NewsTeam Handball News

New Constitution Approved for USA Team Handball’s National Referee Committee

by Matthew Collins

USA Team Handball’s Board of Directors approved the National Referee Committee’s (NRC) Constitution, intended to solidify the objectives and responsibilities of the NRC and provide a foundation for the development of team handball referees in the United States. The new regulatory document was constructed after feedback from and lengthy collaboration with community members and referees and draws upon established referee committee structures throughout the world.

The National Referee Committee, operating under USA Team Handball, main objective as outlined in the Constitution is “to ensure and promote that all handball (both indoor and beach) matches are officiated at the highest level through enforcing the playing rules while providing a safe and fair environment to all handball athletes.”

Furthermore, the responsibilities of the NRC include the management of the referees, technical delegates, and scorekeepers/timekeepers currently in the USA Team Handball system, as well as recruiting and certifying prospective candidates to expand the amount of referees, technical delegates, and scorekeepers/timekeepers available in the United States. The NRC will also enforce and follow the most current IHF Rules of the Game, their interpretation, and trends. 

With USA Team Handball-sanctioned events, both beach and indoor, occurring across the country throughout the year, it is imperative that certified referees be readily available to officiate these tournaments and reduce logistical barriers for tournament organizers.

The tactical work prescribed in the regulations is intended to keep referee affairs organized across all levels, with the understanding that collaboration should be continued by the six members of the NRC: a committee chair, two committee members, one Board of Directors representative, and two athlete representatives, appointed by the Athletes Advisory Council (AAC).

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The committee chair will preside over the general business of the committee, prepare reports to the Board of Directors, and be the liaison officer with any IHF or IHF-affiliated (e.g. NACHC) referee governing body. Furthermore, the chair shall form sub-committees and working groups, such as the currently established USA Beach Handball Referee Committee.

Additionally, the Constitution details the various levels of certification for referees and game officials including USATH Level 1, 2, and 3, and then progressing to the Continental level with the North American and Caribbean Handball Confederation (NACHC), and International level, under the direction of the International Handball Federation (IHF). The requirements for each level of certification are set forth in the Constitution, along with the competitions referees and game officials are eligible to officiate at each certification level. 

The NRC is tasked with nominating referees for any USATH-sanctioned matches and as it is essential that USA Team Handball keeps referees and technical delegates of continental and international status, the NRC is responsible for recommending referee candidates to be promoted to these respective levels, and ensuring they maintain the skills necessary to represent the United States and USA Team Handball at these competitions. 

With the approval of the Constitution, the Board of Directors will now start looking at finalizing the members of the Committee.

Anyone interested in serving on the Committee should reach out to

The National Referee Committee Constitution can be found HERE.

Matthew Huang