Friday, August 8, 2008

Team Handball: Fun for the Whole Family

With 34 Olympic sports to choose from, you're probably going to stick to the standard American diet of Basketball, Track and Field, the Michael Phelps watch, Baseball, the recently popular Women's Beach Volleyball, and maybe some boxing.

A suggestion: Team Handball
Not to be confused with the sport practiced by the old guy at your rec center, wailing on a racquetbal with a gloved hand, wearing a tank top and prominently displaying his shoulder hair, this is NBA-type athleticism and fast paced ball movement coupled with the occasional body check or bear hug take-down. (Absence of shoulder hair not guaranteed).

The rule breakdown, quick and dirty: On a hardwood court, with a smallish rubbery, grippable soccer-styled ball, dribbling and and only limited steps allowed, players unleash shots from outside a six meter boundry. A goalie tries to get in the way.

The defensive rules are a bit vague, leaving it only at "frontal contact," so it gets pretty physical. If you don't believe me, you'll surely believe the Batmanesque graphic at the 2 minute mark of this video.

Holy-airtime Robin, this video is even better.

It's sometimes called "European Handball" so its not surprising that the favorites are Euros, namely Germany and Croatia, and that the US didn't even qualify. But, c'mon, there are guys out there making YouTube highlight videos of this stuff; that's reason enough to watch right there.

Here's NBC's official "what to expect" write-up.

-Agent Easy


  1. I just graduated from Emory University in Atlanta where Darrick Heath, the guy pictured, teaches Team Handball PE. I took his class and team handball is easily the most fun sport to play. Team-oriented with opportunities for creative passing, hard shots, and great goalie saves. Heath is the man, by the way, he played with us a few times and might be the most athletic dude I've ever seen, even after a car accident messed his knee up.

  2. wow. that looks fuckin awesome.