Handbol

Handball (also known as team handball, Olympic handball, European handball or Borden ball[1]) is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each (six outfield players and a goalkeeper on each team) pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team. There are coaches sitting on the side line. It is traditionally played indoors with fans watching. A standard match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team with more goals scored wins. Modern handball is usually played indoors, but outdoor variants exist in the forms of field handball and Czech handball (which were more common in the past) and beach handball (also called sandball). The game is quite fast and includes body contact, as the defenders try to stop the attackers from approaching the goal. Contact is allowed only when the defensive player is completely in front of the offensive player; i.e., between the offensive player and the goal. Any contact from the side or especially from behind is considered dangerous and is usually met with penalties. When a defender successfully stops an attacking player (who loses the ball over a line), the play is stopped and restarted by the attacking team from the spot of the infraction or on the 9-metre line. Unlike in basketball, where players are allowed to commit only 5 fouls in a game, handball players are allowed an unlimited number of faults, which are considered good defence and disruptive to the attacking team's rhythm. Certain elements of the game are reminiscent of rugby: for instance, the degree of force that defence may use to stop the attacker with the ball, together with the lack of protections and helmets. Goals are scored quite frequently; usually both teams score at least 20 goals each, and it is not uncommon for both teams to score more than 30 goals. This was not true in the earliest history of the game, when the scores were lower. But, as offensive play has improved since the late 1980s, particularly the use of counter-attacks (fast breaks) after a failed attack from the other team, goal-scoring has increased.

There are records of handball-like games in medieval France, and among the Inuit in Greenland, in the Middle Ages. By the 19th century, there existed similar games of handbold from Denmark, hazena in the Czech Republic, hadzana in Slovakia, gandbol in Ukraine, and torball in Germany[citation needed]. The team handball game of today was formed by the end of the 19th century in northern Europe - primarily in Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden. The first written set of team handball rules was published in 1906 by the Danish gym teacher, lieutenant and Olympic medalist Holger Nielsen from Ordrup grammar school north of Copenhagen. The modern set of rules was published on 29 October 1917 by Max Heiser, Karl Schelenz, and Erich Konigh from Germany. After 1919 these rules were improved by Karl Schelenz. The first international games were played under these rules, between Germany and Belgium for men in 1925 and between Germany and Austria for women in 1930. In 1926, the Congress of the International Amateur Athletics Federation nominated a committee to draw up international rules for field handball. The International Amateur Handball Federation was formed in 1928, and the International Handball Federation was formed in 1946. Men's field handball was played at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. During the next several decades, indoor handball flourished and evolved in the Scandinavian countries. The sport re-emerged onto the world stage as team handball for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Women's team handball was added at the 1976 Summer Olympics. Due to its popularity in the region, the Eastern European countries that refined the event became the dominant force in the sport when it was reintroduced. The International Handball Federation organised the men's world championship in 1938 and every 4 (sometimes 3) years from World War II to 1995. Since the 1995 world championship in Iceland, the competition has been every two years. The women's world championship has been played since 1957. The IHF also organises women's and men's junior world championships. By July 2009, the IHF listed 166 member federations - approximately 795,000 teams and 19 million players.