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The Ten Commandments

The footnotes are included to clarify/refine certain technicalities that have popped up in the past or may be unclear based on differences in definition of terms. If you notice any other sticky points please let me know so we can ensure common understanding prior to future events.

1. Thou shall not speak to the referees (this includes big smiles & clapping) except if thou is the designated team Captain and then only at an appropriate time because this will not change the call & you risk losing focus in the game.

2. Thou shall only say positive things to fellow players on /off the court & on the bench. Mistakes will happen - dropped balls, bad passes, bad shots, etc. to everyone.

3. Thou shall remember that team handball is a TEAM sport and work unselfishly toward that end at all times.

4. Thou shall always maintain a positive attitude and demonstrate sportsmanship (highest standards of conduct) regardless of the game situation. However, thou shall definitely maintain our ZONE OF PAIN1 concept.

5. Thou shall always be aware of the “RULE of 10 & 3” (min of 10 terrible calls - 3 affect you directly)2. Knowing this shall happen will help you to “enjoy” the game / tournament.

6. Thou shall only substitute on offense except for injury situations. Substitutes shall always watch what is happening in the position(s) that they might be asked to be play.

7. Thou shall work the ball wing-to-wing; wings always low when ball on off side; avoid fancy / dumb3 passes (behind the back); and try to execute the established patterns.

8. Thou shall know where the ball & opponent are at ALL times.

9. Thou shall think twice4 about “Fast” breaks and when in doubt thou shall pull up and set up the offense. Thou shall rest on offense and work extra hard on defense.

10. Thou shall be ready to play 15 minutes5 before the whistle; completely dressed; completely stretched; arms & upper body warmed up.


1. The ZONE OF PAIN is our basic defensive concept that while on defense, we hit anyone that comes inside the 9M line.

2. Once the referees have exceeded this rule, you still must abide by Commandment #1. (i.e If the team has received ten horrible calls and three of those have gone against you personally, you still are prohibited from talking to the referees.)

3. Any pass that is caught and leads to a goal is not considered fancy/dumb. Conversely, any pass that leads to a turnover may be considered dumb.

4. This commandment is written with the assumption that every player actually thinks once during each play.

5. This is 15 minutes of real time as measured by the atomic clock at the Naval Observatory. Hutch time is not an acceptable substitute as it differs from real time from anywhere between 10 and 60 minutes.