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Handball


Handball is a fast-paced team game that was first played in Scandinavia and Germany at the end of the 19th century.

European origins

The modern game of handball was first played towards the end of the 19th century in Scandinavia and Germany. Field handball was first recognised at the turn of the century and G. Wallström introduced the sport of "handball" to Sweden in 1910.

First competition

The International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was set up in 1928 on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, leading to the first Field Handball World Championships being played in Germany in 1938, following its appearance at the 1936 Berlin Games.

Rival codes

Between 1938 and 1966 both forms of handball were played at separate World Championships: an outdoor, 11-a-side game played on a football pitch and a new 7-a-side indoor version preferred by the Scandinavians.

Olympic history

After 1936, field handball was no longer played at the Games, except as a demonstration sport in 1952 in Helsinki. Indoor handball was presented for the first time at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Yugoslavia was victorious and won the first gold medal after a competition between 16 men’s teams.

The introduction of women’s handball to the Games took place in 1976 in Montreal. The Soviet Union won this first women’s Olympic competition, taking home two gold medals after the 11-team men’s competition and the six-team women’s one.

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Gallery

Handball - Men
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Handball - Men

Nikola Karabatic of France jumps to shoot against Mikkel Hansen, Rene Toft Hansen and Casper Mortensen of Denmark during the Men's Gold Medal Match between Denmark and France on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Future Arena on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Handball - Men
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Handball - Men

Henrik Toft Hansen of Denmark jumps to shoot against Thierry Omeyer of France during the first half in the Men's Gold Medal Match between Denmark and France on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Future Arena on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Handball - Men
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Handball - Men

Mikkel Hansen of Denmark jumps to take a shot during the Men's Gold Medal Match between Denmark and France on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Future Arena on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Handball - Men
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Handball - Men

Mikkel Hansen of Denmark poses with his gold medal during the medal ceremony for Men's Handball on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Future Arena on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Handball - Men
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Handball - Men

Nikola Karabatic of France controls the ball against Rene Toft Hansen and Henrik Toft Hansen of Denmark during the Men's Gold Medal Match between Denmark and France on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Future Arena on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Handball - Men
Image Alt Text

Handball - Men

Mikkel Hansen of Denmark reacts during the first half against France in the Men's Gold Medal Match between Denmark and France on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Future Arena on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
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