This is what some people picture when they hear the word handball. "Tennis without a racket."
"You hit the ball with your hand like tennis."
This is the handball that's in the Olympic Games.
It looks more like a cross between hockey, water polo, and basketball! The game was first played in Scandinavia and Germany at the end of the 19th century.
It first appeared in the 1936 games in Berlin, but it was played on an outdoor field. It debuted in its current form at the 1972 games in Munich.
Here's how it's played: basically there's two teams of seven players on an indoor court. They pass, throw, catch, and dribble a ball with their hands and try to score a goal in a net. Players aren't allowed to kick the ball, but they can move it with any part of their body above the knee. They can only hold on for three seconds and take no more than three steps while holding it. Jessie knows that, he used to play it.
"Just briefly, many years ago for a short time, when I was younger, much younger."
Men's and women's teams will compete in the Olympic Games. You'll see an action packed game, consisting of two 30 minute halves. The team with the most goals wins. The international handball federation list the top countries for the men's division as Denmark, Korea, and Russia. For women, it's Russia, Yugoslavia, and Sweden. It may not be the most popular sport at the Olympics, but now that you've had a little taste of it doesn't it look fun to watch?
The handball tournament gets underway on July 28th, and concludes August 12th. You can catch all the Olympic action on NBC's Olympic website by clicking here.