Handball Isn’t What I Thought It Was
Unites States…we won the Olympics! Our athletes won the most overall medals AND the most gold medals. So people will tell you “it doesn’t work that way” and “there IS no overall winner”. That all sounds like loser talk to me. USA! USA!
I watched the women’s gold medal match in Handball yesterday. I’ve definitely HEARD of “handball” and I even thought I knew what it was. I thought it was this:
Yeah. So, it’s racquetball but without the racquet.
Turns out, this isn’t Handball. It’s AMERICAN Handball, also known as “Wall Ball”. International Handball, the kind that’s been an Olympic sport since 1936, is like a combination of soccer, basketball and football. And the USA hasn’t even fielded a team since 1996, which sucks because we should be DOMINATING this sport.
Based on my 30 minutes of watching Handball on Sunday, here are what I think the rules might be.
You use a basketball court. Instead of baskets on each end you have a net. The net is smaller than a soccer net but larger than a hockey net.
The ball you use is about halfway between a softball and a soccer ball. They dribble it sometimes but it doesn’t look like you HAVE to dribble it.
There’s a zone, similar to “the paint” in basketball. You can’t step into this zone. You can leap into it and throw the ball while in the air and then come down in the zone. You just can’t step into it. I think.
Also, it’s very physical. As in, full contact. Players are blocking one another and setting picks. I actually think it’s pretty cool! The fact that this has been an Olympic sport for OVER 80 YEARS and I’ve never seen it before tells me that Olympic Handball hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves in the U.S.
Since the Americans haven’t sent a Handball team in over 25 years, I think some of us need to take it into our own hands. So, if anyone wants to join me at the Delta Rec Center, I say we start preparing for 2024 as soon as we can. We may not have what it takes to medal but we should be able to go. You know…since no one else is doing it.