest of the game.
USA Team Handball governs all other rules.