What is Handball?


Photo Credit Steindy- 2010 European Men’s Handball Championship Group D: Czech Republic vs. France 20:21 — Bertrand Gille (France national handball team) is blocked by three Czech Republic Players.

Dan Locke, Staff Writer

Close your eyes.  Imagine your middle school glory days of dodge ball.  Now imagine the three years your dad made you play a sport, so you picked basketball.  Now, think of the younger years where you suited up with shin guards and cleats to play soccer.  Put all three of those sports together.  What you’re seeing, is called Handball, and it is an Olympic sport.  Although relatively new (invented in 1929) Handball is very competitive in other cultures.  Two teams of 7 players play on a basketball set up similarly to a soccer field, for two 30 minute halfs.  To score, a player must throw the ball into the net past the goalie without stepping into the crease.  This is where the basketball aspect comes in.  When handling the ball, a player must dribble every three steps and every three seconds.  Players can only touch the ball anywhere above the knee, and can’t kick the ball.  If there is a foul, a team will either be awarded a throw-in or a free throw which is similar to a penalty kick in soccer. The ball is made of leather and is similar to a volleyball.  Although not huge in the United States, other countries take this seem to be made up in a playground sport very seriously.