Phase 3 Handball Guidelines - Update 22nd October 2020 

An appendix has been created and applicable to sport and physical activity facilities and activities where Scottish Government have identified the requirement for local measures and restrictions to be applied. 


This is for the extension of Scottish Government exercise guidelines but not a full return to indoor Handball. The updated Scottish government advice means from 24/08/2020 it is possible for Handball training to take place outdoors with full contact for all ages within a “field of play bubble”.  Outside of this the normal social distancing rules must be followed. 

U12 children can take part in indoor Handball with contact. This must be in line with the Scottish Government public health guidelines.  Currently, the Scottish Handball does not recommend indoor Handball for players over 12 since no indoor contact sport is allowed.  We have, however, included guidance should clubs decide to train indoors.

Coaching and Instructing

Guidance for coaches and officials is available at Getting Your Coaches Ready for Sport.

Handball Outdoor Activity

Organised outdoor contact Handball activity can be undertaken by all ages.

All clubs providing activity must abide by relevant SGB guidance and have a named ‘Covid Officer’ who will complete documented risk assessments and ensure all appropriate mitigations are put in place by the club before any activity is undertaken.  Sportscotland have developed a COVID Officer role description and an online training course to support this: 

Role description for a Covid-19 officer

Online training for Covid-19 officer

Physical distancing

Children aged 11 years and younger are not required to physically distance, as set out in Scottish Government guidance.    This extends to organised sports activity and the field of play.  Scottish Handball recommend that the maximum size of group is 30 and the duration of the activity is 60 minutes.

For older children aged 12-17 and adults a ‘field of play bubble’ can be created during organised Handball activity that allows contact whilst the activity is taking place, in effect suspending physical distancing guidelines for the duration of the activity.  Normal physical distancing guidelines will however apply before and after the activity takes place.  A maximum group size of 30 is allowed in the area set aside for the activity.  We recommend a maximum area size of 40mx20m.  Once outside of this area social distancing rules must be adhered to.

Coaches and other adults supporting organised activity should attempt to keep physically distant where possible, but it is recognised that this will not always be possible. In such circumstances the club ‘Covid Officer’ should consider appropriate mitigating actions as part of the risk assessment.

Risk Assessment Template and other materials available from sportscotland:  Getting Your Coaches Ready for Sport

Parents/guardians who are supervising their children should abide by Scottish Government physical distancing guidance and stay at least 2m away from those out with their own household.  Groups of parents from different households should not congregate before, during or after the activity.  The club should ensure that a drop-off and pick-up area has enough space to allow physical distancing between parents/guardians.

Handball Indoor Activity

There will be several measures required by operators of facilities.  These must be adhered to in addition to the following guidelines for Handball:

Exercise guidelines

You should follow Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing, and hygiene.  Information on the Scottish Government’s approach to managing covid-19 is available at .

This document provides some general guidelines to be followed alongside government advice.  Each person is responsible for their own personal hygiene.

Before Exercise:

During Exercise:

After Exercise:

Health, Safety & Hygiene

Hand sanitisers should be made available where possible, but the participants should be encouraged to bring their own

Detailed guidance is available at:

Health Protection Scotland:  General guidance for non-healthcare settings

Health Protection Scotland:  Cleaning in a non-healthcare setting

Health Protection Scotland:  Hand hygiene techniques

St. John's Ambulance:  Covid-19 advice for first aiders

HSE:  First Aid during the coronavirus

Guidance for participants

The following guidance can be used to support participants.  Consider using it in the context of before, during and after the activity.

Scottish Handball Association is currently working in partnership with sportscotland and Scottish Government to provide up to date and relevant guidelines to all our members. When we receive new or updated information, we will ensure this document is updated and our members are notified promptly.


Appendix 1: Local Measures & Restrictions 

These changes are in place and will run until 06:00 on Monday 2nd November 2020.

The primary measures impacting on sport are regional in their reach, covering the following NHS Health Boards and local authorities; 

The temporary measures, in relation to handball, being introduced in these areas are:

Outdoor adult non-contact group exercise and indoor adult individual exercise can continue in line with current guidance.  

There is no change to sport and physical activity guidance for under 18s.


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