This article provides information on the history of handball, the rules of the sport and some of the best Olympic performances. Read on to learn.


Team handball made its first appearance in the Olympics during 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. After 1936, the sport disappeared from the Olympics only to be resurrected in the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich as an indoor sport. A 16 men's teams participated and Yugoslavia was victorious and won the first gold medal of indoor handball in the Olympics. As the sport was immensely popular in the region, the Eastern European countries evolved as a dominant force in the sport after it was reintroduced. However, after 36 years of oblivion, the sport once again resurfaced in Helsinki in 1952 where it was played as a demonstration sport. Women handball players had to wait until 1976 to set their feet in an Olympic arena for the first time. The Soviet Union won this first women's Olympic competition. Fast paced and high scoring, the team-handball is an exhilarating team sport and surely hordes of spectators will turn out during 2012 London Olympics to enjoy the thrill.

Handball Rules And Regulations
  • Handball is played on a 40m long and 20 m wide court which is the largest court of any indoor ball sport.
  • Each goal is worth one point.
  • At the Olympics the handball game is divided between two 30-minute halves. The halftime break lasts for 10 minutes.  Per half each team is awarded a single timeout.
  • If at end of the regulation play the scores remain tied overtime period is granted divided in two five-minute halves to decide the winner. During overtime there are no timeouts.
  • However, if the score are equal even at the end of the first overtime, a five-minute break is taken and then a second overtime period commences.
  • If the match still remains tied, a soccer-style shootout is held in which each team picks five players who then make alternate shots from the 7-meter line.
  • If there's still no winner, the shootout continues until one team has at least one goal more than the other having made equal attempts.
  • During the game if a player commits repeated fouls or a particular foul is deemed unsportsmanlike, the referees can eliminate the player for two minutes or even disqualify him or her for the rest of the game.
  • Only certain kinds of contact between players are allowed in handball. When players step out of line, game officials award free throws and 7-meter shots. The free throw is made from the spot where the foul occurred.
Handball History
The origins of handball are not clearly known. One opinion says that the game was invented in Germany in the late 19th century, as an outdoor sport to keep soccer players fit during the summer months. However, there are evidences that suggest that a sport very similar to handball was played in ancient times as well. However, the first match of the modern era was officially recorded on the 29th of October 1917 in Berlin, Germany. In 1906 a Danish gym teacher, lieutenant and Olympic medalist Holger Nielsen from Ordrup grammar school north of Copenhagen published the first set of team handball rules. However the modern set of rules was devised by Max Heiser, Karl Schelenz, and Erich Konigh of Germany and was published on the 29th of October 1917. After 1919 Karl Schelenz improved these rules. A committee was nominated in 1926, by the Congress of the International Amateur Athletics Federation to frame international rules for field handball. In 1928, the International Amateur Handball Federation was formed. 18 years later, in 1946, the International Handball Federation was constituted.