Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team. A standard match consists of two 30 minute periods and the team that scores the most goals wins. Modern handball is played indoors and is a fast paced game.
The object of the game is to use dribbles and passes to advance the ball and create scoring opportunities. Defensive players will try to stop attacks by clustering outside the goal area inside which only the goalkeeper is allowed.
Players can take up to three steps between dribbles and use any part of the body above the knees to control the ball. They are not allowed to stand stationary for more than three seconds. Defensive players are permitted to use their torso to block an opponent, even if the opponent does not have the ball. They cannot use their hands, arms or legs to stop an offensive player, and they are not permitted to pull or punch the ball out of an opponent's hands.
Handball can be really fast, so it's a great way to get into shape. Apart from the aerobic benefit, it helps to build up muscle tone and strength.
The court is 40metres long and 20 metres wide so players can run several miles during each 60-minute game. All of the jumping, turning and slamming means most muscles are getting a vigorous workout.
To find a handball club near you visit www.englandhandball.com. A number of our leisure centres have an affiliation with a handball club so also check out the partnerships page of your local Everyone Active run leisure centre to see if there is a team near you.
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