Playing Handball: The Best Serve Returns

Handball is an exciting and cardiovascular sport for children and adults, men and women. Learn the history, basic rules, and strategies of this sport.

Handball is a competitive game in which players use their hands or fists to serve and return a ball made of rubber or synthetic material. It can be played on indoor or outdoor courts, on a single wall or four wall courts. Handball is not as popular as soccer or basketball but is still considered a very exciting sport by players and fans. It is a great sport for children and adults, men and women. It is a great cardiovascular exercise and teaches agility, teamwork, and strategy. Many clubs have been formed for children to keep them away from TV, video games, and drugs.

Handball has a history dating back to ancient times. The earliest record of people playing games with the hands is from 2000 B.C. in Egypt. This type of sport was also very popular with the Romans who used a single wall. Throughout history children have played in the streets on any wall they could find. Handball has been played in the Olympic Games since 1936 when Germany won the Gold in Munich. Women from the Soviet Union won the Gold in 1976 in Montreal.

Two to four players are required to play handball. Singles games are played by two people and doubles games are played by four. A game called cutthroat is played by three players, usually in practice games only, and is not played in a professional tournament. The object is to win each rally by serving or returning the ball in such a way that your opponent cannot keep the ball in play. You try to keep your opponent from being able to return your shot to the front wall before it touches the floor twice. Your opponent must also return the ball without letting it hit the floor before it hits the front wall. A rally is when the ball is returned and kept in play after a serve is executed.



Players are required to wear eye protection and gloves. During normal play, players are only allowed to hit the ball with the palms of their hands; any other bodily contact is considered a fault. There are many strategies in the game but the serve is one of the most important. The best strategy is to vary your shots and serves to keep your opponent(s) off guard. Use both overhand and underhand serves to keep your opponent guessing. Another strategy is to use a kill shot. This is when you hit the front wall so low and at such an angle that it is extremely hard for your opponent(s) to return it.

The referee tosses a coin to determine the first server. In singles, the player winning the toss of the coin serves first in the first game. The opponent then serves in the second game. In doubles, the side winning the toss chooses to serve or receive in the first game. In the second game, the opposite side chooses. In singles or doubles, if a tiebreaker game is necessary, the player or team with the highest number of points accumulated during the first two games serves first. If both teams have an equal number of accumulated points the referee will toss another coin to determine service.

When serving, you must stay within the service zone until the ball passes the short line. If you step outside of the service zone while serving you will be called for a foot fault. The ball must hit the front wall before hitting the floor and must pass the short line before it is considered playable.

Only the serving side can score points. This is done by serving an un-returnable serve, called an ace, or by winning a rally. When the serving side loses one rally in singles or two rallies in doubles it loses the serve. This is called an out or a side out. A point is scored when the ball hits the ground twice before an opponent can return the ball to the front wall. If the ball is returned but hits the ground before it hits the front wall a point is also scored. The first side to win two games wins the match. The first two games are played to 21 points. If each side wins a match then a tiebreaker is played to 11 points.

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