When starting a new sport, getting to grips with the rules and regulations can be a challenge. On this page we want to take you through some of the key rules to remember when you are starting out with tchoukball – and hopefully help you understand more about what makes tchoukball so unique and why you should give it a go! At the bottom of this page we have also included downloadable PDFs to the official rules and referee signals, as set by the International Tchoukball Federation (FITB).

The rule of three – everything works in threes

You have 3 seconds with the ball, 3 passes and 3 steps (if you catch the ball in the air, if you catch it standing or kneeling this counts as on movement and two steps still remain). When the ball is in continous play (without a fault or point being given), both teams can shoot 3 times at the same net before the ball has to be shot at the other end.

Non-contact: Defenders only engage with the attacking play once the shot has been taken – their aim is to catch the rebounding ball.

We even play 3 periods of 15 mins – a coin toss decides who starts, the other team starts the 2nd period and the losing team starts the third period (or the team that won the coin toss if it’s tied).

No tackling, blocking or interceptions

It can seem very strange to beginners that they can’t physically stop the attacking team taking a shot. Yet, the real power of tchoukball’s inclusiveness is due to these rules. Teams score points by using their passes to move the opposition and exploiting the space that has been created. The option to attack at either end means that the entire defending team must cover the court to ensure that the attackers can’t find a gap to shoot at.

Point, frame and short

To score a point in tchoukball you throw the ball at the tchoukball frame with the ball rebounding to hit the ground outside the ‘D’ and inside the court. However, you want to avoid hitting the actual frame itself and aim for the net. If you either hit the metal tubing of the frame, or you hit the strings holding the net in place and the ball changes direction, it is called a “frame” and a fault is given. A frame ball which lands ouside the ‘D’ and inside the perimeters of the court = “frame”; a frame ball which lands inside the ‘D’ or outside out the court is a short and a point is given to the opposition. A “short” (also known as a given point) is awarded to the opposition for any shot taken which either a) misses the frame completely; b) lands inside the ‘D’; or c) lands outside of the court (without anyone touching it). To understand the full extent of these rules we suggest you read the Official Rules of Tchoukball – link below (Rule 8 & 11)

Once faults are given the team who gets possession takes a “breakdown” – both hands on the ball touching it to the ground within 1m of where fault happened.
Foot on line and landing

These are common faults in attacking plays. If a player is shooting and jumps when any part of their body touches the ‘D’, then it is a fault. This is commonly known in the UK as “foot on line”. If a defender catches the ball when they are touching any part of the ‘D’, a point is scored. “Landing” is when a player shoots but any part of them touches the ground in the ‘D’ before the ball is released. This fault can be very hard to judge and should only be called if the referee is sure it has happened. Beginner players may well begin shooting from outside the ‘D’, but as they increase in skill, they will jump from outside toward the frame to alter their shot so these rules are vital to ensure the shot is fair.


Any tricky questions or rules that don’t make sense? We love a challenge! Contact Us and we’ll get back to you.