Handball

Facts

Discipline of Handball
Participants 2702
NOCs 47
Competitions held 24 (Venues)
Distinct events 4
IF International Handball Federation, International Amateur Handball Federation

Description

Handball is a team sport that combines aspects of basketball, football (soccer), and water polo. It is played on a basketball sized court by teams of seven players who attempt to score goals by throwing a ball slightly smaller than a volleyball into a goal on the ground which is about the size of a lacrosse goal.

The game was invented in Germany in the early 20th century and became very popular in Europe. At the 1936 Olympics, the Germans added it to the program, but it was contested outdoors on a large field with 11 men to a side. It was not again on the Olympic Program until 1972 when it was added to the Olympics at Munich. This time the sport was contested as described above with seven men to a side and indoors. In 1976, women’s handball became an Olympic sport.

Handball is immensely popular in Europe, surpassed by only football (soccer), cycling, athletics (track & field), and, perhaps recently, basketball and volleyball. The same popularity has not extended to other areas of the world, notably the United States; thus the sport has been dominated by the Europeans. The sport is governed worldwide by the International Handball Federation (IHF), which was founded on 11 July 1946 in København and currently has 159 members. The IHF succeeded the International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF), which was founded on 4 August 1928. Two handball players have won four Olympic medals: Oh Seong-Ok (KOR) and Andrey Lavrov (URS/EUN/RUS). Twenty Olympians have won three medals, but only Lavrov has won three gold medals.

Presidents of the International Amateur Handball Federation:

Presidents of the International Handball Federation:

All-time medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Soviet Union URS 4 1 1 6
Denmark DEN 4 0 0 4
Yugoslavia YUG 3 1 1 5
Republic of Korea KOR 2 4 1 7
Norway NOR 2 2 2 6
France FRA 2 2 1 5
Russian Federation RUS 2 1 1 4
Croatia CRO 2 0 1 3
East Germany GDR 1 1 1 3
Germany GER 1 1 1 3
Unified Team EUN 1 0 1 2
Sweden SWE 0 4 0 4
Romania ROU 0 1 3 4
Hungary HUN 0 1 2 3
Austria AUT 0 1 0 1
Czechoslovakia TCH 0 1 0 1
Iceland ISL 0 1 0 1
Montenegro MNE 0 1 0 1
West Germany FRG 0 1 0 1
Spain ESP 0 0 4 4
People's Republic of China CHN 0 0 1 1
Poland POL 0 0 1 1
Switzerland SUI 0 0 1 1
Ukraine UKR 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Andrey Lavrov RUS
URS
EUN
3 0 1 4
Michaël Guigou FRA 2 1 0 3
Nikola Karabatic FRA 2 1 0 3
Daniel Narcisse FRA 2 1 0 3
Thierry Omeyer FRA 2 1 0 3
Luc Abalo FRA 2 1 0 3
Venio Losert CRO 2 0 1 3
Vasily Kudinov RUS
EUN
2 0 1 3
Larysa Karlova URS 2 0 1 3
Zinaïda Turchyna URS 2 0 1 3
Aleksandr Tuchkin RUS
URS
2 0 1 3
Kari Aalvik Grimsbø NOR 2 0 1 3
Kristine Lunde-Borgersen NOR 2 0 1 3
Marit Malm Frafjord NOR 2 0 1 3
Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth Koren NOR 2 0 1 3

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Handball Men 14
Handball Women 11
Handball Boys 2
Handball Girls 2