handb-jumpj.jpg (24411 bytes)

Handball is a combination of Basketball, Soccer and Netball.   It is played indoors on a court about the size of two basketball courts.  At the each end of the court is a net which is 9 feet wide by 6 1/2 feet high.  The object of the game is simply to score more goals than the other team.

The ball is usually moved around the court by passing.  However, the ball can be dribbled, but like in basketball you cannot double-dribble. You can dribble for as long as you want (though you risk getting the ball taken away). You can only take at most three steps after catching a pass.  You cannot hold the ball for more than three seconds without passing it.  If a player is fouled he is allowed a free zone 9 feet wide to restart play.  Each team has 12 members, two of which are goalkeepers.  7 team members play and substitutions can be made at any time.  There is a halfway line on the court.  There is also a safety area that extends about 20 feet around the goal.  A player is not allowed to be in this area.  Shooters may leap into this area if they shoot before they land.

If there is a penalty a player is warned.  The next two penalties are two-minute suspensions.  After that players can be disqualified (which means they are removed, but can be replaced after two minutes).  They can also be excluded, which means they cannot be replaced and the team will have one less player on the court.

Each goal counts as 1 point.  Usually 20 goals are scored in a game.   The games consists of two 30 minute halves with a 10 minute rest period in between the halves.  The handball weighs 16 ounces (13 ounces for women) and is about the size of a cantaloupe.

There are four types of players:
Goalies: Defend goal.  Not expected to stop as many goals as goalies in hockey or soccer.
Circle Runners:  Large players who block shooters and try to disorganize the defense.  They also are shooters, usually from close-in range.
Wings:  They are offensive players who shoot at odd angles, usually from the sides.
Big Shooters: They are tall, agile players who much like quarterbacks lead the offense.  They shoot from the backcourt over the head of defenders.

Return to the Spanish Royal Family