Handball made a brief appearance on the Olympic programme in 1936 when it was played on an outdoor pitch.

It was re-introduced for men as an indoor sport  at the 1972 Summer Olympics . Women’s handball competition followed at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

In handball, two teams of seven players each (six outcourt players and a goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team.   Handball is played on a court of 40 by 20 metres with a goal in the middle of each end.

The goals are surrounded by a 6-meter (20 ft) zone where only the defending goalkeeper is allowed; goals must be scored by throwing the ball from outside the zone or while “diving” into it. A standard match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team that scores more goals wins.

National Federation: Ireland Handball

International Federation: International Handball Federation


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Olympic Handball Challenge

Ireland Return Ready for the Challenge Trophy

Olympic Handball planning for success

Members of the Irish Men’s Olympic Handball Squad and the Coaching team of the IOHA were invited to a meeting hosted by the Olympic Council of Ireland in OCI headquarters in Howth, North County Dublin.

Introduction to Handball

Handball is played in an indoor court between two teams, of seven players each. The players’ objective is, by only using their hands, to put the ball into the goal post of the opposing team, thereby scoring a "goal". The team with the most goals at the end of the match wins. For contact details of Irish Olympic Handball Association please click on Full story

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