Common fouls

There are a number of common fouls that may be committed by either team, as detailed in the Rules. When a foul is committed, the referee will blow his whistle and raise one hand in the air with the fist clenched. With his other hand, he will point to the player who committed the foul. The game clock will stop and the referee will then give a hand signal indicating the type of foul. He will then indicate the sanction for the foul.

  • Contact before the whistle – Both arms extended in front of the body, one hand striking the palm of the other hand
  • Out‐and‐in – Palms facing each other – move arms forward and backwards in an arc
  • Four in the key – One hand held over the head with four fingers extended
  • Holding – One arm extended in front of the body with the other hand gripping it between the elbow and wrist
  • Pushing – Both hands moving forward and back in front of the body, palms flat and upright in a pushing motion
  • Illegal use of hands – One arm extended in front of the body with the other hand striking it in a chopping motion between the elbow and wrist
  • Spinning – Both arms held by the sides and bent at the elbows with clenched hands held out in front of the body, and then rotating the upper body side to side

The sanction for an offensive foul, committed by the team that has possession of the ball, is a loss of possession. The referee will indicate the new direction of play and give the ball to the defending team to in‐bound.

The sanction for a defensive foul, committed by the team that does not have possession of the ball is a one‐minute penalty. The referee will lead the player who committed the foul to the penalty box and inform the penalty timekeeper of the player’s team, their number, and the foul that was committed. The referee will then return the ball to the offensive team to in‐bound.

To view the IWRF referee signals relating to common fouls, click

here.