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Background Information

Beach handball is a ball sport played in teams, outdoors in the sand. Due to the ability of the players to land softly on the sand and its unique rules to score double, the sport set up allows spectacular and aerial plays.

It is similar to the Olympic discipline of Indoor Handball, except that the games are shorter and fewer athletes compete on a smaller field of play.


Unlike indoor handball, each period is scored separately, and the winner of a period is awarded one point. If both teams win a period, a 5-shot ‘shoot-out’ decides the winner.


In total, 60 beach handball matches will be played at TWG2022, 30 in each competition per gender.

Preliminary Round

This initial stage features two (2) groups (Group A and Group B) of four (4) teams each, in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Teams play the other teams in their group once, across a total of 12 matches (three per team):

Group A: A1, A2, A3, A4

Group B: B1, B2, B3, B4

Main Round

After the preliminary round, teams ranked 1st and 2nd in Group A and 3rd and 4th in Group B pass to Main Round - Group I and teams ranked 1st and 2nd in Group B and 3rd and 4th in Group A pass to Main Round - Group II.

This phase will be played with two groups of four teams each. The respective preliminary round results from the matches played against opponents who also go through to this round remain valid for the ranking. A total of eight (8) matches will be played, with each team playing two matches. 

Group MR I: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4B

Group MR II: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4A

Final phase

The 1st ranked teams from Group MR I and MR II pass directly to the semi-finals, while teams ranked 2nd and 3rd in Groups MR I and MR II will play in the quarter-finals, as follows:

Placement round 5-8
PL1: Loser QF1-4 MR I
PL2: Loser QF2-4 MR II

Placement 7/8: Loser PL1-Loser PL2
Placement 5/6: Winner PL1-Winner PL2

SF1: 1st MR I-Winner QF2
SF2: 1st MR II-Winner QF1 

Medal matches
Bronze medal match: Loser SF1-Loser SF2
Gold medal match: Winner SF1-Winner SF2

The final daily match schedule will be released following the next TWG2022 Competition Manager meeting, set for 29-30 November 2022.


Games are played over 2 halves of 10 minutes each, with a 5-minute intermission and the possibility for a one-minute team time-out per half. After goals are scored, the match will resume with a goalkeeper throw.

In defence, there are three players plus one goalkeeper. Four players are possible in the attack if the goalkeeper leaves the field and/or is replaced by a field player, referred to as a “specialist”.

Unlike indoor handball, each period is scored separately, and the winner of a period is awarded one point. If the scores are tied at the end of any period, then they play ‘golden goal’, with the first team to score winning that period.

If both teams win a period, a 5-shot ‘shoot-out’ decides the winner of the match. Players will try to beat the opposing goalkeeper one-on-one after getting a long pass from the own goalkeeper.


Usually, goals score for one point, but there are four ways for a goal to be worth two points:

- Alley-oop score
- “Spectacular/360 degree shot
- Goalkeeper or a Specialist scores
- Penalty Throws


Like indoor handball, players can only take three steps with the ball in their hand and cannot hold it for more than three seconds without passing, throwing or bouncing.

Players attempt to score spectacular aerial goals in order to score double points. The ways for a goal to count for double points include:

- “Alley-oop,” which involves the ball being passed to a teammate who catches and shoots the ball without their feet touching the ground.
- The goalie or “specialist” scoring a goal. If he or she scores — no matter how they score — it is an automatic two points.
- Making a “spectacular” or 360-degree shot. As these names imply, these types of goals involve the offensive player doing an acrobatic aerial manoeuvre, spinning their bodies around in a 360-degree turn and hitting the ball. Through goals scored from penalty throws.

Like in Indoor Handball, athletes may not enter the Goal Area (6 m long), but Goalkeepers may not leave the goal area neither in ball possession.

Substitutes may enter the game, at any time and repeatedly, without notifying the timekeeper/scorekeeper, as long as the players they are replacing have already left the court.

It is allowed for the goalkeeper and the court players to leave the playing area on the shortest way on the side of their own team’s substitution area. This practically means that the players can leave the playing court beyond the whole sideline of the playing area and the goal areas on the side of their own team’s substitution area.


Two referees with equal authority are in charge of each game.

During a match, the players are not permitted to:

- Pull or hit the ball out of the hands of an opponent
- Block or force away an opponent with arms, hands or legs
- Restrain, hold, push, run or jump into an opponent
- Interfere with, impede or endanger an opponent (with or without the ball) in contravention of the rules.

In line with the above-mentioned situations, a suspension or a disqualification can be given. A disqualification (except because of the second suspension - must be explained by the referees in the scoresheet to the relevant authorities and leads to a (minimum) one match suspension for the guilty player/team official.


In Beach Handball, goals scored are counted in points. Regular goals count one point. The following goals count two points:

- attractive/spectacular goals
- in-flight & spin shot goals
- goal by specialist
- goal by goalkeeper
- 6 m throw

In the overall ranking, Teams are ranked by adding the points gained. 2 points are awarded for a win and 0 points for a loss. There is no possibility of tie/draw as each game is settled through a shoot-out in case the teams win one period each.

If, after completion of the group matches, two or more teams have gained the same number of points, the following ranking system will apply:

- Results in points between the teams is considered
- Period difference in the matches between the teams considered
- Goal point difference in the matches between the teams considered
- Greater number of plus goal points in the matches between the teams considered.


The penalties and disqualification rules will be applied according to the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game. In general, the penalties can be listed as follows:

- Fouls and unsportsmanlike conducts
- Serious unsportsmanlike conducts
- Punishments (suspensions)
- Disqualifications

An unsportsmanlike conduct is explained as “a player, official or team who have acted inappropriately in the context of the game, not necessary illegal according to the Rules of the Game but depreciated by the vast majority of both players and spectators”.

Appearances in TWG 2017 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2013 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2009 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2005 Yes
Appearances in TWG 2001 Yes
Title holders in TWG 2017

Team Men

  1. Team BRA
  2. Team CRO
  3. Team QAT

Team Women

  1. Team BRA
  2. Team ARG
  3. Team ESP
Title holders in TWG 2013

Team Men

  1. Team BRA
  2. Team RUS
  3. Team CRO

Team Women

  1. Team BRA
  2. Team HUN
  3. Team NOR
Title holders in TWG 2009

Team Men

  1. Team BRA
  2. Team HUN
  3. Team CRO
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