Rebecca Steffen, Switzerland
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven payers each (six outcourt and one goalkeeper) passing a ball using their hands with the objective to throw the ball in the goal of the other team. A usual game is including two periods of 30 min. Modern Handball is played on a court of 40 by 20 meters and at the end of both sides is a goal in the middle. Each goal has a 6-meter zone where just the goalkeeper is allowed to stand in. If you want to throw the ball in the goal, and score, than you have to throw the ball away before you step in the zone. This type of sport is an indoor activity. The game is fast and high-scoring. High qualified teams are scoring between 20-30 goals in one hour. Body contact is permitted in the whole game. It’s very important to defend your attackers. This sport is more brutal than a lot of people think. There is no equipment mandated, even though there is a lot of body contact used.
The game was invented in the 19th century in Denmark. The first official match was played in Germany in the same year. The first international games were played under these rules for men in 1925 and for women in 1930. Since 1972, Handall has been part of the summer Olympics in Munich. The sport is very common in a lot of European countries.
To win the game you have to follow a viarity of rules which are:
- After you received the ball, you have to pass, keep possession, or shoot the ball.
- The players aren’t allowed to touch the ball with the feet, otherwise possession of the ball goes to the other team. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to do it as long as it is in the 6-meter zone.
- If you are in possession of the ball, you have to dribble or make your three steps.
- The ball may not be allowed to pass back to the goalkeeper when he is standing in the zone.
- Notable scoring opportunities can occur when attacking players jump into the goal area. For example, an attacking player catch a pass while launching inside the goal area, and then shoot or pass before touching the floor.
A standard match has two 30-minute halves with a 10- or 15-minute halftime intermission. At half-time, teams switch sides of the court as well as benches. If a decision must be reached in a particular match, and it ends in a draw after regular time, there are at maximum two overtimes, each consisting of two straight 5-minute periods with a one-minute break in between. If this not the end of the game, there will be a penalty shootout. Each team has three time-outs per game. During the game you can substitute players as much as you want.
- Left and right wingman (LW/RW). These typically are fast players who are good at ball control and wide jumps from the outside of the goal in order to get into a better shooting perspective at the goal.
- Left and right backcourt (LB/RB). Goal attempts by these players are typically made by jumping high and shooting over the defenders. Normally, it is advantageous to have tall players with a powerful shot for this position.
- Centre backcourt (CB). A player with experience is perfect on this position who acts as playmaker.
- Pivot(P). This player tends to help with the defence, setting picks and helps to disrupt the offense’s formation. This position requires the least jumping skills; but ball control and physical strength are the most required.
If you have the chance to play this sport, take the opportunity and have fun. It’s a fast and dynamic sport how have a lot of changes and variety in each game. It is not easy to be successful and not a sport with which you can be a millionaire like soccer. If you want to be successful you have to start when you are young and it has to be your passion.
Handball is one of my favorite sports, and that’s why I used to play it for a long time. It’s a very active, challenging, high scoring and fun sport. I live playing in a team, that’s why I choose this sport. It’s metal thinking, push each other and let your aggression out. There are a lot of tricks, but patience to learn all these and to use it in the match. All the time there is something to do. You speak a lot during the game, that you act together as a team, that’s the most important thing. I played as a left backcourt. You take focus on a strong shoot and jumping high. The possession is perfect for me, because I’m tall, so I can throw the ball over the others.