Handball regulations for 2020 - 21 | Published 27 April

HAN i The BUCS Handball Championships shall be conducted in accordance with the following BUCS sport specific regulations, the BUCS general regulations, and the International Handball Federation (IHF) Technical Regulations and Rules of the Game for Indoor Handball. Further event specific requirements, rules, and regulations will be contained within the entry and pre-event information for each Championships.

HAN ii In the event that these regulations contradict the BUCS general regulations, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

HAN iii In the event that these regulations contradict those of the International Handball Federation (IHF) Technical Regulations and Rules of the Game for Indoor Handball, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.


HAN 1 Championships BUCS will host annually a Handball Championships. The programme shall include the competitions listed in HAN 2, subject to entry numbers. All competition specific event information will be available in the event entry information and pre-event information.

HAN 2 Organisation

HAN 2.1 There shall be separate Men’s and Women’s Championships, each with three divisions: Championship, Trophy and Shield.

HAN 2.2 For 2020-21, each division shall consist of a group stage (two groups of up to five teams) followed by knockout stages.

HAN 2.2.1 The top two teams from each group shall progress to semi-final matches. The first placed team in Group 1 will face the second placed team in Group 2, and vice versa. The winners of these matches will progress to the final and the losing teams will progress to a 3rd/4th place playoff match.

HAN 2.2.2 Teams finishing in third place or below in their group will progress to a placement match against the team finishing in the equivalent position in the other group.

HAN 2.3 Teams will be allocated to divisions based on finishing positions in the previous season’s Championships. For 2020-21, finishing positions of teams in the England Handball Association’s 2019-20 British University Championships shall be used.

HAN 2.4 All new teams entering the Championships shall join the Shield.

HAN 2.5 Notwithstanding HAN 2.3 and HAN 2.4, prior to the entry deadline at the point of entry teams can request to be allocated to a specific division if they feel that their current level of players will not be appropriate for their anticipated division. The process for this will be outlined in the entry information. Additionally, for 2020-21, dependent on entries teams may be placed in a different division to that expected to ensure the most suitable format and maximise playing opportunities.

HAN 2.6 For 2020-21, the number of entries accepted may be reduced based upon final location, courts available and ensuring that the Championships will be in line with any England Handball, UK Government, or local authority legislation, guidance and/or protocols in relation to COVID-19.

HAN 2.7 For 2020-21, the Championships will take place on a single day.

HAN 3 Squad and team selection

HAN 3.1 Following teams being entered on BUCS Play, players who wish to be eligible for selection for a team must apply to join, and be accepted into, the team’s squad on BUCS Play by the deadline listed in the entry information.

HAN 3.2 When registering at the event, each team will be required to complete a team sheet listing their chosen 16 players for the Championships from those listed in the squad declaration on BUCS Play, along with a maximum of four team officials. Individuals who are not in the squad on BUCS Play will not be eligible to compete. Student IDs will be checked on the day at registration.

HAN 3.3 Individuals are not permitted to be named, or play, for more than one team at the same Championships.

HAN 3.4 Where an institution/Playing Entity has entered more than one team, the first team should always be the strongest team available to represent that institution/Playing Entity, followed by the second team, third team and so on.

HAN 3.5 An individual is not permitted to play for one team and be a team official for another team in the same division.

HAN 3.6 The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be five.

HAN 4 Playing kit As well as having a primary team kit which meets the requirements of the IFH Rules of the Game for Indoor Handball, each team should have a second set of matching playing shirts or bibs which are clearly numbered and can be used in the case of a clash of colours. If there is a clash of colours the second named team will change kit.

HAN 5 Referees

HAN 5.1 Each team is required to provide two referees. These individuals will be mentored throughout the weekend by England Handball Referee Developers and Assessors as part of ongoing CPD towards future qualification (England Handball Referee Level 2/3).

HAN 5.2 The decisions of referees shall be final.

HAN 6 Courts The IHF Floor Regulations will not apply. The dimensions and run offs for each court will be as determined by the Competitions Committee and dependent on available facilities. For 2020-21 outdoor courts shall be used. The type(s) of playing surfaces to be used and any footwear restrictions shall be confirmed in the pre-event information. It is the responsibility of teams and individual players to ensure that they have the appropriate footwear for any playing surfaces they will be required to play on.

HAN 7 Duration of play All matches will be 25 minutes long, played within a 30 minute window. There will be no half-time break, no time-outs and time does not stop (for example for penalties or ball retrieval).

HAN 8 Ties in knockout matches In the event of a tie after normal time, a penalty shootout will occur with each team taking three penalties. If teams are still tied the match will go to sudden death with each team taking alternate single penalties until there is a goal difference after both teams have taken the same number of penalties. Where a penalty shootout goes to sudden death all players in a team, including the goalkeeper, must shoot before an individual can shoot again.

HAN 8.1 For final matches only, there shall be a period of five minutes extra time played and the penalty shootout procedure shall only apply in the event of a tie after this period of extra time.

HAN 9 Throw-off Teams must be ready to play each fixture at the allotted throw-off time. Failure of a team to be present at the allotted throw-off time will result in forfeiture of the match, with a walkover given to the opposition. The initial throw-off shall be taken by the first named team for each fixture.

HAN 10 Match abandonment If the referees, due to unforeseen circumstances abandon a match, the match shall be subject to the following:

HAN 10.1 If the match has passed the 12.5 minutes mark, the result at the point of abandonment stands and will be the final result.

HAN 10.2 If the match has not passed the 12.5 minutes mark, the match shall be replayed as close to the original circumstances as possible with the players who were eligible to play at the point of the original fixture.

HAN 11 Walkovers Where a team does not attend a fixture, this shall be recorded as a walkover to their opposition. (Note HAN 17.2)

HAN 12 Player injuries IHF rules 14:10 and 14:11 shall apply; however, the 2nd paragraph of rule 4:11 shall be suspended.

HAN 13 Resin Use of resin is not permitted. In the event of an individual or team found to be using resin, referees will swap the match ball and report its usage to the Competitions Committee.

HAN 14 Discipline

HAN 14.1 All matches are played under the auspices of the International Handball Federation (IHF). However, as the Championships are organised by the England Handball Association (EHA) on behalf of BUCS, the disciplinary regulations and processes followed shall be those of the EHA, save for any exceptions outlined in these regulations. Where an incident involving a team, or individual from a team, from a nation with a different National Governing Body (NGB), is deemed to require consideration of further action after the event, then the matter may be referred to this NGB.

HAN 14.2 Suspension IHF rule 16:3 shall apply; however, the duration of suspensions shall be reduced to one minute.

HAN 14.3 Disqualification  

HAN 14.3.1 Disqualification of an official/player Where the referees disqualify a player, coach or official, they are entitled to sit in any area designated for spectators.

HAN 14.3.1.1 Further influence of disqualified official/player Should the offender try to influence the match the referee shall order the player, coach or official concerned to leave the hall and an obligatory report of the incident is to be submitted. This report shall be subject to a disciplinary hearing with a sanction in accordance with disciplinary sanctions.

HAN 14.3.1.2 Disqualified official/player non-compliance Where a player, coach, or official refuses to leave the hall, the match shall be suspended until the referees’ instruction has been carried out. The offender shall be reported to the Competitions Committee and could be suspended in accordance with the regulations. If the offender does not leave the hall after the instruction is given, the match is to be stopped and the team to whom the offender belongs will be penalised with a forfeit. If this takes more than five minutes the match can be abandoned at the discretion of the referee.

HAN 14.3.2 Disqualification without report (Red Card) Where, during a match, a player’s action leads to a direct disqualification (Red Card) with no report to follow (i.e., the player is not shown a Blue Card), no further disciplinary action shall be deemed necessary.

HAN 14.3.3 Disqualification with report (Red Card and Blue Card) A player receiving a direct Red Card plus a Blue Card will automatically miss their team’s next match. The referee(s) shall report the matter to the Competitions Committee who will determine if any further sanctions are to be issued. The report shall provide a brief statement on the match report indicating the offence and the rule(s) applied. The report should only explain the facts without making any further judgements or giving personal views. A player cannot appeal against the decisions of the Competitions Committee in this regard. Where the report indicates a more serious offence, the Competitions Committee will refer the report to the EHA’s Competitions Disciplinary Committee (CDC) after the event to consider the offence under the EHA’s Competitions and Disciplinary procedures. This could result in a disciplinary hearing and further sanctions being imposed.

HAN 14.4 Any sanction issued against a player, coach, official, team or club as a result of a disciplinary matter in BUCS Handball shall only apply to BUCS Handball unless the sanction applied is advised to apply otherwise. A sanction issued against a player, coach, official, team or club as a result of a disciplinary matter outside of BUCS Handball shall not apply to BUCS Handball unless the sanction applied is advised by the relevant governing body to apply otherwise.

HAN 15 Competitions Committee The Competitions Committee shall consist of the Event Manager, Event Assistant and the Head of Referees.

HAN 16 League points in group stages

HAN 16.1 Three points will be awarded for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss.

HAN 16.2 Where a walkover has been awarded/conceded, three points shall be given to the non-offending team, one point shall be deducted from the offending team and the result shall be recorded as a 5-0 win to the non-offending team.

HAN 16.3 No points will be awarded to either team in the case of a void fixture.

HAN 17 Calculating final league positions in group stages Final league positions will be primarily based on league points accumulated. However, should there be any ties on points within a league, they shall be split by the following sequential systems:

HAN 17.1 A team tied on points in a league who has conceded any walkovers shall automatically be placed below other tied teams who have conceded fewer walkovers.

HAN 17.2 Tie between two teams

HAN 17.2.1 The result between the teams will be the determining factor in placing one team above the other. Where fixtures are played on a ‘home’ and ‘away’ basis, the aggregate score of the two (or more) matches will determine the higher placed team. If this does not determine the higher placed team;

HAN 17.2.2 The team with the higher goal difference shall be deemed the higher placed team. If a tie still exists;

HAN 17.2.3 The team with the higher number of goals scored shall be deemed the higher placed team. If a tie still exists;

HAN 17.2.4 A sudden death penalty shootout will occur with each team taking alternate single penalties until there is a goal difference after both teams have taken the same number of penalties. All players in a team, including the goalkeeper, must shoot before an individual can shoot again. In the event of a tie after normal time, a penalty shootout will occur with each team taking three penalties.

HAN 17.2.5 If the higher placed team cannot be determined from the system above, then this shall be determined by the toss of a coin by a member of the Competitions Committee.

HAN 17.3 Tie between three or more teams

HAN 17.3.1 Where three or more teams are tied on league points, a 'mini league' table shall be formed to calculate the higher placed team from the results between the relevant teams using the following sequential system:

HAN 17.3.2 League points accumulated. If a tie still exists;

HAN 17.3.3 The team with the higher goal difference shall be deemed the higher placed team. If a tie still exists;

HAN 17.3.4 The team with the higher number of goals scored shall be deemed the higher placed team.

HAN 17.3.5 A sudden death penalty shootout will occur with each team taking alternate single penalties until there is a goal difference after all the teams have taken the same number of penalties. All players in a team, including the goalkeeper, must shoot before an individual can shoot again.

HAN 17.3.6 If the higher placed team cannot be determined from the system above, then this shall be determined by the toss of a coin by a member of the Competitions Committee.

HAN 18 Disputes at events In line with REG 7.7, should a dispute occur at an event, the event appeal panel for Handball shall comprise of the Competitions Committee. A BUCS staff member shall also be included as required.

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