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Handball playing positions

Handball player positions explained

Handball positions consist of a goalkeeper, two full backs, two wingers, a circle runner and a center. Here's the lowdown on these handball playing positions.

There are 14 players in each team in handball, with seven on the pitch at any one time. The playing positions in handball are as follows:

Goalkeeper — the player who defends the goal with just about every part of the body! The goalkeeper is the only player who can touch the ball with their feet.

Centre — a creative handball player who directs play in both defense and attack. Also known as the ‘playmaker’ and sets up the tactics and the players in shooting positions.

Left and right backs — usually the largest players on the handball team. When defending, they try to block shots, and in attack they are the long-range handball shooters.

Circle runner — the creative force in attack and disruption to opponents when defending. The circle runner is quick and gets in among opposing defenders to either create openings for teammates or to get into a good scoring position themselves.

Left and right wingers — the fast players who patrol the sides of the court. They counter opposing wingers and in attack look to create openings for others, or shoot from the more difficult angles.

Substitutes — substitution is allowed at any moment, without limit and without time stoppage. There are seven substitutes on the sidelines for each handball side. But a substitue can’t play until the player they are swapping for is off the court.

The officials — there are four handball officials: a scorekeeper; a timekeeper, and two referees who control the play at close quarters.

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