Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each (six outfield players and a goalkeeper) pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team. A standard match for all teams of 16 and older has two periods of 30 minutes with a 15 minute half-time. Teams switch sides of the court at halftime, as well as benches. For youths the game duration is: 2 x 25 minutes at ages 12 to 16 and 2 x 20 minutes at ages 8 to 12.
In handball, field players are allowed:
• In attack:
- the players are allowed to touch the ball with any part of their bodies above and including the knee. A player who is in possession of the ball may stand stationary for only three seconds and may take only three steps.
- only the goalkeeper is allowed to move freely within the goal perimeter, although he may not cross the goal perimeter line while carrying or dribbling the ball. Within the zone, he is allowed to touch the ball with all parts of his body including his feet. When goalkeeper is leaving the semi-circle of 6 m he has the same rules as the other players.
- to make no more than 3 steps having the ball in their hands.
- to keep the ball in their hands for more than 3 seconds.
- to make dribbling, bounding the ball, catching it and bounding it again is prohibited; so is considered the bounding of the ball with two hands.
- To touch the ball in the air or on the ground if they are not in the circle of 6 m (gate area).
- To leave / put the ball down to the whistle of the referee when his team has no longer the possession of the ball.
• In defense:
- to show fair play, being a contact sport in which, because of the pace of the game, accidents can have serious consequences.
- to stop the attack being between the attacked and gate, and not from the side or back.
- to avoid entering in the goal area.
- to keep the 3 m distance in fly ball.
• The amateurs:
- are the same rules, but the game is mixed, that means that at least 3 field players must be girls.
- the half is, often, of 20 minutes.
More rules in the next article.