Restelo Secondary School
Tradition of Handball in Portugal
At the end of the last century, in 1890, gym teacher Konrad Kech created a game with
characteristics very similar to today’s handball.
In Czechoslovakia they practised a very popular game very similar to handball, "azen“, name by which
the sport is still known in that country.
Long before handball was introduced in Portugal, there was a very similar game in Oporto, known as
"malheiral”, named after its creator, the physical education teacher Porfírio Malheiro.
In Portugal, handball eleven was first practised in the city of Oporto, where it was introduced in late
1929 by the German sportsman Armando Tshopp. The first official presentation of a game of handball
was held on 31 January 1931, in Oporto, and later that year the Handball Association of Lisbon was
formed, followed in 1932 by the Handball Association of Oporto.
The seven handball was introduced in Portugal in 1949 by another German, Henrique Feist, residing in
our country. The first official tournament of the new variant was organized by Feist in the village of
Cascais, in the summer of 1949.
The growing popularity of handball seven, both in our country and internationally, led to the gradual
extinction of the handball team of eleven.
Handball is a collective sport, played by two teams, each with seven
players: a goalie (goal keeper) and six players. Normally there are seven players
in the bench, so there are fourteen players in total.
The aim of the game is to get the ball inside the opponent’s goal to score,
and prevent the other team from scoring, or avoid your opponent from getting
hold of the ball.
The game is controlled by the referee team:
2 referees, a court referee and a goal line referee, plus;
1 secretary records each team’s replacements, goals, and other occurrences
during the game, and notes everything down on the game’s bulletin;
1 time keeper who controls the time of the game, the break times (fouls,
substitutions, etc.) and the times of players’ expulsion.
2 halves of 30 minutes each, with a 10 minute break (half-time).
Teams change benches at half-time
Each team is allowed a time-out per half (or should an injury occur)
Players have 3 seconds to put the ball back into the game.
Overtime – 2 periods of 5 minutes each
You can touch the ball with every part of your body, except your feet.
You can only hold the ball for 5 seconds.
You can only take 3 steps with the ball.
1. 6-metre line (limit line of area
The Playing Court where no player, except the goalie, can
stand in. First defensive line, aka goal
3. Time keeper
4. Central line (midfield line where
you restart the game after: a goal is
scored, beginning of the the first and
5. 7-metre line (line where the free
throws are marked)
6. 4-metre line (line pointing how far
the goal keeper can go to defend the 7
metres free throws).
7. Goal line
8. 9-metre line (line where the team’s
defense is organized and where the fouls
suffered in the 6 and 9 metres area are
9. Replacement area (the first one
leaving the court is the player to be
11. Goal area
Behaviour with the opponents
Use your arms and hands to get the ball. A player is allowed to take the ball out of the hand of an
opponent with the hand. It’s strictly forbidden to do so by grabbing or punching the ball. It
doesn’t matter your position in relation to the opponent when you’re getting the ball or blocking
Only the goalkeeper can stay inside the goal perimeter. If any opponent enters this area, he is
punished with a foul.
Anytime the ball passes entirely the side line, it will result in a lateral throw. It has to be taken
with a foot on the side line and the other one outside it.You can choose to pass to a teammate
(including the goalkeeper) or you can try to score.
When the ball passes the line, being the last player to touch the ball a player from the defending
team, the referee marks a corner throw. The throw is done, also with one foot in and the other
outside the line, on the intersection point between the final and the side line. If the last player
touching the ball is the goal keeper (of the defending team), a corner throw will not be marked.
The referee marks a free throw for an irregular switch between players, any irregular throw,
irregular dribbling of the ball, incorrect behaviour towards an opponent or anti-
sportsmanship. The player takes the foul on the place where it has been committed. If the foul
was committed between the six and the nine metre lines, it is taken on the nine metre line.
If a serious foul is committed upon any opponent, this throw is marked by the referee. It is
also marked if any foul is committed during a clear goal situation. The player who makes this
throw must do it with at least one foot on the ground.
Goalkeeper (the only player allowed to move freely inside the goal perimeter and he can
touch the ball with any part of the body within the zone)
6 Field players – two wingers (located at both sides of the court), a circle runner (he gets in
among the opponent defenders), two backs (located between the centre and the wingers) and
a centre (located in the middle of the defensive area).
Yellow card (warning)
Gives the player a warning (total of three to a team) used for some fouls; if other players complain
or when the player doesn’t leave the ball in the exact place where the foul was committed (as
ordered by the referee).
Blue card (2 minutes out)
The player that is given a blue card must stay out of the game for two minutes, with no right of
any replacement. This punishment happens if the player commits any violent foul.
Red card (expulsion)
When a player is given a red card, he must leave the court and he cannot go back in – he is not
allowed to play anymore. A player may receive a red card directly for particularly rough
Characteristics of handball
The team that scores a goal may ‘follow’ the ball (from the mid-court), even if there is
any member of the other team in the opposing mid-court. Only the team that suffered a
goal has to be all behind the mid-court line.
Handball can be played by bumping against your opponent but only by using the torso
(moderately intense physical contact is allowed), otherwise it is considered a foul(e.g. the
use of legs and arms).
Victory 3 Points
Tie 2 Points
Defeat 1 Point
Failure to show up
for the game
Technical and Tactical Actions
What follows are some basic actions and others that provide technical superiority
of major importance during a game of handball:
Passing the ball
Using one or both hands, either with both feet on the floor or ‘airborne’
Shoulder or wrist pass
Different ball trajectories: ‘diving’, straight line or arching
Moving with the ball, continuously dribbling the ball
Fingers spread-out, wrist permanently flexed and extended
Ball dribbled only on either side of the body, never ahead of it
Can be used to move forward or to keep the ball in possession of the team
Tactical and Technical Actions
Pull your ‘shooting’ arm to the back of your head
Advance the opposite leg to your shooting arm
Rotate your trunk and throw the ball.
Can be made after a short run with dribble - only 3 steps allowed, the last one
includes the jump
‘Call’ with the foot opposite the ‘throwing’ arm
Jump and raise the knee from the same side of the throwing arm
Throw when you’re high enough and land.
Pull your arm back as far as your hip.
Shoot at your hip’s height.
Crossing the ball
While an attacking player goes behind the team player holding the ball, this
same player passes him the ball in order to create a diversion in the defense.
Tactical and Technical Actions
The act of getting the ball back, by intercepting a pass from the opposing team.
To take the ball from an opponent while he is dribbling, without committing any
Defensive act in which the defender follows the attacking opponent in his offensive
attempts in order to keep him from scoring.
Blocking exchange is a defensive act in which the defending players swap between
the offensive players they are blocking.
Defensive act in which defending players raise their arms in order to try to keep the
ball from entering the defensive area.
The players’ court positions and organisation models are some of the
most important things when it comes to winning a handball match.
Here are some of the most commonly used defensive and offensive