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Team Handball


Team Handball originated in Europe in the 1900s and recognizes over 140 countries as members of the International handball Federation (IHF). Handball first appeared in the Olympics in the 1936 Berlin Games as an outdoor sport, with 11 players on a side. It was not played again at the Olympic games until 1972, where it was played indoors with 7 players on each side. Womens handball was added to the Olympic Games in 1976.

Basic Rules

Object of the GameHandball combines the elements of soccer and basketball, as six players move the ball down a floor that is larger than a basketball court and try to score by throwing the ball past a goalkeeper into the net. A successful scoring attempt results in the award of a single point. Typical final scores in this action-packed game run in the mid twenties.
A regulation game is played in 30 minute halves with one team timeout per half. A coin toss determines which team starts the game with a throw-off. The clock stops only for team timeouts, injuries, and at the referee's discretion.

Field of Play

The court is slightly larger than a basketball court. Regulation size is 20x40 meters (65'7" x 131' 3"). All court lines are referred to by their measurement in meters. The most significant line on the court is the 6-meter line or goal area line. Only the goalie is allowed inside the goal area. Players may jump into the goal area if they release the ball before landing in the area. The 9-meter line, or free throw line, is used for minor penalties, while the 7-meter line, or penalty line, is used for penalty shots, much like penalty kicks in soccer.

A versatile game, team handball can be played indoors in the gym, outdoors on the grass, on a paved area or on the beach.

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