New to Team Handball?

Please see below for some frequently asked questions and information about team handball in the United States.

Handball is a fast-paced team game that was first played in Scandinavia and Germany at the end of the 19th century. Two teams of seven players (six field players and one goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team. A standard match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team that scores more goals wins.

In the United States, the sport is commonly referred to as team handball. It is often described as combining elements of sports like basketball, water polo, soccer and ice hockey. Men's handball was first played at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin as an outdoor sport. At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, handball was an indoor sport and it has been an indoor sport on the Olympic program ever since. Women's team handball was added at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

For an introductory video, please click here

There are dozens of clubs of varying size and structure throughout the U.S.  Some clubs are part of a collegiate program (see FAQ 3) and are open only to students at that college.  Many of our local clubs either have youth programs or are considering starting one.   To find out more more information we encourage to contact clubs directly.  This webpage contains links and contact information for U.S. clubs: https://www.teamusa.org/usa-team-handball/play-hb/where/clubdirectory

If for some reason you are not able to communicate directly with these clubs don't hesitate to contact J.D. Orr at jd.orr@gltha.org or Patrick Jalabert at patrick@chicagointer.orgThey will get back to you within 72 hours with the closest contact to your location.

The following colleges and universities in the United States have team handball club programs: 

Men:

  1. Auburn University
  2. University of Cincinnati
  3. Concordia Cobbers (MN)
  4. Illinois State
  5. James Madison University
  6. Johns Hopkins University
  7. University of North Carolina
  8. Ohio State University
  9. Penn State
  10. Pittsburgh
  11. Texas A&M
  12. U.S. Air Force Academy
  13. U.S. Military Academy (West Point)
  14. University of Virginia
  15. West Virginia University

Women:

  1. North Carolina
  2. Penn State
  3. U.S. Military Academy (West Point)

USA Team Handball, in conjunction with the International Handball Federation (IHF) is currently working on an initiative to further expand and develop the collegiate game.  If you are interested in starting a club program at your college or university and would like to find out more, please contact J.D. Orr at jd.orr@gltha.org or Patrick Jalabert at patrick@chicagointer.org

Both the U.S. men's and women's programs are interested in identifying athletes with the potential to contribute to our youth (U19), junior (U21) and senior national team programs. Tryouts are periodically held in various locations and coaches also evaluate talent at our club competitions. If you are interested in participating in a tryout, please send an email with your contact information to info@usateamhandball.org and we will let you know when the next tryouts are scheduled. In the meantime, we also encourage you to contact local clubs in your area.

The International Handball Federation (IHF), founded in July 1946 in Basel, Switzerland, is the official international federation and global governing body for handball. Their website provides additional information about handball, particularly regarding international competition and tournaments: https://www.ihf.info/

The European Handball Federation (EHF) Champions League is the leading handball league in Europe: http://www.ehfcl.com/

For more handball news, https://teamhandballnews.com/ is an independent news and opinion website covering the sport of Olympic handball. 

Have another question?  Send an email to J.D. Orr at jd.orr@gltha.org.