What’s the deal?
Handball is a team sport that’s kind of a hybrid between basketball and the opposite of football–teammates toss a ball around (and dribble it if they are taking more than three steps), with the goal of trying to whip it into a goal that’s not a hoop; it’s more like a smaller football goal. It’s footballs’ opposite because only the goalie can touch the ball with their feet (in football, only the goalie can touch the ball with their hands).
Teams are seven to a side, and games are 60 minutes long. Get more goals than the other team and you win.
Men and women each have their own team competition.
Why should I watch?
If you wish football had more goals, this might be the sport for you. Teams can score upwards of 20 points a game. It’s super fast-paced, and athletes have to be incredibly agile and be ready to switch up their game in a nano-second.
Potential drinking game:
If there’s a serious foul, take a serious sip. These are free throws thrown from the 7m mark during which the erring team is not allowed to make a defensive wall to protect their goal.
The perfect snack:
Cheese ball and crackers (cheese ball should be approximately the size of a handball for optimal enjoyment)
The International Handball Federation is the international governing body of the sport and has information about all aspects of the game (including beach handball).
Would you rather ref? Games need refs to keep the game flowing. The IHF has a referee section, but also check out your local governing body for more information.