The handball is a team sport. It is practiced with the participation of seven players, one goalkeeper and six line players.

handball ball

History of handball

Currently, handball is a sport widely practiced within schools, but what few people know is that the history of this sport started to be written thousands of years ago.

There are signs of handball-like practices in various civilizations, such as in ancient Greece and China, and also among the Egyptians, the Incas and the Romans.

Over time, several people helped to shape the sport we now call handball, but it was from its regulation in the 20th century that the sport started to become increasingly popular. Some names were fundamental in this process, such as that of the Danish Holger Louis Nielsen and that of the Germans Max Heiser and Karl Schelens.

Handball has gained strength mainly since the 1970s. Since then, it has been increasingly consolidated.

Handball Rules

Number of players

In official tournaments, up to 14 players per match are allowed, but on the court, at the time of the dispute, it is mandatory that each team has a goalkeeper and six line players.

Substitutions are free, and a substitute player may enter the court from the moment the substituted player leaves.

Goalkeeper area

During the game, no line player may step on the line or enter the goalkeeper’s area. If this invasion happens, the attacking team loses possession of the ball.

However, when making an attack move, for example, the player is allowed to commit this invasion, but only if he jumps from the outside into the area and releases the ball while in the air.


Official matches are held on a rectangular court 40 meters long by 20 meters wide, and the goalposts – popularly called “goals” – are 2 meters high and 3 meters wide.

Play time

The handball game consists of two halves of 30 (thirty) minutes with 10 (ten) minutes between them, in the Olympics in Atlanta 1996 the use of time was allowed, as in volleyball.

Ball possession

Unlike other sports, in handball there are two basic rules for whoever has the ball: hold it for a maximum of three seconds – even if it is on the ground; take a maximum of three steps with the ball in your hand.

Shot from 7 meters

The 7-meter throw is the penalty for handball, it is taken when there is some aggression in a clear chance of goal. When charging, defensive and offensive players are outside the 9-meter line and the goalkeeper can move freely up to the 4-meter line.

Free shot

Free kick in handball occurs when there are fouls in general. It is charged at the place where the foul originated unless it occurs within the free-throw line (dotted line to the area line), if the fault occurs within that area, the collection must be made before the dotted line, in a close location.

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Player positions

Know the positions of handball players.


A key player in a handball team, he is responsible for defending the goal from the opponent’s shots and initiating his team’s counterattacks. Goalkeepers tend to have enormous flexibility and can use any part of their body to make defenses.


As the name suggests, they are players who play at the ends of the court. The wingers play a very important role in the attacking movements of the team.


They are players who play from the middle to the ends of the court and also have a very large defensive role. Unlike the wingers, which tend to be faster and faster players, the backs tend to be stronger and taller players, precisely to be able to fulfill the defensive role.


As in basketball, the point guard, in handball, is considered the brain of the team, that is, the player who best manages to organize the team’s plays. They are technical players, who have quick thinking, often visualizing the move even before it happens.


Player who acts infiltrated in the middle of the opponent’s defense in order to create spaces for players who come to attack. Handball pivots are very strong and explosive players, because, often, an attack movement requires, in addition to technique, a lot of strength.

Fundamentals of handball


It is the action that ends the play created by the team and aims to reach the opponent’s goal to score the goal.


Observe how the player holds the ball with one hand. It is one of the most basic fundamentals in handball. It consists of holding the ball correctly with one hand.


Usually trained in conjunction with the previous foundation, the pass is one of the most important fundamentals of the sport. It is the action of throwing the ball to a teammate without letting the opponent intercept.


Also basic, but no less important, the reception is the act of receiving the ball and being able to dominate it. Usually, it is performed with both hands, however, depending on the athlete’s technical level and the situation of the match, this reception can also be done with only one hand.


Action done with the ball in hand, the feint consists of making movements and changing rhythm quickly, with the intention of confusing the opponent’s defense and, thus, finding spaces to advance towards the goal.