How Does a Handball Game Start?

Handball starts with a throw-off. The team which starts the game is chosen with a simple coin toss, similar to other sports such as football or soccer. With no exceptions, a handball game always starts in the middle of the 40m court.

A throw off is also how the game resumes after each scored goal. As at the beginning of the game, it only takes one player for the throw-off to a teammate. Throw offs can be played in any direction, as long as they start in the middle of the court.

Does a handball friendly game start differently from an official handball game?

Playing and practicing handball as a team sport is mainly done without a referee. In this case, the game starts whenever players agree. In an official game, the throw-off handball game start only takes place after the referee’s whistle.

How does a handball second-half start?

The second half of the game also starts with a throw-off. It is preceded by the referee’s whistles. All 7 players need to be in their part of the court for the throw-off. The goalkeeper, the left wingman, the pivot, the right wingman, the left backcourt, the center backcourt, and the right backcourt players need to be in their half for the throw-off and the ball can reach any of these players.

Here is a quick summary of how a handball game starts

  • A player begins the throw-off after winning the coin spin for his team
  • The player responsible for the throw-off needs to have one leg on the mid-court line
  • All other players of the throw-off team need to be behind this line
  • The throw-off can be quick or slow, depending on the attacking tactics

Which referee signals the start of a handball game?

The court referee is responsible for the official whistle before every throw-in. This handball referee is the one signaling the start of a handball game. The second referee (goal line referee) does not have the authority to whistles the start of the game.

Handball game start superstitions

As in any sport, handball has its superstitions as well. As in football, many of these superstitions are tied to how the handball game starts.

When the throw-in-responsible player passes the ball to the back, it is believed the team will lose. When the pass or throw goes towards wingers, it is believed that the team will win. Of course, most of these superstitions remain superstitions. Most teams pass the ball towards the back.

While there are multiple other superstitions in handball, there’s only one tied to the start of the game. How does your handball game start and do you have any superstitions? Feel free to share your experience below.

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