Thursday, 26 June 2014

57. Handball

Event: Handball
Date: 24th June 2014
Location: Brentwood Handball Club
Cost: £5 per lesson, four lessons.
Rules: Handball is a fast-paced, high-contact team game, with the objective of scoring more goals than your opponent.  It's the second-fastest indoor sport after ice hockey. Players throw, catch, push, bounce the ball using arms, head, torso, thighs, knees. It's important to remember the three 3s; players can hold the ball for a maximum of three seconds, take a maximum of three steps when in possession of the ball, and must stand 3m away from a player with a free-throw. Goal keepers can touch the ball with any part of their body when in defence within the goal area. Each side has 12 players, with seven on court at any one time. A match consists of two 30 minute halves, with a 10 minute interval at half-time.

The Event:


Ellie (Red) - 8 v 4 - Sarah (Yellow)

London 2012 Olympic Winners: Norway   
Sarah: I had no idea what to expect from Handball. After a bit of youtube research before our first lesson, I was just about prepared for a fast, hectic and contact-heavy sport. It's a mixture of waterpolo, basketball and volleyball, but with it's own unique quirks. We spent four weeks learning and developing our skills; each week mixing training with a scrap match, which was a great way of putting what we'd learnt into practice. As Ellie says, it was actually quite handy having lower numbers on match night as it meant we got more time on the ball, and I started to understand how different set-ups, strategies and tactics play out. Handball was one of the sports that suffered a complete cut in funding from UK Sport following the Olympics. Undoubtedly funding cuts impact down through all levels of the sport, and it would be such a shame if the best GB players are unable to play due to the personal financial commitments needed to travel to play in international tournaments. It was great to meet such a passionate grassroots club, still trying to develop and promote the sport for the future. 

Ellie: Handball has been a bit of a whirlwind of a sport. It feels to me like one of the more fast paced sports we've tried - a lot like a dry land water polo. There are a number of skills to develop that go against my netball schooling and many intricacies to memorise. There was a wonderful atmosphere this evening. With lower numbers than usual, each team played one half with Connor, the goalkeeper, and one half without; and I felt that I was contributing more this week rather than shying away and letting the more experienced and accomplished players take the strain. I was proud to score a goal towards the end and to make a few minor interceptions but mostly I enjoyed beginning to understand what my teammates wanted me to do and the beginnings of doing that without thinking.

Back row L-R: Sarah, Remi, Rob, Hans-Jorg, Sophie, Harry, Ellie
Front Row L-R: Rob and Connor

Thanks to Hans-Jorg and all at Brentwood Handball Club who helped us to complete this event, and took part in our match! If you enjoy fast-paced team sports, then we'd really recommend you give Handball a try! 

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