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  • Handball is non-contact sport similar to association football, but played with the hands only. As played today, handball dates back to the 1890s in Germany.

  • Introduced by Konard Koch, a gymnastics teacher, it wasn’t until after the first World War in 1918 that the game became popular. In 1936 it was introduced as an 11-a-side outdoor game to the Olympics. It was switched to an indoor 7-a-side game for men in 1972 and women in 1976.


  • Handball can be played outdoors as well as indoors, although indoor version is now the most popular. It is played on a court 20 metres wide by 40 metres long. The goals at each end are 2 metres high and 3 metres wide, with a net at the back./font>

  • There is a goal area line 6 metres from the goal line, and free throw-line 9 metres from the goal.


  • The ball is 54-56 centimetres in circumference. Team members must wear identical shirts and shorts, apart from the goalkeepers, who must wear something to distinguish them. Training shoes are worn.


  • There are two halves of 30 minutes with a 10-minute interval. Outdoors the game is played with 11 players on each side and indoors with seven. Players are not allowed to enter the goal area.

  • Goals are scored by hurling the ball into the goal net. Players may not touch the ball with their feet. It is game played at a great speed.


  • Romanian Gheorge Gruia was considered one of the best player in the world when he played for the Romania in their World Championship winning teams of 1964 and 1970. He scored more than 600 goals in 126 internationals for his country.

  • Ukraine-born Zinaida Turchina is rated one of the best women players after winning gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1976 and 1980. She helped her club, Sartak Kiev, win the European Cup ten times.


  • Teachers beware! At the first international handball competition in 1925, the Austrian pupils defeated their German instructors.

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