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IMPORTANT: Playing Rule Updates

GAA Handball would like to inform all members of several Playing Rule changes, to be brought in on the return to competition post Covid-19 restrictions.

The six rulings below were unanimously passed at GAA Handball's AGM in February 2020. There are two key rule changes (Dead Ball Hinders & Timeouts) that will affect all members during general play, with four additional changes/clarification to rulings on various Team events.

Updated Rulebook

Rule Amendment 1 - * Dead Ball Hinders *

Rule 4.7 A(2): Ball hits Opponent. When a returned ball touches an opponent on the fly before hitting the front wall. However, if the shot obviously would not have reached the front wall on the fly, in the referee’s opinion, the player who is hit by the shot will be awarded the rally.

  • Key Change Explained: Previously during Irish Championship play, if a ball touched an opponent on the fly before hitting the front wall, it was an automatic hinder. This is no longer an automatic call.


Rule Amendment 2 - * Timeouts *

Rule 4.10 A(1): Timeouts must not exceed 60 seconds

  • Key Change Explained: Previously, timeouts in All-Ireland Championship matches were of max 30 second duration. Going forward, all timeouts in Irish Handball will be of max 60 second duration.


Rule Amendment 3 - Juvenile Team Championships

Rule 5.2 A(11)

  • Key Change Explained: Clarity added on the process of Substitutions provided in U12/13, U14/15 & U16/17 Team Events. View updated rulebook above.


Rule Amendment 4 - Inter-Club Championships

Rule 5.3E

  • Key Change Explained: Clarity added on the process of Substitutions provided. View updated rulebook above.


Rule Amendment 5 - Feile na Gael

Rule 5.4 (8): Teams must comprise of Players who are over 10 and under 14 years of age on 1st January in the year of the competition.

Rule 5.5 (9): The following balls will be used in each code: In the 4-Wall competition the Dark Blue Ball is used. In the 60x30 (Softball) competition the Challenger 3 Ball is used. In the 1-Wall Ball competition the One Wall Ball is used.

Rule 5.4 (10): Féile is a Boys or a Girls event - no mixed teams allowed. 

  • Key Change Explained: The three above new rules have been added to provide further clarity on existing rules and formats. View updated rulebook above.


Rule Amendment 6 - Girls Interprovincials

Rule 5.6 A(d): Each pair play's one game to 21 points

  • Key Change Explained: Match duration changed from 2x11's to 1x21 point match.