What is Handball?
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. The International Amateur Handball Federation was formed in 1928, and the International Handball Federation was formed in 1946. It has been an Olympic sport since Berlin in 1936 when it was an 11-a-side outdoor game. The sport reappeared as a seven-a-side indoor event for men at the 1972 Games in Munich, with a women’s event introduced four years later in Montreal. Handball flourished in the UK under the spotlight of London 2012, having been big for decades in most of mainland Europe and Scandinavia. The sport is also popular in other pockets of the world, such as South Korea, where a movie called Forever The Moment – based on the South Korean women’s team winning silver in Athens – was a box office smash.
Why is it good for you?
Handball players need to have strength and stamina, as well as excellent ball skills and the ability to play tactically as a team. It is an intense sport that provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. An estimated 610 calories are burned per hour as players cover several miles in a game. The exertion of throwing the ball at speed helps build the deltoid, quadriceps and abdominal muscles. As handball is a team game, it is an excellent way to develop communication skills and learn to work effectively with other people. Clubs also offer a variety of social events beyond simply playing the sport.