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ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS Please write a 1500 word report on the topic “The Sport of Handball”. Please make the report as interesting as possible. Please include are how the sport originated, its history and what it was in the past and how it has evolved to what it is today. Differences between past and present.



The sport of handball is one among the ancient games that utilized a ball. Handball raised several names in different places. For instance in France the game had the name jeu de paume while in Spain, pelota was its name. The game involves bouncing the ball against the wall and back into the court and this involves two opponent teams. Each team contains six active field players and a goalkeeper. Playing handball entails that once a ball is hit; the field players attack the opponents to return the ball to their sides. The field players also defend the ball from reaching the goal and incase the ball reaches the goal the goalkeeper sends it back. Only hands are used as kicking the ball is a violation of the rules of the game. This game requires fast movements and body coordination. To play handball, there has to be two teams each with seven players and seven substitutes as well. Among the seven players is a goalkeeper whose role is to prevent scores from the opponent teams. The game also requires that the players be defensive and still active in the field. However, only the goalkeeper is supposed to stand in the goalkeeping section (Clements, & Rady, 2012).


Equipment for handball

Just like any other sport, handball requires special equipment. This equipment includes the court, the ball, protective gear, and shoes. The court should measure 40metres by 20 meters with goals at the two opposite ends. In the middle of   the court is a line dividing the two parts equally. The balls for playing handball are of two different types, that one for men and another one for females. The two types of balls differ in their sizes and weight. The ball for men has the dimensions of ranging from 58 to 60cm wide while that one for females range between 54 to 56 centimeters wide. The ball for men weighs between 425-475 grams while that one for women is between 325-400 grams. The International Handball Federation has graded the playing balls as one, two, and three as size increases .Playing handball also requires that players be in pads on the knees and the elbows for protection. Since handball is a fast game, it may lead to injuries from fellow players if they do not have the pads. The pads should be light to facilitate movement while playing because heavy pads inconvenience the players (Robbins, 2009).

History of handball

The sport of handball dates back in the 19th Century where it was popular in Scandinavia and Germany for the first time. In 1910, the sport came to reach Sweden brought by Wallstrom .He gave the sport the name handball and the sport spread to the rest of Sweden. The first International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHAF) begun its operation in 1928 in Amsterdam showing that the sport had taken roots, A decade later, the first handball Championship took place after the spot appeared in the Berlin Olympics in 1936. During this time handball appeared both as an indoor and an outdoor game. It was mainly in Scandinavia where indoor handball was common mainly because of the cold climate there. After the appearance of handball in the Olympics in 1936, the sport stayed a long time without appearing in the Olympics until 1952 where it was just a demonstration game in Helsinki. However in 1972,handball for indoors took part in the Olympics at Munich. In this Olympics, the champions for men handball were Yugoslavia. Handball for women appeared in the Olympics in 1976 where the sports took place in Montreal. In these Olympics, there were 11 contesting handball teams for men and 6 contesting teams for women (, 2014). The winners in the women Olympics game were the Soviet who took away the gold medal. When handball was, beginning courts measured 60 meters by 30 meters, which was a large court. The courts were also located outdoors and not in a room. When the sport had taken shape some years later, courts were indoors. This was due to the climatic condition of the areas where handball was common such as Spain. The first person to build an outdoor court in north America thus he is viewed as the pioneer of the game in America. The very first recorded sport of hitting a ball against the wall dates back in 1427 in Scotland. Latter in 1527 a similar game had started to grow in Ireland whereby it was given the name Gaelic handball. Australia also had a similar game in the 19th century, which evolved to be the Handball played today. The sport of handball was preferred to soccer by educators because it was not rough and it sharpened player’s reaction and co ordination. In 1920, the first international handball game took place and later in 1936, it was among the Olympic game in Germany thus increasing its popularity. The International Handball Federation approved the sport for Olympics and since then, the sport has continued to participate in the Olympics. People in the Scandinavian countries and one of the notable improvements have continually modified the game includes reducing the court to a smaller one. These countries experience a cold weather thus necessitating a fast sport that is located indoors. Handball Championship had paused during the Second World War but kicked off immediately after the world war.

Modern trends in handball

Unlike the past where handball was a sport for leisure, recently handball has become an avenue for earning. There are increasing numbers of handball players who earn a living through playing handball. In Europe, there are a Men and Women European Championships, which has conducted Championships for around 15 times during which there are awards for the winning teams. During these championships, there has been an increasing number of audience through media and directly. The Europe Handball Federation has also begun training referees and players. The federation also passes the needs of the handball players to the government by representing every handball group within Europe (Taneja, 2009). The Europe Handball Federation begun operating immediately after its formation in 1991 and has continued to represent handball teams in the entire Europe. Earlier on, handball championship could happen four times a year but later it reduced to thrice a year and from then on it has twice  a year up to date. On 11 July 1946, the International Handball Federation`s formation took place with eight active member countries such as France Poland and Norway among others. The international handball federation records that there are about nineteen million players worldwide and this number continues to grow with time. The courts that the Irelands used measured  by 30 meters by 60 meters which is slightly bigger than the courts today which are 20 meters by 40 meters. The reduction of the size of these courts has increased the speed of handball and made it attract a large audience. The first international match was between Belgium and Germany in 1925 whereby a large audience gathered. The second time the game appeared in Olympics was in 1974 whereby the sports took place in Munich and at this time, the fame of handball had reached many parts of the world (United States Olympics Committee, 2014).

New forms of handball in the USA

The ancient handball has had several new versions that involve different groups of people for instance the beach handball that is mainly handball for children. This version has all the features of the normal handball and aims at making kids responsive and social with other kids. In 1994, the International Handball Federation (IHF) recognized the Beach handball as a form of handball and negotiations are ongoing in attempt to make it an Olympic sport. Street handball is another version of handball that has emerged. This version involves playing handball outdoors to the street to involve many people and simple courts. People from the streets gather to watch and play handball and in the process, the game becomes popular. Unlike the ancient handball, this version is lenient in its rules since its aim is not to obtain winners but to popularize handball. Several Beach handball events have taken place in the US and there is hope for the continuity. The invention of these new forms of handball shows that the sport is already popular and has a bright future. There is a tournament in the US branded, as the Simple green, which is, now the world’s largest tournament due to the large amounts of awards that the tournament winners get. The tournament begun in 2008 and has since then been putting aside money for competition among teams from many countries. Simple green Tournament`s aim is to popularize handball and make famous as with other sports. The tournament will involve players of all ages thus a likelihood of a large audience being present. Among the players that will attend, this tournament is Paul Brandy from Ireland who is a champion of the four-wall handball (Weichert, 2014).

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