ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Handball: Goal Keeping

Updated on July 13, 2011

The role of the goalkeeper in any sport is a vital one.  Being the last line of defence, a proficient keeper can be the difference between a competitive team and a mediocre team.  Even if the team is weak, having a good goalkeeper can give the team a sufficient competitive edge to be a force to be reckoned with. 

In handball, goalkeepers have the unenviable task of deflecting balls that come at speeds of up to over 80mph.  In the face of such bullet-like throws, the role of the goalkeeper is definitely not for the faint-hearted.  Protecting the goal in handball is an extremely challenging role that requires lightning reflexes and great skill.  Only the best goalkeepers in handball can hope to save more than 40% of the balls that come towards the goal.

The Rules that Govern the Goalkeeper

Similar to other sports where there is a goalkeeper, there are unique rules that apply only to the goalkeeper. In handball, the goalkeeper is allowed to block the ball with any part of the body inside the goal area. The goalkeeper may also move around with the ball inside the goal area without restrictions, unless it is evident that he or she is employing delaying tactics. The goalkeeper is also allowed to leave the goal area at any time following the rules that govern all court players.

What the goalkeeper is not allowed to do is leave the goal area while in possession of the ball. The goalkeeper may not touch the ball while it is stationary or rolling on the ground outside the goal area. Neither is the goalkeeper allowed to re-enter the goal area from the playing area while still holding the ball. The goalkeeper is also restricted from receiving a pass from a court player while inside the goal area.

The goalkeeper is awarded a goal-throw if he or she blocks the ball and recovers it in the goal area. A goal-throw is also awarded in the event that the ball goes over the endline after the goalkeeper successfully blocks it; or if the opposing team throws the ball over the endline. The goalkeeper must play the goal-throw by passing it to a teammate from within the goal area. If the goalkeeper successfully blocks the shot and the ball goes out of bounds on the sideline, then the opposing team keeps the ball and returns it into play with a throw-in.

Goalkeeper Protection

Due to the high risk of being hit by the ball, it is important that goalkeepers learn how to protect themselves from the ball while executing their job of saving the ball.  At the end of the day, nothing beats good technique however there are other tactics that can be employed to minimise the damage while the goalkeeper works to improve his or her technique.

Goalkeepers can wear long sleeved shirts and long pants to help minimise exposed skin areas.  Male goalkeepers are also advised to wear a protective groin cup.  Additionally, knee and shin pads can also provide extra protection. 

During training, ball impact can be reduced by practicing with dense foam balls or partially deflated volleyballs.  Old tennis balls can be used to help improve reaction time.  Once the goalkeeper’s technique picks up, the proper handball ball can be introduced into the training routine.

Goalkeeping - Positioning

When the opponent has the ball within shooting distance of the goal, it is important for the goalkeeper to adopt the basic defensive stance.  In other words, stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart and knees flexed.  Body weight should be evenly distributed across the balls of both feet.  Arms and elbows should be bent with hands at shoulder or waist height.

Any movement made by the goalkeeper should be intended to protect the goal at all times.  Special attention should be given to the corners of the goal – usually the top and bottom corners closest to the attacker as these are usually the easier targets to go for.  By staying between the attacker and the short corners, the attacker will be forced to take a more difficult shot which reduces the chances of a goal being scored.

Although the goalkeeper’s main focus will be on the shooter, it is important for the goalkeeper to be aware of what is happening in the overall offensive situation of the game.  The movement of the goalkeeper should be along an imaginary arc between the two goalposts.  Usually, the goalkeeper should stand one step out from the middle of the goal line.  Since it is not possible to see the goalposts from this position, the goalkeeper needs to have a sense of where the goalposts are and of his or her position in relation to the opening of the goal.

Goalkeepers need good reflexes and must be ready to change directions at any time.  By being aware of the defence strategy, the offensive situation and the ball, the goalkeeper can anticipate where the shot is most likely to be taken.  This will assist the goalkeeper to protect the goal more effectively.

Goalkeepers need to know how to block high, low, medium and wing shots, as well as how to initiate a fast-break.  There are plenty of exercises and tips for goalkeepers and their coaches available.  A goalkeeper can train with these exercises to help prepare himself or herself for the game.  At the end of the day, a large part of the team’s success is dependent on how well the goalkeeper performs during game play.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)