Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each (six on court players and a goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team.

Also known as team handball, European handball or Olympic handball, this sport is much like the game of football, except that instead of feet, the players use their hands.

Players can occasionally dribble the ball much like in the game of basketball before making a pass. The game is so fast, it requires tremendous energy on the players.

It is a little bit easier to score in a game of netball than in football, simply because it is easy to control the ball using your hands. The relative ease in scoring is manifested by the fact that teams can score as many goals as they can, sometimes the scores reach 20 to 30 goals during halftime alone for each team. That’s despite the presence of goalkeeper.

On the other hand, opposing teams in football more often end up scoreless in the first half, and in the ultimately the whole game. Obviously, it is difficult to control the ball using your foot, hence it takes more than sheer skills to score in a football.

A standard netball match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team that scores more goals wins.

Modern handball is played on a court of 40 by 20 meters (131 by 66 ft), with a goal in the middle of each end. The goals are surrounded by a 6-meter (20 ft) zone where only the defending goalkeeper is allowed; goals must be scored by throwing the ball from outside the zone or while "diving" into it.

The sport 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.

The game is fast and high-scoring: professional teams now typically score between 20 and 35 goals each, though lower scores were not uncommon until a few decades ago. Body contact is permitted, the defenders trying to stop the attackers from approaching the goal. No protective equipment is mandated, but players may wear soft protective bands, pads and mouth guards.

Brief history

The game was codified at the end of the 19th century in Denmark. The modern set of rules was published in 1917 in Germany, and had several revisions since. The first international games were played under these rules for men in 1925 and for women in 1930.

Men's handball was first played at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin as outdoors, and the next time at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich as indoors, and has been an Olympic sport since. Women's team handball was added at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

In 1926, the Congress of the International Amateur Athletics Federation nominated a committee to draw up international rules for field handball.

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