Euro Handball 5s Rules

The court:

Handball 5s court is 30m x 15m. The goal area (goal circle) needs to be a minimum 4.9m.  No one except the goalie can stand in the goal area. Players may jump into the area if the ball is released before landing in the area. Goals are 3m wide X 2m high.

Number of Players:

Handball 5s consists of 5 players on each team (4players and a goalie). Teams are allowed up to 5 substitutes.  Subs may enter the game at any time only after the player they are replacing has left the court. If the goalkeeper is substituting with an on-field player the referee must be notified. A team may start the match with 3 players.


There is 1 referee. The referee’s decision is final. Talk back and dissent will not be tolerated. The Captain from each team may approach the referee at half time if unclear about certain rules. Respect must be shown.

Game duration:

The game consists of 2 18-minute halves with a 2-minute half time break. During the normal season, the clock does not stop for injuries. During finals, the clock can be stopped for up to 2 minutes.


Teams must have the same colour tops by round 4 or after their 3rd game. Goalkeepers must wear a different colour top or bib if rotating with other players. 1 goal is awarded to the opposition for each team member that does not have the same colour top (up to 3 goals).

Late start:

Teams must have at least 3 players on court at the designated start time. Otherwise the opposing team will be awarded 1 goal when the clock starts then 1 goal every 3 minutes. The match will be awarded to the opposing team if the game has not commenced before 12-minutes.

Game Rules


Each half of the match begins with a throw off. Each team must be the in their 3rd. Following the referee’s whistle, the ball is passed from centre court to a team mate and play begins. Throw-off’s are repeated after every goal and after half time.
To avoid time wasting, after a goal the throw off can be taken as soon as the referee blows the whistle, however the whistle can restart play until the attacking team has all their players in their defensive third


A goal is awarded when the entire ball crosses the goal line inside the goal. A goal can be scored from any throw except a goal throw from keeper.

Passive Play:

The team with possession of the ball must make a recognizable attempt to attack and score. If a team is deemed to be stalling a free-throw will be awarded to the other team. If the referee believes there is passive play he will raise his hand, from then the attacking team has 10 seconds to finish possession.

Playing with the ball:

A player can: Run with the ball up to 3 steps- Hold the ball for up to 3 seconds. Dribble the ball, however once stop dribbling cannot start again (double dribble). A player can not dribble the ball through his/her legs and must dribble the ball with a flat hand.


Euro Handball 5s is a non contact sport. A foul will be called if a defender or attacker initiates contact.
Players are not allowed to….
• To endanger an opponent with ball.
• To pull, hit or punch the ball out of the hands of an opponent
• To contact the ball below the hips
• To dive on the floor for a rolling or stationary ball
• A penalty shot is awarded when contact is made to a player shooting at goal

Throw ins:

A throw-in is awarded when the ball goes out of bounds on the sidelines or when the ball is last touched by a defensive player and goes out of bounds over the endline. The throw-in is taken from the spot where the ball crossed the side line or from the closest corner if crossed the endline. When throwing the ball back in the player must have one foot on the line and the defenders must be 3 metres away.

Goal throw in:

A goal throw is awarded to the keeper when either…. The ball rebounds off the goalkeeper over the endline or the ball is thrown over the endline by the attacking team. A throw in will also take place if the ball makes contact with the roof- the team who did throw the ball takes the throw in.

Referee ball up:

A referee ball up is awarded when either; there is a simultaneous infringement of the rules or when 2 players take possession of the ball simultaneously. The referee throws the ball up vertically between 2 players, the jumping players may grab the ball or tap it to a teammate. All other players must be 3 metres away from the throw. The referee throw is always taken at centre court.


For a minor foul or violation, a free-throw is awarded to the opponent at the exact spot it took place. However if the foul occurs in the attacking third the free-throw is taken from 1/3 line, in this scenario all attacking players must stand behind the line.  Defending players must be 2 at least 3 metres away. The thrower must keep one foot in contact with the floor, then pass or shoot.

Penalty- Throw:

The penalty throw is taken 2 metres from the top of the goal circle. The penalty shot is awarded when:
• A foul destroys a clear chance to score
• The goalie carries the ball back into his or her own goal circle
• A court player intentionally plays the ball to his or her own goalie in the goal area and the goalie touches the ball
• A defensive player enters his or her goal area to gain an advantage over an attacking player in possession of the ball
All players must be outside the free-throw line when the throw is taken. The player taking the throw has 3 seconds to shoot after the referee’s whistle.

Pass back:

A player can only pass back to the goalkeeper when the GK is outside the goal area.

5 foul rule:

If a team commits 5 fouls in a half the opposition team will receive a penalty-throw.

Yellow cards:

The referee will issue a yellow card to a player for, serious or repeated rule violations- unsportsmanship conduct- intentional rough play and offensive language. The referee also at his discretion can issue a 2-minute suspension from play with a yellow card. A sub can take the pitch when this occurs.

Red Cards:

Two yellow cards result in a red card- A red carded player is disqualified for the remainder of the match and the next fixtured match. A straight red card can also be issued for:
• Referee abuse or
• Dangerous rough play or
• Fighting

Finals Penalty Shootout:

In the case of a drawn match after the final whistle in a Semi Final or Grand Final, the match will go into a penalty shootout with 3 shots per team or until there is a result.

© Albert Park Indoor Sports Centre (A.P.I.S.C) 2011