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6 on 6 Team Handball Rules



Each player must present a Rowan ID card before each contest to be eligible to participate.

All intramural participants are responsible for their own medical expenses. Any student unsure of their physical condition should check with their family physician or the Student Infirmary before participating in intramural sports.

Game time is start time. If necessary, each team has until 5 minutes after game time until the game will be called a forfeit. For each minute after game time that the game must be delayed, the team in which everyone is waiting will be penalized by spotting the opposing team a goal per minute.

The officiating will be done by officials who are in absolute control of the game. Teams are responsible for keeping their spectators under control. Misconduct of spectators, players or coaches can result in assessment of a penalty, ejection or forfeiture of the game. Spectators must also remain in the area designated by the officials. The officials shall have the power to make decisions on any matters or questions not specifically covered in the rules.

Number of Players

Teams shall consist of six (6) players, which consists of 5 players and a goalkeeper. At least four (4) players must be on the court at all times. Game time is forfeit time.


The intramural supervisor will provide the game ball. Indoor Soccer Goals will be used as the team handball goals. An official team handball weighs 15-17 ounces, and is 23-24 inches in circumference.

Game Time

The game shall consist of two twenty-minute halves, with the clock stopping the last 2 minutes for any dead ball situations. The clock only stops for timeouts and injuries during the first 18 minutes of play. Halftime is 3 minutes. When teams are not signed in on time, the game clock will start regardless at the established game time. Those teams that are not signed in will be penalized 1 goal per minute, with a maximum of a 4-0 deficit. The teams that are signed in may choose not to take the goals.


If a game ends in a tie, penalty throws will be taken to decide the outcome of the game. Each team selects three players that were on the court at the end of the game to attempt the penalty throws that will be taken alternately by the teams. The team with the most goals after the shoot-out will be declared the winner. All rules of penalty throws apply. If still tied, a sudden death shoot-out by the remaining on court players will determine the winner.


Teams are allowed 1 time-out per half. Timeouts do not carry over.


1. The game is played within the boundary lines of the basketball court.

2. The most significant line on the court is the outer three point line (the red line). Only the goalie is allowed inside the goal crease. The only exception when another player is allowed in the goal area is when they take off from outside the goal area, and shoots or passes the ball before landing. To avoid interference with other players, the player must then exit the goal area as soon as possible.

Starting The Game

The team that wins the toss will start with the ball. Their goalie starts the game by throwing it from inside the goal crease.

Playing Terms & Definitions

Goalie Crease - The outer 3pt. line to the end line will be the goalie's area. All offensive and defensive players are restricted from this area and may be penalized for infractions in the crease.

Sideline Throw - Team obtains possession out of bounds due to a ball being touched prior to going out of bounds by an opponent. The ball must be passed, no shots are allowed out of bounds.

Free Throw - During violations and common fouls, the team retaining possession will start play at the point of infraction. Officials will retrieve the ball and have a ceremonial re-start, where the player will wait for a whistle. Defensive players must give 3 ft. to pass in the ball. During free throws the ball must be passed, no shots will be allowed.

Common Foul - A foul made by a team member not in shooting motion

Shooting Foul - A foul made by a defensive team member on an offensive player in the act of shooting

Offensive Foul - A foul made by the offensive team. The shot will not be counted and the defensive team is awarded a free throw from the point of infraction

Major Penalty Throw - During major shooting violations, crease violations or 7 team fouls (per half), the shooter will get a penalty shot from the free throw line.


All goals will count one point. A goal is scored when the entire ball has passed over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the crossbar, provided it has been thrown, carried or propelled by hand or arms of a member on the attacking team. The ball may be thrown in the air, bounced, or rolled to score


Only the team that possesses the ball may call for substitution. However, should the offensive team elect to substitute; the defense will also be entitled to substitute. Following the above guidelines, substitutions will only be allowed:

1. On a penalty throw

2. On a corner throw

3. On a sideline throw

4. After a goal (both teams)

5. If a play is stopped due to injury (both teams)

Crease Violations

1. When an offensive player infringes on the goal crease and an advantage is gained, the team will be penalized by a loss of possession. The opposition's goalkeeper will be given possession. Exceptions are for when a player that jumps prior to the 3 point line lands in the crease, they must exit as soon as possible. The referees have the discretion to ignore crease violations where a team does not gain an advantage.

2. A ball inside the goal crease belongs to the goalie. A ball in the air, however, is not considered to be in the goal area. Players may not reach into the crease when the ball is on the ground. The same rules apply for a goalie reaching for a ball outside of the goalie crease.

Playing the Ball

1. A player is allowed to run three steps with the ball, and is then allowed three seconds to pass or shoot, which will be counted by the official if they feel the player is stalling.

2. A player may bounce the ball once in order to establish three additional steps and three additional seconds.

3. A player is not allowed to play the ball with their legs below the knee.

4. A player may not pass the ball in the air with the intention of catching it him or herself.

Defending The Opponent

1. Defensive players are allowed to use their body to obstruct an opponent in possession of the ball. Defensive Players that displace offensive opponents by tripping, pushing, holding or hitting will be issued a common or shooting foul, which will count towards the team foul count

2. Offensive players are not allowed to charge into player. An offensive foul will be called and recorded as a team foul and a free throw is awarded to the opposing team at the spot of the foul.

3. Defenders are not allowed to knock a possessed ball out of the hands of an offensive player. THIS WILL COUNT AS A COMMON TEAM FOUL. A clean ball block of a shot is allowed.

4. If a defender steps into the goal crease a violation may be called. If the team gains an advantage a penalty shot will be awarded to the opponents, which will be taken from the free throw line.


A throw-in is awarded to an opponent when one team loses the ball out-of-bounds on a sideline. The defense must be three feet away when the ball is thrown in.

The player must have one foot touching the court during the throw-in.

Corner Throws

A corner throw is awarded to the offense when a defensive player is the last person to touch the ball as it goes out-of-bounds over the goal line (excluding the goalie). Any touch by the goalie prior to going out the end lines will give the goalkeeper possession. Any touch by the goalie that results in the ball going out on the sidelines will result in other teams possession.


1. During a free throw, the thrower must have one foot (front foot) continuously in contact with the court.

2. A penalty throw is given for fouls during shooting situations. The majority of penalty throws are given when an offensive player is fouled when shooting. If a foul is called during a shot and a goal is not scored, the individual fouled will be given a penalty throw at the basketball free throw line.

3. During a shooting situation, if a shot is made and foul is called, the shooting team will have the goal count and the offensive team retains possession. The ball will be given to that team's goalie to start a new possession.

4. When the penalty throw is taken, the front foot must remain in contact with the floor behind the free throw line. Neither foot may cross the line during a throw. All the other players must stand beyond the goal crease. The goalie must stay on the endline. They may move side to side, but cannot move forward until the ball is thrown.

5. When a penalty throw is scored, the opponents goalkeeper will start a new possession.

Goalie Rules  

1. The goalie must wear a different jersey color. When stopping a shot inside the goal area, the goalie may play the ball with any part of the body. After getting possession, the ball must be thrown, not kicked to teammates. The goalie is allowed as many steps as they want inside the goal are. They too however, have 5 seconds to release the ball.

2. Goalies are not allowed to leave the goal area while in possession of the ball. Goalies are not allowed to enter the goal area after obtaining possession outside the goal area.

3. Goalies that are in the crease are not allowed to reach outside the goal area to gain possession of a ground ball, but they may bat or collect the ball if it’s in the air or bouncing. In order to touch a ball outside the crease, the goalkeeper must establish their body outside the crease.

4. Goalkeepers once outside the crease may play like any other court player.

5. A player may not passback to their goalie, while the goalkeeper is in the crease. Additionally, sideline throws may not be played to the goalie while in the crease. Only passes to the goalkeeper that can be made are when the goalie establishes position outside the crease. The result of this infraction would be a free throw.

Referee Throws

Like a basketball "jump ball“

1. The ball touches anything above the court (i.e. equipment on the ceiling),

2. The ball is held simultaneously by opponents,

3. When there has been a simultaneous infringement of the rules by both teams, or when the game has been interrupted with no infringement of the rules and neither team is in possession of the ball.

The execution involves any one on-field player from each team standing next to the referee, and all other players 3 meters away. With the toss, the two players may reach and grab the ball or direct it to a teammate, but not until it has reached its highest point.

Mercy Rule

The game will be ended if a team is ahead by 20 or more goals at any time in the second half.