Handball

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It is in 1938 that Handball starts in its current form and that are organized the first official international competitions. But one cannot deal with his evolution without referring to his direct ancestors: His/her father Handball with eleven, and his/her grandparents: Hazena, Handbold and Torball.
- Hazena is a play still practised nowadays in Czechoslovakia and its origin goes back to 1892.
- In Denmark, in 1898 a professor introduces into the schools a play called " Handbold " practised on a reduced ground and having rules similar to those of seven Handball.
- the beginnings of Handball in Germany go back to 1915. A trainer of gymnastics creates the " Torball " by combining several popular plays and uses it like complementary preparation during the winter season. It is played in room or outside, on a ground of 40m on 20m with a medicine-ball or a soccer ball stuffed of hair. The race with the ball in hand should not exceed 3 seconds. The zone is located at four meters and the cage measures 2,50m on 2m. The number of players is not specified, and this play is practised exclusively by women.
In 1919, a German professor takes as a starting point the Torball and other plays similar to create new called Handball and practised on a football field by the girls and the boys. The zone is placed at eleven meters, the number of players is fixed at eleven and the cage used is identical to that of football. The weighed down balloon used by Torball is replaced by one of volley ball or football.
"By hand...": A book about handball history all over the world. Championship's, cup's and tournament's results from 1900 untill today. Greek championships, cups, National Teams. (by George Byron Manetackis - ISBN: 84-87351-00-X)
The growing number of country practising this sport causes the birth in 1928 of the international Federation and the impression of the first international official payment. In 1934, the CIO decides the inscription of Handball with 11 with the number of the Olympic tests: The olympiade of 1936 in Berlin attracts only 6 participants!!!
During this time, the Scandinavian countries, because of the unfavourable climatic conditions for Handball with 11 draw from Danish Handbold the bases of Handball with 7. It appears thus for the second time at the Olympic Games, in Munich in 1972, in its current form. The ladies as for them began in 1976 with the Plays from summer from Montreal.
At present, the International Federation of Handball gathers the federations of 73 countries with an approximate total of 2,5 million players and 400' 000 players laid off.
Today, in the whole world, Handball is practised in room or on hard grounds of 20m on 40m. The framework of the goals measures 2m top on 3m broad. The zone is a half-circle of 6m of ray. The line of jet-frankly is with 9m and the penalty draws with 7m from the line from goal. The balloon, out of leather, has a circumference of 58 with 60cm for the men and the juniors, and of 54 with 56cm for the ladies and the girls. There are 7 players by teams on the ground. The part is played in two 30 minutes half-times (2 X 25 minutes for certain junior teams).
Story 2
Early History
Handball is one of the worlds oldest sports. The sport was in a variety of guises until its present form today.
A ball game was described by Home in 'The Odyssey" in the following way:
"And Alcinous commanded the courageous Halius to dance alone with Laodamus, since no one ventured to dance with them. They immediately took hold of the beautiful ball which Polybus had skillfully made out of of purple wool. One of them bending right back, hurled the ball high up into the shadowy clouds; then the other leapt high from the ground and deftly caught it before his feet touched the ground again. And after trying to throw the ball upwards, they danced floatingly to and fro on the bountiful earth, frequently moving from one position to another."
A relief on a gravestone dated to be 600BC was found at the city wall of Athens, depicting the above event. According to the writings of the Roman doctor, Claudius Galenus (130-200AD), the Romans had a handballgame called 'Harpaston".
In the Middle Ages, maids of honour and knights were keen ball game players. The rules of the game were to pass the ball, which was often adorned with ribbons and bells, from one place to another. The minnesingers called the Summer ball the first game. This was sung by Walther von der Vogelwide (1170-1230), who called them "Cath Ball Games", forerunner to the present day game of handball.
In France, Rabelais (1494-1533), tells of a type of handball, that "they play ball, using the palm of the hand". The Danish gymnastics supervisor, Holger Nielsen, allowed a "Haanbold-Spiel" (handball game) to be played in the gymnasium at Ortrup in 1848 ad laid down the rules and method by which the game was to be played. The danes eventually developed the sport and finalised the rules in 1897 in which the present form of Indoor Handball or Olympic Handball is based. This is a 7-a-side game played on a court slightly larger than a basketball court, with somewhat small soccer-type goals (2.5 meters by just under 2 meters).
Around 1890, German gymnastics educationalist, Konrad Koch introduced the game of handball in the form of a "snatch" ball game, but it did not spread.
In Sweden, in 1910, it was G. Wallstrom who introduced "Handball". There was also a type of handball in Ireland at the turn of the century. In German, in 1912, Hirschmann (the German General Secretary of the International Football Association, tried to introduce handball into the playing field, following the rules for football. During 1915-1917, Berlin gymnastics supervisor, Max Heiser (1879-1921), laid the Outdoor Handball or Field Handball games for the female workers at the Siemans works and was considered the real creator of the game, even if Karl Schelenz (1890-1956), a sports teacher a the German High School for Physical Education is always hailed as the founder of handball. Schelenz, however, was responsible for the developement of the sport in Germany, Austria and Switzerland where he was a trainer. On 13 September 1920, Carl Diem, then the Principal of the German High School for Physical Education, completed the establishment of men's handball as an officially recognised sport. The game was played on a turf soccer field with soccer-sized goals.
The first international match recorded was played on 3 September 1925 with Germany defeating Austria, 6:3.
The Pioneering Era of competitive handball
During its development, the game of handball was not recognised as an independant sport in its own right, but like basketball and volleyball, came under the national athletics and gymnastics associations. On an international level, the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) looked after the interests of handball until 1928. A special committee was formed in the VIIth IAAF Congress in The Hague (Holland) in 1926 to organise the countries where handball games are played and to examine the question of standard rules including for international events. The IAAF arranged for the preparation for the formation of an international association of its own for handball. The formation congress took place on 4th August 1928, in Amsterdam (Holland) at which 11 countries the Federation Internationale Handball Amateur (FIHA) , M. Avery Brundage - and American who went on to become president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acted as associate of the first Chairmanship and was a member of the board until 1938. Handball became an international sport by 1934, played in 25 FIHA-associated member nations. The first big international handball event took place as part of the XIth Oympiad (1936 Berlin Games), and on the 10th anniversary of the FIHA, the first World Championships for Handball took place in 1938.
After the end of the Second World War, the game was quickly taken up again on an international level and in 1946, after the FIHA was considered disbanded, the present International Handball Federation was founded in Copenhagen (Denmark). Until 1952, Outdoor Handball was clearly dominant amongst the participating nations. Indoor handball was mainly confined to Northern European countries. However, because of climatic conditions, a lack of large pitches (for which football - soccer - had priority) and because of the recognition of the fact that, after Ice Hockey, handball is the fastest team game, indoor handball became more and more popular throughout the world. With rules from other sports like basketball being recently introduced, and harsher punishments for violent play, this made the game safer, simpler to play and more exciting to watch. Also, the fact that it became a winter sport, added to the spectator appeal being away from the cold in seated comfort and with more action and excitement (and higher scores) than soccer. In the 1960's, Field Handball quickly lost its popularity and the last World Championships were held in 1966.
Handball has always been a sport dominated by the European nations. In its formative years as an outdoor game, Germany, Austria and Denmark dominated in the international sphere, even though not many other nations outside of Europe were playing the game.
The Cold War 'Amateur' Era of competitive handball
On the occasion of the 64th OIC Session in Madrid, the members of the OIC decided to include handball once again in the program for the Olympic Games; but this time Indoor Handball was selected. The first event for the XXth Olympiad (1972 Munich Games) with only a mens competition and the womens competition introduced in the XXIth Olympiad (1976 Montreal Games). The World Championships reintroduced in 1949 grew - initially, slowly - with both competitions for men and women and in Junior Men and Junior Women Worlds Championships were introduced in 1977. Handball was played mainly by so-called Amateur players during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s - particularly in the Olympics. However, the elite players, of either the Eastern Bloc and a few Western countries, were eithered sponsored by governments or by companies.
The Eastern Europeans quickly become competitive and were soon dominating the sport. Nations like the Soviet Union, Romania, Yugoslavia, East Germany and Hungary were regularly in the top three in most of the mens and womens international competitions. Only Sweden and West Germany showed any significant resistance to the Eastern Bloc.
The Professional Era of competitive handball
With the conclusion to the cold war and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc alliance, many of these nations suffered a temporary economic downturn which effected some of the national teams to lose the winning edge and a number of prominent players and coaches immigrating to the west. Countries like France, Spain and Germany began to dominate. Also, some African (Algeria and Egypt) and Asian (South Korea and Japan) nations started to make an impact on the international competitions (especially, the Olympics) in the late 1980s - early 1990s. The amateur status of the sport in the international level was replaced by players who under contract to clubs or sponsorship bodies.
The indoor game is now the most popular type of handball. The outdoor variety is rarely played these days - mainly for special occasions or by purists.
Even the ancient Greeks...
The sport of handball as it is played today certainly has a chequered history. The very fact that man has always been more adept at using his hands than his feet lends credibility to the claim made by famous sports historians that he started playing handball much earlier than, say, football.
Ancient forms of handball
The games that were precursors of handball can only said to be distantly related to it in terms of their structure and rules of play. Nonetheless, the games of "Urania" played by the Ancient Greeks (and described by Homer in the Odyssey) and "Harpaston" played by the Romans (and described by the Roman doctor Claudius Galenus in 130 to 200 A.D.) as well as in the "Fangballspiel" (or 'catch ball game') featured in the songs of the German lyrical poet Walther von der Vogelweide (1170-1230) all contained certain features that can be described as ancient forms of handball.
In France, Rabelais (1494-1533) described a form of handball: "They play ball using the palm of their hand." Furthermore, in 1793 the Inuit people living in Greenland described and made illustrations of a ball game played using the hands.
Meanwhile, in 1848 the Danish sports administrator Holger Nielsen gave permission for a "handball game" to be played in Ortrup secondary school and promptly laid down the corresponding rules for it.
Field handball pioneers
Modern handball was first played towards the end of the 19th century. For instance, one such game was played in the Danish town of Nyborg in 1897.
The real impulses emanated from Denmark, Germany and Sweden. The founding fathers of field handball were probably German physical education experts who gained recognition for field handball as a separate sport at the turn of the century, based on the games of "Raffball" ('snatch ball') and "Kцnigsbergerball" (Konrad Koch 1846-1911). In Sweden it was G. Wallstrцm who introduced his country to a certain sport named "handball" in 1910.
In 1912, a German called Hirschmann, who was the secretary-general of the Association Internationale de Football, encouraged the spread of field handball. In 1917 Max Heiser drew up the first set of rules for it. In 1919 Berlin sports teacher Karl Schelenz launched this form of handball, played on a full-size outdoor pitch, in Europe. Later on he improved the rules and he is now generally recognized as one of the founding fathers of field handball.
In 1926, at a meeting held in The Hague, the Congress of the International Amateur Athletics Federation nominated a committee to draw up international rules for field handball.
Precursors of the IHF
In 1928, the International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was set up on the occasion of the Amsterdam Olympic Games. One founder member was the subsequent IOC Chairman Avery Brundage (USA).
By 1936 the IAHF already numbered 23 member countries and gained world-wide prominence for the first time in connection with the field handball competition held at the Berlin Olympic Games.
In 1938 the first Field Handball World Championships was played, also in Germany.
In 1946, at the initiative and invitation of Denmark and Sweden, the eight founder nations - Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland - founded the International Handball Federation (IHF). The IHF's official birthday is 11 July.
Now in 1996, its jubilee year, the IHF officially has 138 member federations representing approximately 800,000 teams and more than eight million sportsmen and women. However, the number of active handball players, teams and countries which have not yet registered or been officially recorded is considerably higher.
Even the ancient Greeks...
The sport of handball as it is played today certainly has a chequered history. The very fact that man has always been more adept at using his hands than his feet lends credibility to the claim made by famous sports historians that he started playing handball much earlier than, say, football.
Ancient forms of handball
The games that were precursors of handball can only said to be distantly related to it in terms of their structure and rules of play. Nonetheless, the games of "Urania" played by the Ancient Greeks (and described by Homer in the Odyssey) and "Harpaston" played by the Romans (and described by the Roman doctor Claudius Galenus in 130 to 200 A.D.) as well as in the "Fangballspiel" (or 'catch ball game') featured in the songs of the German lyrical poet Walther von der Vogelweide (1170-1230) all contained certain features that can be described as ancient forms of handball.
In France, Rabelais (1494-1533) described a form of handball: "They play ball using the palm of their hand." Furthermore, in 1793 the Inuit people living in Greenland described and made illustrations of a ball game played using the hands.
Meanwhile, in 1848 the Danish sports administrator Holger Nielsen gave permission for a "handball game" to be played in Ortrup secondary school and promptly laid down the corresponding rules for it.
Field handball pioneers
Modern handball was first played towards the end of the 19th century. For instance, one such game was played in the Danish town of Nyborg in 1897.
The real impulses emanated from Denmark, Germany and Sweden. The founding fathers of field handball were probably German physical education experts who gained recognition for field handball as a separate sport at the turn of the century, based on the games of "Raffball" ('snatch ball') and "Kцnigsbergerball" (Konrad Koch 1846-1911). In Sweden it was G. Wallstrцm who introduced his country to a certain sport named "handball" in 1910.
In 1912, a German called Hirschmann, who was the secretary-general of the Association Internationale de Football, encouraged the spread of field handball. In 1917 Max Heiser drew up the first set of rules for it. In 1919 Berlin sports teacher Karl Schelenz launched this form of handball, played on a full-size outdoor pitch, in Europe. Later on he improved the rules and he is now generally recognized as one of the founding fathers of field handball.
In 1926, at a meeting held in The Hague, the Congress of the International Amateur Athletics Federation nominated a committee to draw up international rules for field handball.
Precursors of the IHF
In 1928, the International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was set up on the occasion of the Amsterdam Olympic Games. One founder member was the subsequent IOC Chairman Avery Brundage (USA).
By 1936 the IAHF already numbered 23 member countries and gained world-wide prominence for the first time in connection with the field handball competition held at the Berlin Olympic Games.
In 1938 the first Field Handball World Championships was played, also in Germany.
In 1946, at the initiative and invitation of Denmark and Sweden, the eight founder nations - Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland - founded the International Handball Federation (IHF). The IHF's official birthday is 11 July.
Now in 1996, its jubilee year, the IHF officially has 138 member federations representing approximately 800,000 teams and more than eight million sportsmen and women. However, the number of active handball players, teams and countries which have not yet registered or been officially recorded is considerably higher.
History
Team handball is very popular in much of the world, but little known in North America. Its very name is confusing even to an American who knows quite a bit about sports.

The modern game actually grew out of three sports that were developed, independently, in three different European countries: The Czech hazena, the Danish handbold, and the German Torball.
All three were based on soccer, but essentially replaced the foot with the hand, so that the ball could be advanced by batting or throwing, rather than by kicking.
Hazena was being played by Slovak peoples as early as 1892; its rules were first codified in 1906, by a college professor. Handbold (the Danish word for handball) was developed in 1898 by a teacher, Holger Nielsen, as an alternative to soccer. In 1906, Nielsen revised the rules considerably and began organizing competitions outside the school at which he taught. Similarly, Torball was created in 1915 by a German gymnastics teacher, Max Heiden.
Professor Carl Schelenz of the Berlin Physical Education School in 1919 combined elements of handbold and Torball and adapted the soccer playing field for a new sport which he called handball (actually translating the Danish into German). Schelenz also borrowed from basketball, which was just becoming popular in Germany, to allow dribbling as a means of advancing the ball.
By 1925, the game had become fairly popular in other European countries. The International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was established in 1928; handball was a demonstration sport at the Olympics that year and again in 1932.
That form of handball, designed to be played outdoors by teams of eleven players, was a full-fledged Olympic sport at the 1936 Munich Games. The United States finished sixth and last in the competition.
Meanwhile, a different, indoor version of handball was being developed in the Scandinavian countries. Based largely on Danish handbold, this version had only seven on a side and was played in a considerably smaller area. The IAHF held the first seven-a-side world championships in 1938.
After World War II, the seven-player game gradually took over from the eleven-player version in Europe and also spread to other continents. World championship play, which had been ended by the war, began again in 1954 and handball was restored to the Olympic program in 1972. Competition for women's teams began in 1976.
When handball was introduced to the United States, about 1930, the name was already being used for the court game that was very popular in YMCAs across the country, so the new import was called "field handball," eventually shortened to "fieldball," and it was at first played primarily by girls and women. The seven-player version, however, became known as team handball in the United States.
Although it has never achieved great popularity, it was adopted by the U. S. Army as a camp sport in many areas of the country. Many Boys' and Girls' Clubs also took it up, followed by Explorer Scouts and even some high schools and colleges. The U. S. Team Handball Federation was founded in 1959 to standardize rules and sanction competition.
How It's Played
Team handball has been described as a combination of soccer, basketball, and ice hockey. The object is to score by throwing or hitting an inflated ball into a goal. A player can move the ball by dribbling it, as in basketball; by hitting it with any part of the body above the knee; or by throwing it. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to kick the ball. (This, of course, is the reverse of soccer, where all other players have to kick the ball and only the goalkeeper is allowed to handle and throw it.)
It's against the rules to carry the ball for more than three steps or to hold it for more than three seconds.
Shots on goal must be taken from outside the goal circle, an area in which only the goaltender is allowed. Minor violations of the rules allow a team a free throw, which is an unhindered pass to a teammate, usually from a spot near where the foul was committed. Penalty throws at the goal, awarded for more serious infractions, are taken from a mark just outside the goal circle.
The eleven-player game is played outdoors, on a field 90-100 meters (295-360 feet) long and 55-65 meters (180-213 feet) wide, with a goal 2.44 meters (8 feet) high and 7.32 meters (24 feet) wide. The goal circle is an arc 13 meters (43 feet) from the center of the goal.
In the seven-player game, which can take place either indoors or outdoors, the playing area is 38-45 meters (125-148 feet) long and 18-22 meters (59-72 feet) wide. The goal is 2 meters high by 3 meters wide (about 6 feet by 9 feet) and the goal circle has a diameter of 6 meters (about 20 feet).
For men's teams, either 11-player or 7-player, a game is made up of two 30-minute halves. Women and youths play 25-minute halves.
Simplified Rules of the Game
1. Object of the Game
Handball combines the elements of soccer and basketball, as six players move the ball down a floor that is larger than a basketball court and try to score by throwing the ball past a goalkeeper into the net. A successful scoring attempt results in the award of a single point. Typical final scores in this action-packed game run in the mid twenties.
A regulation game is played in 30 minute halves with one team timeout per half. A coin toss determines which team starts the game with a throw-off. The clock stops only for team timeouts, injuries, and at the referee’s discretion.
2. Field of Play
The court is slightly larger than a basketball court. Regulation size is 20x40 meters (65’7” x 131’ 3”). All court lines are referred to by their measurement in meters.
The most significant line on the court is the 6-meter line or goal area line. Only the goalie is allowed inside the goal area. Players may jump into the goal area if they release the ball before landing in the area. The 9-meter line, or free throw line, is used for minor penalties, while the 7-meter line, or penalty line, is used for penalty shots, much like penalty kicks in soccer.
A versatile game, team handball can be played indoors in the gym, outdoors on the grass, on a paved area or on the beach.
3. The Goal
An official size goal measures 2 meters high (6’7”) and three meters wide (9’10”). The net is one meter deep at the base of the goal.
4. The Ball
A handball is made of leather and is about the size of a large cantaloupe. It varies in size and weight according to the group playing. The ball for men weighs 15-17 oz. and is 23-24" in circumference. Women and juniors use a smaller ball weighing 12-14 oz. and 21-22" in circumference. Youth use smaller varieties of balls for mini-handball.
5. Teams
A game is played between two teams. Seven players on each team are allowed on the court at the same time (6 court players and 1 goalie). Unlimited substitution is allowed. Substitutes may enter the game at any time through their own substitution area as long as the players they are replacing have left the court.
6. Playing the ball
Players are allowed to:
• Dribble the ball for an unlimited amount of time
• Run with the ball for up to three steps before and after dribbles
• Hold the ball without moving for three seconds.
Players are not allowed to:
• Endanger an opponent with the ball
• Pull, hit, or punch the ball out of the hands of an opponent
• Contact the ball below the knees
7. Penalties
Free-Throw – for a minor foul or violation, a free throw is awarded to the opponents at the exact spot it took place. If the foul occurs between the goal area line and the 9 meter line, the throw is taken from the nearest point outside the 9-meter line. All players on the team taking a free-throw must be outside the 9-meter line. Opponents must be 3 meters away from the ball when the throw is taken.
7-Meter Penalty Shot is awarded when
• A foul destroys a clear chance to score a goal
• The goalie carries the ball back into the goalie area
• A court player intentionally plays the ball to his or her own goalie in the goal area and the goalie touches the ball
All players must be outside the free-throw line when the throw is taken. The player taking the throw has 3 seconds to shoot after the referee whistles. Any player may take the 7-meter throw.
Progressive Punishments
These are fouls that require more punishment than just a free-throw. “Actions” directed mainly at the opponent and not the ball are punished progressively (actions consist of reaching around, holding, pushing, hitting, tripping, or jumping into opponent).
• Warnings (yellow card) – referee gives only one warning to a player for rule violations and a total of 3 to a team. Exceeding limits results in a 2-minute suspension.
• 2-minute suspension – Awarded for serious or repeated rule violations, unsportsmanlike conduct and illegal substitution.
• Disqualification (red card) – awarded after three 2-minute suspensions have been issued; the disqualified player must leave both the court and bench but the team may replace the player after the 2-minute suspension expires.
• Exclusion is awarded for assault; the excluded player’s team continues short one player for the rest of the game.

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