Handball 07-22-2004 09:24


Handball is played in an indoor court between two teams, of seven players each. The players鈥 objective is, by only using their hands, to put the ball into the goal post of the opposing team, thereby scoring a "goal". The team with the most goals wins.

ATHENS 2004 Handball

The Handball competition will take place at two separate sports venues. The preliminary games will take place at the Sports Pavilion within the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex, over 11 competition days, from 14 to 24 August 2004. The finals will take place at the Indoor Arena of the Helliniko Olympic Complex, over four competition days, from 26 to 29 August 2004.


Handball is considered one of the oldest games in the history of sport. References in Homer's Odyssey provide evidence of a game similar to Handball, which was played on the island of the Faiakes (Corfu). Another sign is a 3rd century BC bronze statuette found in Dodoni, showing a boy carrying a ball in his hand.

Depictions of humans playing a 'primitive' form of Handball are also found on a marble plaque found at the Athens Acropolis, dating to about 600 B.C. In Roman years, the game then called "arpaston鈥, spread to the people of Germany and France. We come across a detailed description of it by the French author, Rabelais, around AD1500.

At the end of the 19th century, Handball in its present form appeared in Denmark, Germany and Czechoslovakia, as a training sport for gymnasts and a fitness tool for football players during their off season. The Swedes, to whom the name of the game is attributed, adopted regulations similar to those of football around 1910.

At the Berlin Olympiad in 1936, Handball made its debut to the public as an exhibition sport in an open stadium, with two teams of 11 players each. Handball was officially incorporated into Olympic Games competition in Munich in 1972. It was held in an indoor court measuring 20x40m with teams of seven players.

The International Handball Federation (IHF), the highest authority for this sport, was founded in 1946 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The two Handball disciplines are beach Handball and indoor Handball, the latter being the one included in the Olympic programme.

Handball first appeared in Greece in 1922, at the football ground of Panellinios Sporting Club. Teams of 11 players participated. In the 1950s, Handball was played with teams of 11 players and it was included in the local school championships in Thessaloniki. Various clubs began to form by 1976 and the first official Handball match took place at Amindeo, in the Prefecture of Florina, on Sunday, 13 February 1997.

The Hellenic Handball Federation (HHF - also known by its Greek initials of OXE) was founded in 1979 and is the official administrative body for the sport. Membership in the Federation totals 177 clubs from the whole of Greece, with 20,000 men and women athletes.

Source:The official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Editor:Wang  Source:

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