Handball was played in Egypt over four thousand years ago. It was also played in ancient Rome and in many cultures in South America.
On five thousand year old tombs at Saqqara in Egypt, there are drawings of Egyptians playing handball. It shows girls groups of two playing the game. The Egyptians were known to play many ball games. The balls used in handball were made to be durable but light. They were made out of a leather skin which was stuffed with plant fibers like papyrus, or with hay.
The Roman Empire called the game “expulsim ludere”. It was played on courts called sphaeristsa. It is told that Alexander the Great was the one who spread the game throughout the Greek colonies in Italy during the first millennium BC. Then it spread to other countries of the Roman Empire. It’s not quite certain of the details of how the game was played the, but is thought to be similar to what is known as one-wall handball today.
During the Middle Ages in France, handball was called jeux de paume (palm play). It was very popular with the peasants as well as nobility. Pieces of tightly rolled cloth that was stitched together was how they made the handball. Gloves were eventually used to allow more force while hitting the ball.
Handball is over three hundred years old in America, which originated in Mexico. You can see handball players on painted pottery, wall paintings that are found in archeological sites, and sculptures.
Although the rules have varied through the various countries and over the years, these are the basic rules of handball:
The Playing Court – The measurements are 65’7” by 131’3”. The goal area line ,which is 19’8”, is the most important. No one but the goalie is allowed to stand in the goal area.
The Ball – Team handball is played with a 32-panel ball.
Number of Players –...