Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each (six outfield players and a goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team. A standard match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team that scores more goals wins.
An Overview of Handball
Handball is a dynamic, popular and exciting sport that requires athleticism, strength and stamina, great fitness and most of all, team work. The game is fast and high-scoring, professional teams now typically score between 20 and 35 goals each. Body contact is permitted by the defenders trying to stop the attackers from approaching the goal.
Handball comes in a variety of guises from the Field (Outdoor) Handball, to the now popular Olympic (Indoor) Handball played on a 40m x 20m court to the now recently introduced Beach (Sand) Handball played on the sands of a beach.
Two teams of seven players (six field players plus one goalkeeper) take the field and attempt to score points by putting the game ball into the opposing team's goal. In handling the ball, players are subject to the following restrictions:
- After receiving the ball, players can pass, keep possession, or shoot the ball.
- If possessing the ball, players must dribble (similar to a basketball dribble), or can take up to three steps for up to three seconds at a time without dribbling.
- No attacking or defending players other than the defending goalkeeper are allowed to touch the floor of the goal area (within six metres of the goal). A shot or pass in the goal area is valid if completed before touching the floor. Goalkeepers are allowed outside the goal area, but are not allowed to cross the goal area boundary with the ball in their hands.
- The ball may not be passed back to the goalkeeper when they are positioned in the goal area.
Notable scoring opportunities can occur when attacking players jump into the goal area. For example, an attacking player may catch a pass while launching inside the goal area, and then shoot or pass before touching the floor. Doubling occurs when a diving attacking player passes to another diving team-mate.
- Increases strength and stamina
- Provides an excellent cardiovascular workout
- Social benefits of being part of a team
Depending on the club and coach, sessions can cost around £5.00 but a 'taster' session may be free.
Handball is a challenging sport that requires very little equipment and is easy to pick up. In the United Kingdom, there are around 75 clubs based largely in schools, colleges, universities and sports centres.
The club you attend or your coach will be able to tell you, but normal sportswear and non-marking trainers should be fine
- The modern game of handball was first played towards the end of the 19th century in Scandinavia and Germany.
- The first written set of rules was published by Dane Holger Nielsen in 1906.
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National Governing Bodies
- Contact Name
- Chris McDermott
- Contact Email
- Contact Telephone
- 01925 246482