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Version control: Original 1999 / Updated 2003 / Updated 2015



You must refer to the Requirements for All Sport and Physical Activity (PDF 466KB) to understand your overall compliance responsibilities.

Where considered appropriate, for example inclusion in a school sport program, parents or caregivers must be informed of full details of the location, supervision to be provided and activities to be undertaken when seeking their written permission.

Schools are encouraged to involve young students in playing Mini Handball (a modified program for children 5-10 years old) as a means of developing good skills and technique in a fun environment of games and activities.

Students participating at outdoor venues are to be instructed to use adequate sun protection, e.g. an SPF50+, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen reapplied regularly and wear a hat when appropriate.

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Teacher/Instructor Qualifications and Experience

The appropriate level of expertise and/or training required to conduct an activity will be dependent on whether the teacher’s/instructor’s role is one of supervision, instruction or coaching. Other factors to be considered are the nature of the activity, the age, ability and experience of the students involved.

Correct technique, particularly defensive techniques and in beach handball, spin shots, must be learned from an experienced trainer in order to prevent injury to the participant.

The School Sport Unit, in partnership with NSW European Handball, offers the following professional learning workshops for teachers:

  • European Handball Level 1 coaching accreditation.

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Where an adult other than a teacher is engaged to provide instruction, a teacher who has recognised current training in emergency care, must be present to take overall responsibility.

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Goalkeepers should wear appropriate protection, including a groin protector.

Students are to wear appropriate footwear such as sports shoes or indoor court shoes.

Balls used should be appropriately sized for the age group participating, and it is recommended that regulation sizes be used where possible. As a guide, regulation sizes are as follows:

  • 46-48cm and 225-275g (size 0) for under 8s.
  • 50-52cm and 290-330g (size 1) for females 8-14 and males 8-12.
  • 54-56cm and 325-275g (size 2) for females 14+ and males 12-16.
  • 58-60cm and 425-475g (size 3) for males 16+".

Goal posts and cross bars must be checked for stability prior to each game. Goals must be stable, in good repair and firmly fixed such that there is no likelihood of them falling forwards. Where possible, nets should be used. Anchors must not create any danger for the players.

Boundary markers must be made of non-injurious material.

A well-equipped medical kit must be readily available.

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Where possible, ‘Taraflex’ timber or level grass surfaces should be used. The court surface and immediate surrounds must be free from obstacles and loose objects.

Spectators must be positioned at an appropriate distance from the court during play to avoid interfering with the safe movements of players and referees. Substitution areas must be free of obstacles. A safety zone of one (1) to two (2) metres should be maintained around the court in [indoor] handball and of three (3) metres for beach handball.

The court is rectangular in shape and may measure up to a maximum forty (40) metres in length and twenty (20) metres in width, with two round goal areas, six (6) metres away from the goal. The court dimensions may be amended dependent on the age and level of ability of the participants.

Where beach handball is conducted, the court and surrounding areas must be carefully inspected for solid or sharp objects and these should be removed prior to the activity commencing.

The beach handball court is rectangular in shape and may measure up to twenty seven (27) metres long and twelve (12) metres wide with two goal areas, six (6) metres in length, measured from each baseline. The recommended minimum depth of sand is forty (40) centimetres. The court dimensions may be amended dependent on the age and level of ability of the participants.

The beach handball playing area should be as level as possible. Goals and boundary lines should be firmly anchored in the sand.

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The boundaries of the court must be clear of spectators and belongings. The court must be marked and well clear of walls, ceilings and structural supports.

Students must remove jewellery and other ornaments likely to cause injury. Students must not use any equipment that may cause injury to themselves or other players.

Students must cut or tape long fingernails.

It is recommended that hard peaked caps not be worn.

Students must wear footwear that is appropriate for the playing surface.

Play must not be allowed on wet, slippery and/or gravel surfaces.

Players should ensure that they have an adequate level of hydration before, during and after the game or training session.

Warm up and cool down are vital elements in preventing injury and should be included before and after all training and competition sessions. Stretching activities performed in the warm up should move the muscles through the full range of movement to be performed during the session.

The warm up should be continuous and lead into the training session. It should be fun and include games/activities relevant to the session to be performed.

Students must be made aware of the rules regarding allowable contact, e.g. correct fouling technique, and this should be distinguished from dangerous play, e.g. tripping, fouling from behind. They should also be made aware of the consequences involved in these activities.

Where an injury occurs during the game, the student must be excluded wherever there is any doubt as to the extent of injury or fitness to continue.

Teachers and coaches must exclude students from returning to play after injury until it is clear that the student is fit to resume. If there is any doubt, the student is not to play until medically cleared.

Where possible, ice should be available for the treatment of injuries.

Should an injury occur involving bleeding, these procedures should be followed:

  • All clothing, equipment and surfaces contaminated by blood must be viewed as potentially infectious and treated accordingly.
  • Participants who are bleeding must have the wound dressed and securely covered.
  • Any blood covered body area (and surface where appropriate), must be cleaned thoroughly and any blood covered clothing and equipment cleaned or removed prior to the participant recommencing the activity.

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