The effects of the goalkeeper substitution rule as a new strategy in handball: Analysis of Men's European Handball Championship 2020

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ACTA GYMNICA, vol.50, no.3, pp.113-121, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.5507/ag.2020.015
  • Journal Name: ACTA GYMNICA
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), SportDiscus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.113-121
  • Keywords: team handball, notational analysis, additional field player, PERFORMANCE, SITUATIONS, TEAMS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background: The numerical inferiority in attacking due to the 2-min penalty is a disadvantageous situation in handball. Teams substitute the goalkeeper with a field player to tolerate this handicap. The rule change enabled the simple practicality of playing with an extra player and an empty net. Objective: The aim of this study is to analyze the effects of intervention on the additional field player strategy in elite national teams. Methods: A total of sixty-two handball matches that were played in the Men's European Handball Championship 2020 were analyzed in this study. We executed a notation analysis on in-game special periods such as the replacement of the goalkeeper with an additional field player. Eight different variables included in the analysis were goals, penalty or suspension, missed shots, technical error, received goals with an empty net, missed shots with an empty net, conceded fast-break goals and substitution failures. Results: The winning and losing teams' analysis revealed that there was a significant increase in missed shots, technical error, received goals with an empty net and received fast-break goals in the losing teams. In the comparison of the numerical asymmetry situations (5&6 and 7&6 with an additional field player), all parameters were significantly higher in the 5&6 situations than the 7&6 situations except for substitution failure. Conclusions: This study suggests that playing with an additional field player could provide an opportunity for advantageous attacking in the critical moments of the game and make handball a more attractive team sport in the future.