Handball positions. Attack and defense players: goalkeeper, pivot - teenflixsports

Handball positions🤾‍♂️Attack and defense players in handball: goalkeeper, pivot🥇🏆

There are five handball positions : goalkeeper , central, wingers, wingers and pivot . In this sport, called handball ,  handball  or  handbol, two teams face each other and it is characterized by transporting the ball with their hands. Each team is made up of seven players , six on the pitch and the goalkeeper .. It is played on a rectangular field, with a goal on each side. The objective of the game is to move a ball to try to introduce it into the opponent's goal, an action that is called a goal. The team that scores the most goals at the end of the game, which consists of two thirty-minute parts, is the one that wins, and there can also be a draw. Later, we will see what the handball positions are and we will specify which handball players have attack and defense functions , or both.

To contextualize, there have been numerous ball games that have used the hands throughout history. However, modern handball is relatively recent, since its first regulations date back to the last years of the 19th century. In addition, the definitive standardization of the same did not come until 1926, the year in which the rules for the game between teams of eleven players and outdoors, called handball at 11 , were standardized . However, over the years, handball began to be played indoors, which reduced the number of players to seven. Despite the fact that handball coexistedEleven and seven for a time, only the latter survived, making its debut as an Olympic sport at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Thus, currently seven players play , with well-defined handball positions .


  • Handball positions in defense and defensive systems
  • Attacking and offensive players in handball
  • Pivot in handball positions
  • Handball positions: handball wings
  • Handball positions: handball wingers
  • Central point guard in handball positions
  • Handball positions: handball goalkeeper
  • English handball players and positions
  • Handball positions in defense and defensive systems
Handball positions in defense and defensive systems

Among the handball positions for defense , there are two basic systems, 5-1 and 6-0 . Defense is a priority when playing, as it not only prevents scoring, but also makes it easier to score goals. The handball players in charge of defending are the following:

  • Exteriors : Normally they are the same extremes and they protect the exteriors of the defense.
  • Wingers : Positioned between the center backs and the outsiders, they are quite strong and robust.
  • Centrals : Located in the defensive center, they are in charge of giving instructions and helping the sides. They possess the strongest body of the entire team.
  • Advanced : Appears in the 5-1 defensive formation, in which there are 5 handball players behind and a center back further forward. His purpose is to bother the attacking team and steal passes. Generally, he is an outsider.
  • Goalkeeper : As we will see later, he is the player who defends the goal to prevent a goal action from being executed by the opposing team.

As we have commented, in handball positions we distinguish between two basic defense systems .

Defense players in handball 6-0

In this defensive handball system , the six field players occupy the entire width of the track, in a single line. The way to do it is with four players on the side where the ball is going and the other two on the opposite side. This defense does not press as much as others, but it does not leave free spaces, making it difficult for the opposing team's wingers to participate. The way to attack it is with a lot of speed when moving the ball and with passes to the pivot . The handball positions used in the 6-0 defense system are two centre-backs, two full-backs and two wingers.

Defense players in handball 5-1

It consists of a five player online defense and one advanced player. This defensive system is much more suffocating. Its advantage is that it covers the spaces with the greatest shooting angle. However, it is an easier defense to attack on the wingers. Thus, it is convenient to do it when the attacking team has good shooters. In this 5-1 system, the figure of the "advanced" appears, one of the most mobile handball players . He presses following the ball from side to side, ahead of the 5 line.

We could also talk about other defensive systems with advanced players , such as 4-2 and 3-3. These distributions in defense of handball positions are much more risky, since they leave more free spaces. However, at the same time, more pressure is put on the opponent's passing lanes and this allows for more chances to win the ball back. They are used at the end of games, when the team that is behind on the scoreboard needs to take risks if they want to win.

Attacking and offensive players in handball

In order to take full advantage of the strategic aspect in handball positions , the teams create some changes in their techniques. In this way, they adjust their dispositions in attack and in the defense of the opposing players . Although there are common positions ( goalkeeper , central, wingers, wingers and pivot ), it is possible to vary them. For example, on some occasions, the center-back is integrated into the attack as a false pivot .

The first thing, when making an attack , is that the circulation of the ball is as fluid as possible. In addition, if the players are separated, they will force the opposing defense to make more movements, which will favor more openings and shooting angles to mark. The two most basic attack systems in handball are the following:

Handball positions for the 3-3 attack system

In handball positions , it is the classic system par excellence, widely used against the 6-0 defense . The full-backs and wingers quickly move the ball, while the pivot circles the 6-meter line. It is named for the layout of the players . There are three first lines made up of two full-backs and a center back, and three second lines made up of two full-backs and a pivot.

Within this handball system , we find two modalities: the open one, in which the winger is as open as possible, and the closed one, in which the wingers are located at the intersection between the touch line and the scoring area. free hit. The latter is used to improve the rhythm of circulation and promote support.

Handball positions for the attacking system 2-4

Again mentioning the handball positions , the full-backs, in this two-line scheme, try to break the defense by means of a triangle-shaped attack . It is made up of two players on the front line (wings) and four on the second line (two wingers and two pivots). With this type of system, it is possible to improve the game in depth, although width is lost. It is very useful to break the defensive rhythm of the opposing team and, in addition, the speed of the passes between the handball players should increase.

In the next sections, we will see one by one the different handball positions that currently exist.

Pivot in handball positions

Of the handball positions , the pivot is the largest player. He is the one who stands close to the opposing goalkeeper, focused and on the 6-meter line. He often takes advantage of his bulk to carve out a gap between the opposing defense . His moves allow the full-backs free passage, although he also becomes a scorer when he receives a pass and has the opportunity to turn with speed towards the goal. In this way, he has a great influence in the game of handball , specifically in the attack phase .

Due to its space close to the 6-meter area, the pivot constantly interacts with the other attacking and defending handball players to execute the plays. He can also be placed further away, in the 9-meter zone, when he needs to prevent the other team's defense from intercepting passes. The role of the pivot in handball is defined by the combination of various skills:

  • Win position.
  • Block the ball.
  • Perform feints.
  • Throw the ball.
  • Get away from an opposing player.
  • Disorganize the defense.
  • Contain the opponent.
  • Have the ability to help, since his role has a great participation in plays without possession of the ball.

Handball positions: handball wings

The left and right wingers are in attack on the 9-meter line, one on each side of the center back. They tend to be tall, stocky players with a powerful shot. They are used to break any closed defense from the 9-meter line. They are the ones who attend the extremes, in most cases, due to their proximity. Thus, wing players in handball have to be very active throughout the team passing game, as well as being the best long-distance shooters. It is one of the most complete handball positions , since it has great responsibility, both in attack and defense .

Side players in handball defense

When handball full - backs are in a defensive situation, they position themselves between wingers and center-backs. Their mission is to cover gaps and prevent rivals from shooting, retaining or blocking the pivot and seeking to obtain the ball. The full-backs in these handball positions are the players who move the most in the defensive swing, being among the first to withdraw when required.

Lateral players in handball attack

When the handball wingers are in an attacking situation, they position themselves to the sides of the center back. Its main function at this point is to circulate the handball to obtain or create space in the opponent 's defense . It is also possible to make crosses with the center, the winger or even become a second pivot. In these handball positions , the full-backs can shoot the ball to score a goal. For this, their height, the ability to jump and the precision are important.

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Handball positions: handball wingers

In handball positions , the wingers (left and right) stand one on each side of the full-backs, close to the 6-meter line. They tend to be fast, agile, lightweight players with great jumping ability. They make the most of the pitch to open up defenses and create gaps. Static attack plays begin from their position. At the same time, they are two handball players who are very active in recovering the ball. Furthermore, they can become a constant source of goals when playing against wide defences. However, they have to have a great ability to jump and rectify because their shot on goal is the one with the smallest angle.

Extreme players in attack and defense

Although wingers are primarily thought of as attacking players in handball , they also play an important role within defence. In a defensive situation, they are located at the end of the defense , and are in charge of initiating the counterattack play. In attack , they are located in the corners of the track and their main function is to open spaces in the opponent's defense to finish the plays by scoring the goal. They are also the promoters of the counterattack, which consists of switching from defense to attack quickly.

This situation requires the occupation of spaces for shooting before the defense of the other team can be organized. And it is here where the handball winger plays a crucial role, since it is possible for him to receive the ball directly from the goalkeeper , to then execute the shot at the goal (defined as a direct attack); or through a pass between players, until finding a free space for the final throw. Extreme handball players are also one of the most complete handball positions , since they have great responsibility, both in attack and defense .

Central point guard in handball positions

In relation to handball positions , the central player is the front line player located between the two sides. He directs the game through crossovers and coordinated plays with him as the main protagonist. Therefore, his strength or speed is not as relevant as his vision of the game and dexterity. He is always attentive to the movements of his teammates, sharing the game and reflecting on the handball court all the coach's needs. In the event of an attack failure by the opposing team, the center back is normally the person who receives the ball from the goalkeeper to start their attack . In defense , he is placed in the center of the defensive line, along with the pivot. All central handball must have some basic characteristics:

  • Being an expert in passes of all kinds and shapes.
  • Have a good long distance shot.
  • Have a good vision of the game, understand the movement of your team and the opposing team.
  • Be smart and creative when distributing the plays.

Handball positions: handball goalkeeper

In handball positions , the goalkeeper is essential. He is the player who defends the goal to prevent a goal action from being executed by the opposing team. He is in a privileged position, since he not only intervenes in the game defensively, but also as the start of attack actions . In addition,  he is responsible for many actions in a handball match , doing part of his work without the help of his teammates, because it is a special position and has an area where only they can access.

According to rules established by the International Handball Federation (IHF), the goalkeeper is the only player who, within the area, can take as many steps as he wants with the ball in his hands without having to make it bounce. He must be identified in a different color in his kit than the rest of the players, and he is the only one who can touch the ball with his legs, although only with defensive intent (such as stopping a shot). Outside said area he must behave like the other field players , although he cannot go in and out of it when he has the ball. Although it is seen as one of the defending handball positions , the goalkeeper attacks on many occasions.

Defense actions of the goalkeeper in handball

In principle, we have as defensive actions of the handball goalkeeper the previous positioning and the positional game. However, the most important is the defense of the ball: the  goalkeeper must avoid the goal, intercepting the ball with his hands or arms. He can also perform a combo defense . To do this, it is advisable to carry out the defense by cutting the trajectory of the ball to control it and pass it quickly to the other team players . Trying to block can backfire and cause you to lose the ball.

Offensive actions of the goalkeeper in handball

The goalkeeper 's attacking actions are the serve, the shot towards the forward player and the shot at the goal.

Thus, the goalkeeper can also perform combined actions. These are the reception and deflection of the serve, the reception of the shot and the interception of a pass. In this way, the goalkeeper is one of the most key handball positions in the defense , but also in the attack , of handball .

English handball players and positions

Handball positions have their own expressions in each country. Especially common is the use of the terms in English to express the positions of handball players . Thus, the nomenclature of handball positions in English is as follows:

  • Goalkeeper: the goalkeeper .
  • Center or playmaker: the center.
  • Left and right backs: the left and right sides.
  • Left and right wingers: extreme left and right.
  • Center-forward: the pivot .


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