What is this Olympic event?

I just turned it on, it is played on what looks like an indoor, hard floor soccer court, with a ball smaller than a soccer ball that players throw with their hands, and bounce on the floor, while trying to throw it into a soccer-style goal net. It’s like a cross between soccer and basketball.

What is it?

It’s called indoor soccer-basket throwing bouncy ball. Or if you’re not kidding, handball.


Unrelated, I take it, to the handball we play here in the States, which inolves bouncing a ball off of a wall?

IIRC, they announced at the start of the Games that the US sent athletes in every sport except Olympic Handball.

Right. The US had a (wall) handball team ready to go, but then we realized at the last minute Olympic handball was a different sport altogether.

In Atlanta '96, the US was allowed to field a Handball team, by virtue of being the host nation. Not sure where they dug up the players from, but America’s best and brightest were duly assembled.

The US was, ah… not particularly good at handball, comparatively to the other teams. :wink:

Similar to the Nagano Japanese ladies ice hockey team. (They were adorably tiny and polite on the ice, but lost every game. The crowd loved them. I have not followed up to make certain, but I feel pretty sure they have not returned to that sport.)

This year, the US did not manage to send a team for Handball or Rhythmic Gymnastics. I can’t remember for sure but I think they did send someone on rhythmic, we just couldn’t qualify a full team, maybe it’s only the top 10 or 12 countries.

And actually, the US does have a national handball team. They did make an attempt to qualify for the Olympics this year but didn’t make it.

Also, USA has qualified (in ways other than being the host country) in handball in some past Olympics. They were definitely there in 1972, as I remember having handball as one of my sports in that year’s McDonald’s Olympics game. (I wouldn’t be surprised if McDonald’s lost more in 1972 than in 1984, since 1972 was the one year where you could win multiple prizes on a single ticket if USA won multiple medals.)

I’ve been watching the handball pretty regularly. Great sport. It could conceivably catch on in the US (the rules are simple and there’s a reasonable amount of scoring), but it hasn’t gained a foothold against basketball (the most obvious competitor) or indoor soccer.

Here is a good story about those teams.

You can watch some really weird sports on TV.

The other day, I saw a group of people playing with a ball that wasn’t even round but rather egg-shaped. The players all wore helmets and they couldn’t decide if they should throw the ball or kick it.

Anyway, they spent most of the time running around aimlessly and knocking each other over.


actually + a lot more than 1

One of the best parts of watching handball is that it appears to be popular in Scandinavian countries, so I get to see hot, fit Nordic women throwing themselves at each other in order to determine who has better ball handling skills.

Really, this sport should be more popular…