Handball: history, rules of the game, features of the equipment


In the article “Handball” we will tell you about the history, rules and features of the game of “hand ball”. You will also learn about the technological features of the inventory for the game.

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This game was invented during the Middle Ages, but the first rules appeared only in 1917. There are also more ancient references to this sport, which resembles modern handball. For example, women of the Roman Empire played the game called “expulsim ludere”, were similar team games in medieval France.

The official creator of handball is considered to be the Danish athlete, shooter and swordsman, Holger Nielsen, who taught physical education at the school. He suggested in 1898 that girls play a game called “handball”.

History of handball
History of handball

Some historians believe that the date of handball’s invention is still 1917, as this is the year when Max Heiser, Karl Schellenz and Erich Konig wrote the first rules of the game, which are still in use today. In the same year the first official handball game was also played, which makes this version of the emergence of the game more convincing.

In 1928 a federation of amateurs was founded, and in 1936 handball became part of the Olympic family and was included in the Berlin Summer Games. The inclusion of handball in the Olympics helped popularize the sport around the world.

Ten years later (1946), an international federation was founded, and in 1972 the first handball match at the Olympics was played indoors (before that it was played outdoors). Four years later, at the Montreal Games, the Russian men’s and women’s teams already managed to win two gold medals.

Our national team has been successful in international competitions for 50 years. Moreover, Russia has the title of the most titled federation in the history of the sport, because only at the Olympic Games we won 13 awards of different merits, which is an unattainable result for other federations.

Handball in Russia
Handball in Russia

Handball is played by hand and the match usually lasts 60 minutes and consists of two periods of 30 minutes each, with a break of 15 minutes in between. In handball there is no draw, so if no winner is determined in 60 minutes, two overtime periods of 5 minutes each are scheduled.

If overtime also does not produce a winner, a series of 5 shots is scheduled. As in soccer, after each half, the players change goals. Each team is allowed 3 timeouts during regular time and 1 timeout during overtime. Timeouts are only one minute in duration.

A handball team consists of 7 players, 6 field players + 1 goalie. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to play with his feet in a match. The field players are allowed to play not only with their hands but also with any part of the body, but the part above the knee.

Each player has only 3 seconds to be active with the ball. He may give it to a teammate, throw it at a goal or dribble with it. In handball, field players may not step over the goal line, but may shoot over the goalkeeper’s area while in flight.

Handball court
Handball court

The playground has a size of 40 by 20 meters and is covered with modern teraflex (sports linoleum). The goalkeeper’s area is marked at a distance of 6 meters from the goal. The dotted line, located 9 meters from the goal, is the line of free throws.

Penalty shots are awarded for minor rules violations. During the penalty shot, players on the defensive team must line up 3 meters from the penalty shot area (i.e. on the goal line). If a player clearly breaks the rules when there is an opportunity to score, the referee points to the “point”, the seven-meter mark, which is the prototype of the penalty in soccer.

In addition, the referee may take other disciplinary measures. For example, warn a player with a yellow card, disqualify him for 2 minutes or show him a red card, i.e. remove the player.

For double dribbling (the player caught the ball with both hands, then hit the floor and caught it with both hands again) and incorrect dribbling (no more than 3 steps for 1 hit of the ball on the floor) the ball is passed to the opponent. Passing the ball to the opponent is also provided in the case if the player did not commit active actions for 3 seconds.

During the game can be made no more than 7 substitutions. Substitutions can be made at any time, there is no need to notify the referee or wait for the game to stop. The only condition is that the substitution must take place through the side line of your penalty area.

Handball ball
Handball ball

The game ball is usually made of synthetic materials. To “round” well in the hand, the rules provide 3 standard sizes: 50-52 cm in circumference for children aged 8 to 12 years, 54-56 cm for women and men aged 12 to 16 years, 58-60 cm for men over the age of 16 years.

The handball itself is a complex and multi-layered device. Unlike its counterparts, the handball must be soft, a special synthetic rubber, neoprene, is responsible for this. The skeleton of the handball is a layer of polyester, and behind the foam insert are several lining layers.

This whole “hamburger” is filled with a special glue. The heart of a handball is a natural latex chamber, it maintains the ability to restore its shape after compression. The main feature of handballs is hand stitching. Each section of the ball is double stitched with unique, heavy duty synthetic thread.

It takes 2.5 hours to stitch one ball, and it takes 620 stitches. As a result, the handball is neither slippery nor shiny like its soccer counterpart. Its granular surface resembles leather to the touch. Earlier balls were made of natural leather, but later they were replaced with PVC.

Experts say that the new handballs can do without mastic (covering the hands, so the ball does not slip). But, as practice shows, “Velcro”, as athletes call the mastic, improves the quality of coverage. Mastic is treated not only hands, but also shoes.

Interesting! The maximum speed of the ball in handball is fixed at 125 km/h, but in volleyball, where the ball is hit with a hand, the speed is slightly higher, only 135 km/h.

Sneakers for handball
Sneakers for handball

In modern handball shoes play a very important role. Handball sneakers are very similar to volleyball sneakers, but what is good for volleyball players is unacceptable for handball players. Volleyball players need to jump a lot and reduce the load on the foot, while handball players’ main load lies in sudden movements and changes of direction.

Handball shoes do not slip because of the layered sole, the fusion of different materials. For example, the controller for rotational motion is mostly made of rubber, while the models for other sports do not have it at all.

Victory in handball depends mainly on the talent and skill of the players, but often world-class rivals are equal in strength, then in the dispute for medals comes the strength of spirit and character of the team, which is instilled in each player in the sports section coach team.

In the handball section of children are accepted from 7-8 years, but the optimum age is 9-12 years. This sport will help to develop general physical fitness, coordination and endurance.

There are no special contraindications for enrolling in the section, this sport is equally useful for both boys and girls. If you have any medical contraindications, you should definitely consult a pediatrician at your local clinic.

About Handball


Handball is a game sport in which teams try to use their hands to throw the ball into the opponent's goal. A team consists of 7 players and the match consists of two periods of 30 minutes. There is no draw in matches; in the case of a tie, extra time is scheduled.

There are three types of cards in handball which are shown by the referee for breaking the rules. A yellow card is a warning to a player for foul play. A red card is a player's removal until the end of the game for violating the rules or unsportsmanlike conduct. The blue card is a particularly rude violation of the Laws of the Game which is noted in the score sheet for further consideration at a meeting of the disciplinary committee. The Blue Card was introduced by the International Federation on July 1, 2016.

Handball gets sticky because athletes actively use hand mastic. The mastic prevents the "round" from slipping in the hands during play. Mastic is treated not only hands, but also shoes. Since 2017, the development of synthetic balls, which will not use a sticky substance, but they lose their "stickiness" after 15-20 minutes of play due to the fact that they get dirty on the floor, absorb the sweat of players.

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