International Handball Federation

Address P.O. Box
Peter Merian-Strasse 23
4002 Basel
Phone +41 61 228 90 40
Fax +41 61 228 90 55
The rules

Handball is a fast-paced game involving two teams of seven players who pass, throw, catch and dribble a small ball with their hands while trying to score goals. The team with the most goals wins the game. A game consists of two 30-minute halves with a 10-minute half-time break.

Knockout tournament

Teams are placed into two pools of six for both men and women. Each team plays the other teams in that pool. The top two teams in each pool proceed to the semi-finals. The remaining teams play classification matches for fifth place and lower. Semi-final winners play for the gold and silver medals. Semi-final losers play for the bronze.

Munich and Montreal

Handball (the indoor version) was first present in the 1972 Munich Games. A competition involving 16 men’s teams was staged with Yugoslavia winning the first Olympic gold medal. A women’s event was then added at Montreal in 1976.