the introduction of
CANADIAN TEAM HANDBALL FEDERATION
FÉDÉRATION CANADIENNE DE HANDBALL OLYMPIQUE
TEAM HANDBALL SURVIVAL KIT
1. Team Handball - What is it ?
2. Lead Up Games
3. Introducing Team Handball
4. Team Handball Development Guide
5.1 Rules of Indoor Handball - Elementary Level
5.2 Basic Rules
6. Facilities & Equipment
6.1 Setting up a Court
6.2 Making a Goal Crease
6.3 Building Goals
7. Where to Get Help
7.1 Provincial Federations
7.2 Available Resource Material
TEAM HANDBALL - WHAT IS IT?
Team Handball is a fun and exciting sport enjoyed by kids of all ages. As the name implies, hands
are instrumental in the execution of the game however, running, throwing and catching are the
fundamental skills involved. This game is played by people of all ages and skill
Played on a large court (2OmX40m) with seven players per side the game is fast and exciting as
the ball is moved from one end of the court to the other by passing, dribbling and running. The
combination of exciting dives and leaps while attempting to score, and spectacular saves by the
goalie make this game enjoyable to the spectator and player alike.
From the first introductory activities through to competitive games, everyone will have so much fun,
it will soon become their favorite game. Within this 'Handball Survival Kit" you will find a variety of
activities, modified games and equipment suggestions to help you adapt to whatever
circumstances you find yourself in.
Good Luck and remember - Have Fun!!!
I. KEEP AWAY - 2 teams
- Object - to keep the ball as long as
possible by passing it to
-Rules - can only hold ball 3 seconds
- first team to attain 20 passes
or 1 minute control of ball - wins
-Skill Games - Scored man advantage keep
- Ten passes
- Continuous touch ball
II. END-LINE HANDBALL - 2 teams
- Object - to pass ball to own goalie
situated at opposite end of gym
- standing behind specified line
-Rules - 3 seconds
- 3 steps - bounce - 3 steps
- then must pass or shoot ball
- defender must give 3 feet
-Skill Games - Target Ball
- Target Ball with Goalie
III. CHAIR-HANDBALL - 2 teams - similar to bucket ball - but no
- Object - to pass ball to own goalie
standing on a chair
-Rules - same as end-line handball
-skill Game - One Goal Handball
IV. PIN-HANDBALL - 2 teams
- Object - to knock over a Bowling Pin(s) inside
of a restricted area where nobody is
allowed to step
- Rule - same as Chair Handball - except
crease restriction is added.
V. BORDEN-BALL - 2 teams
- Object - to score on oppositions' net - here the
crease takes on a semi-circle shape
- Rule - same as Chair Handball
- only goalie allowed in semi-circle
- after a goal - a throw-on is awarded to
team scored upon at center court
- any ball, hitting the end wall is a goalie's
-Skill Games - Half Court Handball
- Zone Handball
- Adapted Handball
The purpose of lead-up games are to enhance later performance in the game itself by providing a
situation for practice of one or more skills at the same time as learning rules, tactics, strategies
and other complexities of the sport. They serve to complement skill instruction and drill practice
by applying the skills acquired in a controlled environment which is competitive and vigorous, but
not perceptual-motor complexity, they're a natural step between straight drills of skill and the
actual rather complex game.
In addition, they provide a nice change, bringing fun and variation to what may otherwise
become hard work if drills alone are to heavily relied upon. They are the natural teaching
medium for younger players who are not prepared to drill but who will play for hours. They
should stimulate the player's continued participation and development in handball.
Most of these games require one ball and a limited amount of equipment. They, at the same
time, provide an opportunity for more individuals to be playing in the same, or less space than is
needed for a regular handball game. They have the added advantage of flexible rules that may
be modified to meet the needs of the situation, the numbers of players, shape and size of
playing area, etc.
For handball there are a great number of variety of such lead-up games which can be
designed to meet the needs of learners over a wide range of age and skill levels. Many widely
played games, although only very indirectly related to handball, serve as excellent lead-up,
especially for young children. In fact, any ball handling activity provides certain preparatory
elements for handball play, from the many forms of dodgeball to the sport basketball. Even
some forms of tag played in a limited area are excellent for developing running, dodging and
chasing manoeuvres needed in handball.
The games which are included here are considered to be more closely related to handball play
than those just mentioned, and are recommended as the sort of activity a teacher or coach may
wish to use to supplement drills and the game of handball itself. They are presented in order
from the most simple to the most highly organized.
The more complicated they become, the more they resemble the entire game of handball. They
are arranged under two headings: a) lead up games and b) skill games emphasizing strategy,
positional play and knowledge of rules.
Skill games are those which apply basic handball skills in situations much different from actual
game conditions and with little or no emphasis on the team strategy and positional play of
handball. The older and the better skilled the players, the more demanding should be the skill
performance and the greater the number of skills to be performed. In fact, the coach should
endeavor to find lead-up games to practice all of the basic skills of handball - passing, catching,
shooting and dribbling.
The teacher of the very young should perhaps see himself less teaching handball or handball
skills in these games, than developing the basic perceptual motor ability upon which the later
acquisition of more specialized handball skills are learned.
I. KEEP AWAY (LEAD-UP)
Playing Area: Any shape of clearly indicated area will do, but Its size should suit the
number of participants.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers, from two members upward, scattered
throughout the designated area.
Rules: The members of one team try to keep the ball from the members of the other
team through passing, dribbling and moving about as per the basic rules of
The ball is awarded the opponents if a team member holds the ball more than
three seconds, takes more than three steps or allows the ball to go out of the
Comments: This is an excellent and physically demanding passing and catching game
when played by small numbers in a group. It leads participants to develop
skills as well as important tactics such as moving into the open spaces to
receive a pass and when to use a bounce or lob as opposed to a direct pass.
A large number of players can get a good work-out in enjoyable game
situations in fairly limited space by having several games going at one time In
different sections of the gymnasium.
SEQUENTIAL SKILL GAMES
Scored Man Advantage Keen-Away
The preceding game may be played with the offensive team having one or two players more
than the defensive team. A point can then be given for each series of three passes completed
by the attackers and two points awarded to the defenders for each interception and each
occasion the ball goes outside of the designated play area.
Playing area: Dimensions dependent upon age and number of players in the game.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers in scatter formation.
Rules: Each team tries to make 10 passes consecutively. The ball may not be returned to the
person from whom it has been received. Ten completed passes in a sequence scores
one point. The opposition try to intercept the ball, steal it away, etc. as in handball.
Gradually introduce the other basic rules of handball - 3 seconds to hold the ball, 3
Ten Passes in Zones
Playing Area: Divided into zones.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers distributed in the different zones.
Rules: Same as for 10 passes above, only all players must remain in their own zones. The ball
moves in all zones. Gradually a rule may be added that limits the number of consecutive
passes in any one zone at one time.
Comment: This formation and these rules are intended to help keep beginners from all following the
ball. The team with the ball should count aloud as it completes its passes.
Playing Area: A large area inside or out is required.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers initially each In its own half of the court or field.
Rules: The game is begun by one team throwing the ball to the other (as a kickoff in football).
The receiving team attempts to cross the opponent's goal line with the ball. The ball may
be advanced only by carrying it or passing. The defensive team tries to stop the attack by
intercepting passes and forcing the opponents to make bad passes. When a defender
touches an attacker who is carrying the ball, the attacker must sop immediately and pass
to a team-mate. After an out-of-bounds, if the ball hits the ground or any illegal play, the
ball is given to the opponents. The team scoring, throws ('kicks-off") to the other team.
II. END-LINE HANDBALL (LEAD-UP GAME) Playing
Area: Any area with a line at each end.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers scattered everywhere but knowing the direction of
their attack. Everyone may move everywhere.
Rules: Receiving the ball at center court, the attackers attempt to pass the ball back and forth in
order to move up the floor and cross the designated line at the end of the playing area
with the ball in hand. The defenders attempt to Intercept the ball and pass it back and
forth going to the opposite wall or line.
Comments: Gradually introduce basic handball rules if desired. Emphasize moving into the open
spaces and passing ahead to the teammate in the clear.
SEQUENTIAL SKILL GAMES
Playing Area: A circle six or more meters in diameter containing a target such as a traffic cone at
its center and line at least eight meters from the target.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers all of whom must stay outside the circle. The defenders become
the attackers when they intercept the ball and initiate play from behind the designated
line. When the target is hit, play must be resumed from behind the line.
Comment: A further rule could require a certain minimum number of passes completed before a
shot is taken.
Target Ball With Goalie
Comment: Same basic game as Target Ball except that the defending team is allowed a goalie
Inside the circle to protect the target. The goalie changes when the new attackers move
out beyond the line to commence their attack.
JII. CHAIR HANDBALL (LEAD-UP GAME),
Playing Area: Any area suitable to the number and size of participants.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers scattered everywhere but with one player on a
chair (or mat or bench) at each end of the area.
Rules: Beginning at center court, the attackers try to score by throwing to their team
member standing on the chair ahead. The opponents try to block and Intercept
the passes and score by throwing to their chairman at the opposite end. The
basic rules of handball can gradually be introduced - 3 steps with the ball, 3
seconds, dribbling, etc.
Comments: It may be a good idea to require a minimum number of passes (say three) before
a score can be made. Having the person to receive the ball on a mat, on which
he can move facilitates scoring which may be desirable for younger players. It
also indicates an area that is for his use exclusively.
SEQUENTIAL SKILL GAME
One Goal Handball
Playing Area: A rectangular area divided by a center line with a center circle of at least 3 meter
radius. A bench is placed on the center line in the center of the circle.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers. A goalie for each team stands in front of his side
of the bench and half of the remaining players of each team play exclusively in
each half of the area.
Rules: All the rules of handball may be gradually introduced, beginning with a throw-on
from the end of the playing area, except that no one may cross the center line
and the goal is the bench. Each throw hitting a side of the bench or going
through it, scores one point for the team attacking in that direction.
IV. PIN HANDBALL (LEAD-UP GAME),
The following games all consist of some modification of the actual rules of play of handball. How
closely the skills used in these games approximate handball skills depends upon the specific
Because of their basic similarity to handball, they afford an excellent opportunity for the
Introduction and learning of many of the rules, tactics, team strategies and positional play of the
game. And, because of their slightly less demanding skill performance, these and similar games
permit the players to concentrate more fully on the cognitive aspects of the game. This is
especially true and necessary for the beginning handball player.
These games are listed in order of difficulty of skill performance, the easiest described first.
All of these games share a number of common coaching points which should be stressed. They
1) Don't 'hog' the ball. Pass to open team-mates.
2) Spread out, don't herd around the ball, seek the open spaces.
3) Play your position (when indicated) or move within your area or zone.
4) You have both offensive and defensive responsibilities.
5) Know and obey the rules.
At more advanced skill and age levels additional points will need to be emphasized.
Playing Area: Handball court or similar floor area and markings.
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers scattered everywhere except in the goal areas
where an Indian club, traffic cone or other target is set up.
Rules: Playing within the essential rules of handball, each team attempts to throw
the ball to hit the target to score. Defending is as in handball except that
there is no goaler.
Comment: This game may be played on areas with other floor markings such as the
basketball key, a circle or square at each end of the court. It can lead up to
many of the skills, tactics, strategies and rules of the game of handball.
Half Court Handball
Playing Area: Half of a handball court
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers.
Rules: The attacking team begins play from beyond the center court line and attempts to
score exactly as in handball. Once possession of the ball is lost, the roles of the
two teams change, the ball must be taken out beyond the center line and play
continued with a new goalie and defending team.
Or, once possession of the ball is lost, the attackers are given it again to
recommence play outside the center line. After a certain period of time, the roles
of the attackers and defenders are changed.
Comment: This provides for double the regular number of players to play the basic game
of handball on a single court - half at each end. Most of the elements of team
offense and defense can be practiced in this type of situation.
Half-Court Handball Without Goalies
Comments: The basic game of half-court handball may be played to advantage with a smaller goal
(or target) and without goalies in order to work on shooting accuracy. Part of the
goal may be blocked off with a mat draped over it or a target such as a traffic
marker or bench maybe set up in the mouth of the goal.
This same sort of goal variation may be implemented using the full handball
Playing Area: Handball court
Formation: Two teams of equal numbers. A goalie for each team plays in his own goal
area and half of the remaining players on each team remain in the other end.
Rules: All rules are the same as regular handball except that no one Is permitted to
cross the center dividing line. It is advisable to alternate the roles of the
forwards and backs regularly.
Comments: This game prevents bunching up around the ball to a certain extent and
permits players of wide ranging abilities to play together. The better players
may play against one another at one end and the poorer players play each
other at the other, while all in the same game. This game is useful also to
help beginners realize the difference between their offensive and defensive
The rules of handball can always be adapted to permit the educator to adjust the conditions of
play to suit the abilities of the participants at hand and fit the facilities and equipment available.
These adaptations usually take one or more of the following forms:
- reduction in size of the goal areas and goals
- reduction in the size of the playing area
- variation in the size and weight of the ball
- changes in the numbers of players on each team
HOW TO INTRODUCE TEAM HANDBALL IN 4 STEPSI
I. What are the main characteristics of the snort?
-There are two goals, one at each end of the court.
-The ball is played with the hands.
-There is a center line separating the court in half crosswise.
-There is a goal crease which defensive players cannot enter.
-There is a goal keeper in each net.
-There are no restrictions on how the goal keeper plays the ball. They may use any part of their body.
-A player can only hold the ball for a few seconds then passes, shoots or dribbles.
-There can be one or two referees officiating the game.
-Sometimes there is a penalty throw.
-There is a doffed line which is respected by players only after a referee has whistled a minor
-The court is defined on all four sides with lines.
-When the ball crosses the line it is considered out of bounds and is brought into play with a pass.
-After each goal, the ball is brought back to the middle as in the beginning of the game.
-There are more players on the court than volley-ball or basketball but less than soccer.
-Light body contact is allowed. Severe contact and holding is penalized with a 2 minute suspension.
How would you teach Team Handball to someone who has never played it?
EQUIPMENT ACTIVITY RULES INTRODUCED
3 balls 2 teams, one in each zone. Goal/no goal.
2 goals Offensive players Offensive players must
1 centre line try to score goals. respect the crease.
The game never stops. A player can only
Offensive players retain the ball for a
can jump over the maximum of 3 seconds
centre line crease. or it is given to the
Objective - for players other team.
to discover shooting skills.
1 goal keeper per goal
Rotate teams every Throw off after goal
1 ball 5 minutes on the court. Goal throw
2 goals Objective - for 3 seconds with the ball
1 centre line players to discover All players must
2 goal creases defensive skills. respect the crease
Learn new rules. Cannot take ball out
of opponents hands.
1 ball Rotate teams every Penalty throw
2 goals 5 minutes on the court. Body contact penalties
1 centre line Objective - for players Warning, suspension
2 penalty throw to pass the ball more . Disqualification
lines. More team play. Exclusion
2 semi circles Learn new rules.
1 ball Rotate teams every Free throw
2 goals 5 minutes on the court. Throw In
All court Objective - to Comer throw
markings. Integrate all of the 4 meter line
Substitution line. rules into the game. 1 goalie & 6 court players per team.
4 meter line Color of shirt and numbers.
Dotted line Minimum of 4 players
Side lines plus 1 goalie to start the game.
TEAM HANDBALL DEVELOPMENT
LEVELS FOCUS SKILLS ACTIVITIES COMMENT
GRADES 3 & 4 -Exploring movement. All basic motor skills: 'Organized games which * Boys & girls can compete together.
-Continuous participation Running balancing Involve basic skills *'Specific praise and positive
-Fun jumping catching only. reinforcement should be used at
stopping throwing 'Progressive activities every opportunity.
starting bouncing suitable to ability of * All activities should be fun.
falling anding the group.
GRADES 5 & 6 activities, flexibility
-Concept of team and endurance.
*Empasis on fundamental 'Cardiovascular, flexib- * Continue with praise & positive
skills: power running, illty, strength and reinforcement.
adhering to rules.
controlled starting & endurance activities. * Emphasize sportsmanship, and
-One's best effort &
stopping, changing 'Introduce how organiz- abiding by rules.
directions, receiving ational games & basic * Introduction of game concepts le)
an object in flight, rules. offence & defense.
GRADES 7 & 8 dribbling. 'Introduce drills that
stimulate game situation
adhering to rules. `Reinforcement and refine 'Cardiovascular, flexib- * Continue with praise and positive
-Ones best effort & fundamental skills. ility, strength and reinforcement.
fin. 'Mechanics of basic endurance activities. * Use ball & goal appropriate to
-Participation movement: ready position 'Utilizing skills in game their age, size and ability.
absorbing a landing, situation keeping * Use competitive situations, but
follow through, transfer participants moving. focus on fun and participation.
GRADES 9 & 10 of momentum. 'Basic offence & defense.
participation and 'Master basics. 'Start to Introduce * Continue with positive reinforce-
skilled Involvement. 'Mechanics of basic move positional skills. ment.
-Adhering to rules -ment applied with 'Increase offensive and * Use standard size goals and balls.
-Best effort and fun. greater speed and defensive knowledge & * Enlarge specialized position play
Intensity. systems. and team responsibility.
GRADES 11 & 12 -Goal keeping skills 'Use all playing rules.
opportunity in 'Refine specialized 'Confine to develop fit- * Focus on team unity,
appropriate situations. position skills. ness component. * Encourage personal Initiative.
-Sportsmanship 'Introduce advance skills Maximum participation. * Ensure competitive situations
-Best effort and fun. 'Introduce training. 'Team tactics. remain enjoyable.
RULES OF INDOOR HANDBALL
Revised to Suit Elementary Level
A team sport, six against six - 5 court players, 1 goalie.
No player except the goal keeper is allowed to enter the goal area.
The ball is played with the hand, but may also touch any other part of the body except
the feet. This results In a free-throw for the other team from the point of infraction.
Cannot dive for the ball on the ground, it must be picked up otherwise this results In a
free throw for the other team from the point of infraction.
After a goal is scored a throw-on is awarded at center court to the teams scored upon.
The throw-on also occurs at the beginning of the game and half time.
Mode of travel; 3 steps, 1 bounce plus 3 more steps - is the farthest that can be
traveled at 1 time - then a pass or shot must be taken.
If an offensive player's shot hits the goalie or goal posts, or cross bar and comes out
of the goal area, the ball is still in play.
If it hits the wall behind the goal it is a goalie's ball even it if deflects off the goalie first.
But if the ball goes off of any other defending court player and hits the wall, it becomes
a comer throw-on for the offensive team, (similar to corner kick in soccer).
Body contact; a player may stand his ground to prevent an attacker from breaking
through the defense - but he may not run into a player.
A player may not strike a ball from another player's hands.
Penalty shot results from hitting a player illegally when he has a clear chance of scoring.
MARKING A COURT IN A SMALL GYMNASIUM
What you need: string, tape and chalk
1. Measure about 5 meters of string (a regulation goal crease is 6 meters, but if you're using
half a gym, the goal area can scale down to 4 1 /2 - 5 meters in radius).
2. Tape (or get someone to hold) one end of the string by 1 goal post. Attach or hold a piece of
chalk 5 meters along the string. Extend the string in front of the goal (90 degrees to the base
line) and place the chalk down at that point. Continue making a circle from this point to the
end line. Do the same from the other goal post. Next join the two 1 /2 circles with a straight
3. Tape over the chalk marks.
4. Repeat the same procedures to mark the doted free throw line (at 9 meters for a regulation
court - or about 7 meters for a scaled down court).
HOW TO SET UP A COURT
l. The court should be taped or chalked out prior to play. All court lines (Diagram #1) In team
handball are referred to by their measurement In meters. The most significant line on the court
is the 6 meter line or goal area line. The area enclosed by the 6 meter line is called the goal
area. The broken line is the 9 meter line or the free-throw line. The 7 meter line is technically
called the penalty line.
2. An official team handball court shall be 20 meters (65'8') in width by 40 meters (131'3') in length.
3. The width of all court lines shall be 5cm (2'). These are included in all measurements.
4. The goal is 3 meters (9'10 1 /4') wide and 2 meters (6'63/4') high, with the posts that are 8cm
(31/4') wide. The goals are placed equidistant between the two sidelines.
5. The goal area line and the free throw line are measured in the following manner:
a. A mark is placed at the Inside back corner of each inner goal post. The goal is moved back
so it will not interfere with the measurements.
b. Starting at one goal post, the tape measure is placed on the Inner goal post mark and ex-
tended 6 meters (19'81/4') straight out from the goal post (perpendicular to the goal line).
Using the tape as the radius, a quarter circle Is marked by making an arc back to the outer
c. Repeat the procedure at the other goal post.
d. Directly in front of the goal posts, a straight line connects the two quarter circles.
e. The process is repeated for the free throw line using a 9 meter (29'6 114") radius but using
pieces of tape 15cm (6") long to create a broken line effect (see diagram).
HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN YOUTH HANDBALL GOALS
The plans outline below will allow you to build two 5'x 7' goals suitable for youth handball. The
approximate cost using standard length PVC pipe (10 feet) is $110.00 pair, all that is required is
your time, PVC pipe, elbow, T connectors, K connectors, a handsaw, PVC glue and measuring
How to cut each PVC Pipe
How to build your own goals for Youth Handball
How to cut each pipe
Alberta Team Handball Federation New Brunswick Team Handball Federation
11759 Groat Road Ernest Ferguson
Edmonton, Alberta 585 Pointe des Ferguson
T5M 3K6 Tracadie-Sheila, New-Brunswick
Ph-w: (780) 415-2666 E1X 1A2
Fax: (780) 422-2663 Ph-h: (506) 395-5023
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Ph-w: (506) 776-7722
Fax: (506) 776-3809
Email : email@example.com
British Columbia Team Handball Newfoundland and Labrador
Federation Handball Federation
Brad McFarlane Ralph Wheeler, School of Human Kinetics
#109 - 312 1st Street Memorial University
North Vancouver, British Columbia St-John, Newfoundland
V7L 1B5 A1C 5S7
Ph-h: (604) 929-0639 Ph-h: (709) 753-6504
Ph-w: (604) 299-5511 loc 333 Ph-w: (709) 737-8684
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org E-mail: email@example.com
Fédération Québécoise de Handball Saskatchewan Team Handball Federation
Olympique Warren Ponscak
Sylvie Lamothe 2205 Victoria Ave.
4545 Pierre de Coubertin Regina, Saskatchewan
C.P. 1000, Succ. M. S4P 0S4
Montréal, Québec, H1V 3R2 Ph-w: (306) 780-9272
Ph-w: (514) 252-3067 Fax: (306) 780-9430
Fax: (514) 251-8882 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manitoba Team Handball Federation
311- 200 Main Street
Ph-w: (204) 925-5652
Fax: (204) 925-5703
CANADIAN TEAM HANDBALL FEDERATION
350 6E Rang, Mont-Tremblant (Québec), Canada,
Tel: 819-425-2229: Fax: 819-425-2229
Available Resource Material
The resource material listed below Is available from the Provincial and/or National Federation. In
addition to this list each provincial federation has a variety of other resource material to help
Introduce the game of Team Handball.
1) NCCP Level I Team Handball Coaching Manual, French & English
2) NCCP Level II Team Handball Coaching Manual, French & English
3) CTHF Rule Book, French & English
4) Mini Handball, French & English
5) Wall Handball Skill Chart