Croatia 2009

2009 World Men's Handball Championship

There is a long list of rules in team handball concerning all aspects of the game including the size and weight of the ball. All of these rules can be looked up in detail on the website of the International Handball Federation, also known as IHF.

First, the handball field has to be exactly 40 times 20 meters large. At the center of each end the goal is placed. The goals have to have a net fixed to them and need to be painted the same color. The ball has to be made of a material that makes it easy to grip with one hand. A handball match takes 60 minutes in total, two halves of 30 minutes each, plus a half time of 15 minutes, and needs two referees in order to ensure Fair Play.

Concerning the movements of the players there is separate set of rules. Handball is played single-handedly; players are not allowed to touch the ball with their feet but may use both hands to play. Body contact is permitted, under the restrictions of Fair Play. A player can either pass, dribble or shoot after getting the ball. It is allowed to take a maximum of three steps without dribbling and another three steps after dribbling. If a player stops dribbling he must shoot the ball within three seconds. Within this time the player may take another three steps. Players must not carry the ball as this will result in a turnover.

Players are generally not allowed within the goal line, which is six meters in front of the goal. However, a player is allowed to enter the goal area during offensive play if his feet do not touch the ground, i.e. if he jumps with the ball in hand and then shoots at the goal. In case the player enters the goal area, he has to release the ball before he lands. Entering the goal area without a ball is not permitted and will result in having to give the ball to the opponent. Goalkeepers, on the other hand, may go outside the goal line and onto the field anytime.