The sport handball has a number of variations with differing origins. The two most common forms are team handball and American handball.
Played in the Olympics, team handball requires two teams with seven players each. The aim of the game is to throw the ball into the opponents' goal and it is like a cross between soccer and basketball. Team handball originated in Europe somewhere during the early 1900s.
American handball is similar to squash except that the players hit the ball with their hands instead of a racquet. It was first introduced to the United States as far back as 1880 when Irish immigrants brought the game with them.
Both team handball and American handball are fun sports that offer a great workout without requiring much to play. The only equipment required in team handball are the ball and the goals. American handball, being slightly more involved, requires protective gear - gloves and eye protection.
Team Handball Equipment
Team handball utilises a goal that is two meters by three meters.
Similar to a basketball and a soccer ball, the ball is soft and capable of being dribbled and passed easily. Its design is similar to a soccer ball but not quite as hard.
3. The Field
The field for team handball is forty meters long and twenty meters wide. It contains a dividing line in the middle and goals at each end.
Although there are specialised handball shoes available, sports shoes of any kind may be used. Specialised handball are usually only reserved for the international level.
American Handball Equipment
Gloves are important in handball as they help to protect your hands when catching a fast flying handball. Though the game can still be played without gloves, players risk developing calluses and bruises. There is also the potential danger of injuring your hands and fingers.
Handball requires specialised gloves that will also offer protection from the force of the ball, therefore a normal pair of winter gloves will not be adequate. There are two types of handball gloves: full-coverage and partial-coverage. Individuals who are new to the sport are encouraged to use full-coverage gloves which cover the entire hand, including the fingers. This ensures that you don't damage your fingers while playing the game. More experienced players who are used to handling a fast-moving handball can wear the partial-coverage gloves that leave the fingers exposed. The benefit of having exposed fingers is that it offers more precision and control when catching and throwing the handball.
For a good pair of gloves for playing handball, make sure you visit sports stores that retail gloves that are made specifically for handball. Choose a pair of gloves that offer good ventilation to prevent sweaty palms which can affect your playing performance. You should also take care to select a pair of gloves that are padded and cushioned to offer the best protection for your hands. Additionally, the gloves must fit your hands closely and be flexible so that you can handle the handball properly.
Try on a few pairs of gloves to see which fit the best. Make sure that you can wriggle your fingers easily with the gloves on before deciding on a purchase.
2. Protective Eye wear
As a safety feature, it is important to have protective eye wear when playing handball. Because handball is played with high speed balls, there is potential for serious damage if you are hit in the eye with the handball. Not only will it affect your vision, but the damage may be permanent.
The best protective eye wear to purchase to play handball are goggles. While you want to ensure that your goggles offer the best protection possible, you also want to a pair that can be worn without obstructing your vision in any way. Bulky sports goggles can be an impediment to your ability to play well as it can decrease your peripheral vision.
Your goggles should fit snugly against your skin with no gaps between the frame of the goggles and your face. Gaps between the frame and your skin can result in a black eye if the ball hits your face as the frame of your goggles will crush against your face. Try on a few pairs of goggles for a good fit before buying. You need to make sure that they are comfortable as you will be wearing them for the entire duration of the game.
What's a game of handball without the ball? There are a wide variety of handballs to choose from and you can purchase them from your local sports store or from the Internet. You are welcome to choose whatever pattern or design that piques your fancy as long as the ball is designed for playing handball. Avoid the temptation to substitute your handball with balls intended for other sports, such as basketballs, volleyballs, kickballs or soccer balls. Although these balls are similar in size and weight to a handball, they are not intended for the same kind of usage. Using the wrong type of ball increases the risk of injury.
There are no hard and fast rules about attire. As long as you are wearing appropriate attire for engaging in sports, such as a t-shirt, shorts and a proper pair of sports shoes, you are good to go.
Both games of handball can be easily enjoyed by as few as two people and as many as fourteen people (maybe more if you have substitutes). They are sports that offer a great workout while having fun. Since the equipment requirements are minimal, the game can be enjoyed with the minimum of investment.