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Definition: handball from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Game resembling football but played with the hands instead of the feet. It was popularized in Germany in the late 19th century. The indoor game has 7 players in a team; the outdoor version (field handball) has 11. Indoor handball was introduced as an Olympic event in 1972 for men, and in 1976 for women.


Summary Article: handball, team from The Columbia Encyclopedia

or field handball, team court game. Despite its status as an Olympic sport, the game is virtually unknown in the United States. Originated in central Europe in the early 1900s as an outdoor game, it combines elements of soccer and basketball. The fast-paced play of 7- or 11-person teams has as its object the hurling of a cantaloupe-sized ball into a goal. Players may run or dribble three steps with the ball, but most advancement comes from passing. Fouls result in free throws and penalty throws.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

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