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olympic handball
2016 Olympic handball fast facts

Venue: Future Arena. Rio

Dates
: August 6 – August 21, 2016

Events: Men's and Women's

If you think of handball as only as a wall sport played with a little rubber ball -- you might be an American... and you're missing a great game!

While American handball is typically played against a wall, and beach handball is played on the beach, Olympic team handball is often compared to a mix of basketball and soccer.

The object of the game: to score more goals than the other team by throwing a ball (somewhat smaller than a soccer ball) into a net.

Games are an hour long and consist of two 30-minute halves. Players can only take three steps after catching the ball and can only hold the ball for three seconds before they must either pass, dribble (like basketball), or shoot.

Fast paced and physically demanding, men's handball became an Olympic sport in 1936. It was later dropped as an Olympic event, and only restored in 1972. The women's events were officially added in 1976.

Worldwide, handball is one of the most popular spectator sports at the Summer Olympic Games, and if you've never seen it played, fasten your seat belts!


Olympic handball fun facts


Olympic handball: a need for speed.

• Handball shots have been clocked at speeds approaching 65 miles per hour.

• Handball is the second most-played sport in Europe after football (soccer) and European teams usually dominate at the Olympic games. Of the 22 countries to have won Olympic medals, the only non-Europeans are the Republic of Korea and China.

• At its debut at the Berlin 1936 Games, handball matches consisted of 11 players per side and were contested in large, outdoor venues. The game later became even more fast-paced when the game moved indoors to feature only 7 players per team and moved indoors.

• The biggest ever victory in an Olympic handball game happened during the Moscow 1980 games when Yugoslavia defeated Kuwait 44-10 in the men’s tournament.


More information on Olympic handball around the Web:

International Handball Federation (IHF) - General information about handball, teams competitions, referees, rules & regulations, plus the promise of expert coverage as the 2012 Summer Olympics draws near.

Team Handball USA - Olympic coverage includes schedule of events, athlete profiles, and more on competitions throughout the year.

European Handball Federation - This site is about handball in Europe and makes no mention of the Olympics except as a link, but it is a top notch handball site with downloadable videos, info on beach handball, and plenty of other reasons to stop in and visit.

US Handball - For those of you who prefer the wall sport, this site is an excellent reference and the links are pure wall sport with not a field handball lead among them. Events, tournaments, rules, 3 wall and street are all covered.

EdGate Summer Games Spotlight Team Handball - Check out the collection of links and handball information at this site. Brief coverage of the sport with links to help you learn more with lesson plans and an article entitled... "What is this crazy sport?" written by - who else - a handball player.

 

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