There are only a handful of offensive alignments used in handball
- Standard Offense: 5 players (LW/LB/CB/RB/RW) facing the goal at 9 to 12 meters and 1 player (P) with his back to the goal at 7 meters: This is the standard offensive alignment most commonly used and is depicted below
- Two Pivots: 4 players (LW/LB/RB/RW) facing the goal at 9 to 12 meters and 2 players (P) with their backs to the goal at 7 meters: This variant as described has one of the out front players moving into a pivot position. This is sometimes done during the normal course of play, typically with a wing player playing as a pivot for a few seconds. At other times it is done with a 2nd pivot substituting for another player. The four players out front typically shift their spacing to account for the missing “out front” player.
- Two Pivots with Extra Player: 5 players (LW/LB/CB/RB/RW) facing the goal at 9 to 12 meters and 2 players (P) with their backs to the goal at 7 meters. This is a very aggressive offense that requires pulling the GK and adding an extra pivot. This strategy is used for the following reasons:
- At the very end of a match when a team wants to maximize its scoring opportunity and thinks the other team won’t have time to score an empty net goal
- During the match to increase the tempo of the game.
- During the match to force the defense into a 6-0 defense.