Southeast Missouri State University

Team Handball

Object of the Game

  • Handball combines the elements of soccer and basketball, as six players move the ball down a floor that is larger than a basketball court and try to score by throwing the ball past a goalkeeper into the net. A successful scoring attempt results in the award of a single point.
  • A regulation game is played in 20 min. halves with one timeout per team per half.
  • The clock will stop on all penalty shots in the last two minutes of the second half ONLY. A three-minute halftime will separate the first and second halves.
  • There will be NO overtime during the regular season. Games ending in a tie will remain tied.


  • A game is played between two teams. Seven players on each team are allowed on the court at the same time (6 players and a goalkeeper). A game may be started with a minimum of 5 players.
  • The substitution of players is allowed as long as it is done correctly.
  • Substitutes may enter the game, at any time and repeatedly, without notifying the timekeeper/scorekeeper, as long as the players they are replacing have already left the court at the designated substitution area (half court).
  • Anyone leaving or entering the court incorrectly shall be penalized for faulty substitution. A faulty substitution shall be penalized with a free throw (opponent gets the ball at nearest spot). Substitutions can also take place during timeouts.
  • Goalkeepers are also allowed to sub but they must follow these guidelines. Goalkeepers must wear a different colored jersey, to signify that they are the only player able to enter the goal area. If a sub is coming in for the goalie the sub should have the colored jersey on before entering the court.

The Goal Area

  • Only the goalkeeper is allowed in the goal area, (Goal area includes the goal area line, the solid arch.)
  • **The shooting player may fly into the goal area to shoot the ball, but may not touch the shooting line before the ball is released. Once the shooter comes down in the goal area they must make an immediate attempt to exit the area, (all action completed without disturbing the goalkeeper).**
  • The following action occurs when entering the goal area:
  • If the offensive player enters the area, the goalie then throws the ball back into play
  • If the defensive player enters the area, a foul shot will be attempted (if the defensive team enters the area without causing a disadvantage then there will be no penalty)
  • The ball in the goal area:
  1. Only the goalie may touch the ball when it is in goal area.
  2. If a player intentionally plays the ball into his/her own goal area, the following could occur:
  3. Goal if the ball goes in the goal
  4. A penalty shot by the opponents team if the goalie touches the ball
  5. If the ball comes to rest in the goal area, a penalty shot by the opponents will occur
  6. Play continues if the ball traverses through the goal area (without touching the goalie)

Playing the ball

  • Players are allowed to:
  1. Dribble the ball for an unlimited amount of time.
  2. Run with the ball for up to three steps before and after dribbles.
  3. Hold the ball without moving for only three seconds.
  • Players are not allowed to:
    1. Endanger an opponent with the ball
    2. Pull, hit, or punch the ball out of the hands of an opponent (similar to flag football).
    3. Contact the ball below the knees
    4. Block a throw or shot from behind.(Penalty Shot)
  • All players (exception goalkeeper) are only permitted to hold the ball for three seconds, three steps, or dribbles before a violation is called.
  • Three steps are called like in basketball (Jump stops count as one complete step)
  • The three second count starts as soon as the player gains control of the ball. Fumbling of the ball does not count as possession/control
  • The ball is played with the hands, but it is may be touched with any part of the body without a violation called. The ball can not be played off of the foot or below the knee, except when the ball is thrown off the opponent to give advantage (i.e. throw off opponent to deflect out of bounds)
  • If the ball is intentionally played out of bounds (delay of game), the opposing team will be awarded a penalty shot.
  • If a team is noticeably stalling (not attempting to score or shoot) the official will give the warning signal. Should the team now fail to make a recognizable attempt to shoot on goal, the opponent will be awarded a penalty shot. This is a judgment call by the officials, and on average there will be a 20-second count.
  • If both opponents gain possession of the ball simultaneously then the ball will be awarded to the offensive team on the court where the possession occurred.
  • Goalkeepers: The following acts occur with the goalkeeper:
  • Keepers can touch the ball with any part of the body while in the act of defense inside the goal area
  • Keepers may exit the goal area without possession of the ball, but then the goalkeeper becomes subject to the rules applying to players in the playing area. When the goalie wants to re-enter the goal area they may not be in possession of the ball. When goalies come out of the goal area they may never go past ½ court (no power play)
  • Keepers may move around in the goal area without any restrictions, with the exception of a 5-second count to release the ball
  • Keepers administer all throw-ins after all made goals. Once the ball is put back into play, he or she may not receive the ball again until the defense has gained possession.
  • Penalties

    • Free throw- for a minor foul or violation, an indirect free throw is awarded to the opponents at the exact spot it took place. If the foul occurs between goal area and the 9 meter line, the throw is taken from the nearest point outside the 9 meter line. All players on the team taking the free throw must be outside the 9 meter line. Opponents must be 3 meters away from the ball when the throw is taken.
    • Penalty shot is awarded when:
    1. A foul destroys a clear chance to score
    2. The goalie carries the ball back into the goalie area
    3. A court player intentionally plays the ball to his or her own goalie in the goal area and the goalie touches the ball.
    4. Anytime a pass or shot is blocked from behind.
  • Any player on the team may take the penalty shot for a team, while shooting the penalty shot the players pivot foot may not break contact with the penalty shot line.
  • All players must be outside the 9 meter line when the penalty shot is taken. Any player can take the penalty shot. Excessive minor fouls may result in a yellow card for the offending player(s).
  • Any yellow card will also accompany an automatic 2 minute suspension for the offending player. The team can not substitute for the suspended player (example: hockey power play). Any ejection results in the remainder of the game being played shorthanded. Two yellow cards for one player results in an ejection.
  • Equipment

    • Participants must remove all jewelry prior to competing.
    • No hats or bandannas will be allowed. One-piece elastic headbands are the only forms of headwear that will be allowed.
    • Athletic shoes and athletic attire are required for participation. Unacceptable attire includes jeans, jean shorts, khaki pants/shorts, button down shirts, hiking boots, and street shoes.
    • Any athletic brace with exposed metal must be covered and/or taped. The Intramural Office will not be responsible for providing athletic tape (most metal braces will be questionable).
    • The Intramural Sports Department will provide a game ball for each scheduled contest

    Summer Facility Hours (May 18 - Aug. 20)

    Monday - Friday: 5:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
    Saturday & Sunday: Noon - 7 p.m.

    Monday - Friday: 5:30 - 7:30 a.m.; 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; 4 - 7 p.m.
    Saturday & Sunday: Noon - 5 p.m.

    Monday - Friday: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    Saturday & Sunday: Closed

    *All facilities will be closed May 26 & July 4.