Women Handball

A standard match for all teams of 16 and older has two periods of 30 minutes with a 15-minute half-time. At half-time, teams switch sides of the court as well as benches. For youths the length of the halves is reduced -- 25 minutes at ages 12 to 16, and 20 minutes at ages 8 to 12; though national federations of some countries may differ in their implementation from the official guidelines. If a decision must be reached in a particular match (e.g., in a tournament) and it ends in a draw after regular time, there are at maximum two overtimes of 2 ? 5 minutes with a 1-minute break each. Should these not decide the game either, the winning team is determined in a penalty shootout (best-of-5 rounds; if still tied, extra rounds afterwards until won by one team). The referees may call timeout according to their sole discretion; typical reasons are injuries, suspensions, or court cleaning. Penalty throws should trigger a timeout only for lengthy delays, such as a change of the goalkeeper. Each team may call one team timeout (TTO) per period which lasts one minute. This right may only be invoked by team in ball possession. To do so, the representative of the team lays a green card marked with a black "T" on the desk of the timekeeper. The timekeeper then immediately interrupts the game by sounding an acoustic signal and stops the time. As of 2012, there are three TTO?s. [edit]Referees A handball match is led by two equal referees, namely the goal line referee and the court referee. Some national bodies allow games with only a single referee in special cases like illness on short notice. Should the referees disagree on any occasion, a decision is made on mutual agreement during a short timeout; or, in case of punishments, the more severe of the two comes into effect. The referees are obliged to make their decisions "on the basis of their observations of facts".[3] Their judgements are final and can be appealed against only if not in compliance with the rules. The referees (blue shirts) keep both teams between them. The referees position themselves in such a way that the team players are confined between them. They stand diagonally aligned so that each can observe one side line. Depending on their positions, one is called field referee and the other goal referee. These positions automatically switch on ball turnover. They physically exchange their positions approximately every 10 minutes (long exchange), and change sides every 5 minutes (short exchange). The IHF defines 18 hand signals for quick visual communication with players and officials. The signal for warning or disqualification is accompanied by a yellow or red card,[4] respectively. The referees also use whistle blows to indicate infractions or to restart the play. The referees are supported by a scorekeeper and a timekeeper who attend to formal things such as keeping track of goals and suspensions, or starting and stopping the clock, respectively. They also keep an eye on the benches and notify the referees on substitution errors. Their desk is located in between the two substitutions areas.