Handball is a fast-paced sport in which two teams try to score by throwing a ball in the opponent's goal, which is kept by a goalkeeper. As the name of the sport indicates, in handball, players use their hands to pass the ball and to score. The game is played indoors on a court and with a ball that is small enough so that players can hold it and throw it using only one hand.
Handball equipment can be very similar to those used in other indoor court sports, such as basketball or volleyball. Knee pads and elbow pads designed for any of these sports would also work for handball. The more unique pieces of equipment used in handball are the balls, goals, shoes, and the handball wax.
The first things needed to play handball are a ball, two goals, and a court. If you're a coach who's trying to run a practice, it is a good idea to have many balls and also some cones to be used in drills. Coaches might also benefit from general coaching gear, like a whistle and a handball clipboard.
In handball, the most common injury to get is a sprained or twisted ankle. The sport involves lots of moving, twisting, and turning, so ankles are left as a very vulnerable spot. An ankle support is wrapped around the ankle while playing in order to prevent or decrease the seriousness of ankle injuries. Ankle supports are made by many sporting goods companies and typically cost around $20 to $30.
Arm sleeves are tight, thin sleeves that are worn around the arm. They are mainly used to protect against floor burn and cuts that could be obtained from falling and sliding on the floor. These sleeves are exactly like the ones you could see basketball players wearing and typically cost around $10. They are not necessary to have, but provide protection to your arm and also can be used for fashion to match your team's colors.
Ball bags are used only in practice for the most part and are made to make it easy to carry a large amount of balls. While only one ball is used in a game, it is very common for teams to go through their practice using many different balls for drills and workouts. These are very similar to a bag you may see soccer teams use for their practice balls, and serve the same purpose. Depending on what size bag you buy, they will typically cost $10 to $30 and are usually bought by the coach or team leadership.
Ball pumps are used to pump air into each ball that is used in practice and games. Having enough air in the ball is important for grip and bounce. In handball, the ball is pumped up to a pressure of 0.6 and is not allowed to drop more than 15% below that number. Ball pumps vary in price based on quality, but typically cost around $10 and can be found at any sporting goods store.
A bib is worn in practice and is also known as a training bib. These are worn over the jersey or in place of the jersey so it is easier for coaches to differentiate players. They are very light weight. Bibs are also worn in a game if a regular player is substituted in the game for the goalie. Goalies wear different jerseys than players, so the new goalies bib must be the same colors as the original goalie's jersey. Bibs are typically inexpensive and are bought in bulk so the whole team has enough in practice.
A clipboard is a hard surface that is used to hold papers and used for support while writing on them. Clipboards are used mainly by the coaches. Coaches use these to write notes or anything with ease as they walk around or watch games/practices. Without a clipboard, it would be very hard for coaches to write things they need, so while they may not seem very important, they are vital for most coaches to have.
Cones are used in practice by every team to conduct drills. Cones are useful because they can be spread out and used for many different purposes. Drills are done in practice to perfect certain techniques, and cones are a big help in that. They can be used in running, throwing, or spacing drills. One popular drill with cones is called "Cone Ball" where cones are lined up across the floor and players throw the ball from varying distances trying to hit the cone. This is good for throwing practice and is one of many drills that can be done with cones. Cones are bought in bulk by coaches and trainers.
Handball courts are indoors and are a hard surface court. The court is 44 yards long and 22 yards wide and is marked with various lines that indicate boundaries. The longer outer boundaries are called sidelines or touchlines and the shorter boundaries are called goal lines or end lines. The game is started from the halfway line, which goes across midcourt. The goalkeeper line is 4.4 yards away from the goal, which is the furthest distance a goalie can go from the goal during a penalty shot.
The goal is surrounded by a D-shaped area known as the goal area or D-zone, and inside it is a crease where only the goalie can go into. Above this is the penalty mark, where teams attempt penalty throws from, and above that is the dotted free throw line.
On the side of the court is the substitution area, which is 5 yards long centered on each side of the halfway line. Any player leaving or entering the court must do so from here.
Finger tape is small, thin tape that is used to neutralize injuries during a game. Finger tape is used on injured fingers to make sure they move as little as possible to prevent the injury from becoming worse. It is very common to use finger tape in many sports as it is very useful, but in handball it is especially useful for players with active hands. Fingers can get cut, bruised, or blistered throughout a game and taping them up is always a good idea. Finger tape is very easy to get and is typically inexpensive, usually costing around $10 for a pack.
While players will wear shorts while playing for the most part, goalkeepers wear long pants. One of the main reasons why they wear pants is because it makes it easier for them to slide on the floor to dive for the ball. Diving for the ball in shorts would almost certainly lead to your legs getting a bit scratched up, so goalkeepers wear pants to protect themselves. Goalkeeper pants are made by many different sporting companies and usually cost around $40.
In handball, there are two goals, with one on each side of the court. The official size of a handball goal is 2 meters (6'7'') high and 3 meters (9'10'') wide. The net goes one meter deep from the base of the goal. Each team has one goal to score in and one to defend at any point in the game.
In many sports there is always a threat of getting poked in the eye or having your eyes hit. Handball is no different in this regard, as it is common for players to be hit or poked in the eye throughout games and practices. This is almost always an accident, but a painful one at the least. Handball requires lots of movement with your hands, so wearing goggles protects your eyes from anything that could hit them. Goggles should always be worn while in a game or practice. They typically will vary in price based on the quality of the goggles.
Handballs are made of leather and are about the size of a melon. However, the size and weight of the ball will vary depending on the group playing. The ball for mens games is 15-17 ounces and is 23-24 inches in circumference. Women and juniors use a smaller ball, weighing 12-14 ounces and 21-22 inches in circumference.
Hand wax is used worldwide in handball to help strengthen a player's grip on the ball. It is important to have a good grip on the ball so you can catch and throw it with minimal mistakes. This is a crucial part of the game as the ball is moved by hand, so having hand wax to help you is always a good idea. Wax comes in various sizes and containers, but will typically cost around $10 to $30.
Handball jerseys are soft, lightweight short sleeved shirts that are worn by both teams. Each team will wear a different colored jersey and they must stay on for the entire match. Goalkeepers wear a different color jersey than the rest of the team to distinguish themselves. It is common for advertisements to be shown on the front of jerseys along with jersey numbers on the back and sometimes the front. Jerseys will usually be provided by team leadership, but can also be bought by fans or for recreational purposes. They can range from $40 to $80 depending on quality, brand, and what team they represent.
Knee pads are used to protect a player's knees from injury while playing. Handball is a very physical sport, and it is common for players to fall to the ground during action, so having knee pads is a great way to protect one's knees from getting scraped or injured. Keeping your knees healthy is important because handball involves lots of running, and running with hurt knees is not ideal. Knee pads will typically cost $15 to $30 dollars depending on the quality, but are essential for handball players.
Just like many sports across the world, handball has shoes that are specially designed for the sport. There are shoes individually designed for indoor and outdoor games, and the main difference between them is the soles. Indoor courts are typically more slippery, so a better grip is required. All handball shoes are lightweight and breathable to accommodate for a fast paced environment. Adidas is a very popular brand for handball shoes, but many other brands also make them with shoes typically costing $70 to $150.
Part of a handball team's uniform is shorts. The shorts that they wear are athletic shorts and are designed specifically for gametime activity. The shorts are very lightweight so the players can move around freely and comfortably. The shorts will almost always match the color of the jersey to keep in uniform. While teams usually provide shorts as a part of the uniform, these athletic shorts can also be bought online at ranging prices depending on brand and quality.
In handball, players are required to throw the ball quite often, so keeping your throwing shoulder healthy is key. Shoulder supports are used to protect one's shoulder from anything from a bump to a dislocation. An injury to the shoulder typically occurs when an opponent blocks your throwing arm, which can often lead to a dislocated shoulder. Shoulder supports typically cost $30 to $50 dollars, with expensive ones ranging up to around $100. While they might be a bit pricey, it is worth it to avoid a dislocated shoulder.
Water bottles are used in handball just as they are in any sport. They are bottles that hold water or other drinks for players to have during games and practices to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is very important, especially in a sport with so much movement, so every player should have a water bottle. If players do not have water bottles, a cooler or water jug should be kept close to the team. Water bottles typically cost anywhere from $5 to $30 depending on the size and brand.
Whistles are worn by coaches in practice and referees during games. Coaches will wear them in practice to run drills and to get players attention. It is not mandatory for coaches to have them, but it is a good way to create noise and get everyone's attention. Referees have whistles to start and stop play and to call fouls during a game. Every time a ref blows the whistle, something will either start or stop and the ref's whistle will always be listened to.
The wrist is another body part that is vulnerable to injuries while playing handball. The physical nature of handball results in players falling a lot, and oftentimes landing on their wrists. Injuries to the wrist are almost always obtained as the result of a bad landing after a fall or a diving throw. Players can mostly play through these injuries, but will be more likely to be safe if wearing wrist supports. These typically cost $20 to $40.
For players, it is a good idea to have your handball shoes in which you can safely and comfortably play the sport. Other than those basic pieces of equipment, players can wear protective gear such as knee and elbow pads, finger tapes, goggles, shoulder supports, and wrist supports, but that is up to players to choose depending on their preferences and needs. On high-level handball, players tend to use handball wax in their hands, which helps in gripping and throwing the ball; but that is not a must-have for beginners or even intermediate level players.
Coaches should also have their gear, while also having equipment such as balls, goals, cones, and bibs to be used during practice. Handball coaches should also acquire a good whistle and handball clipboard, which will help when running practice.
Handball shoes vary in brand and price. The newest models from the most well-known brands can cost up to $150. On average, an excellent handball shoe costs between $70 and $150. If you are a player, you should not expect to spend much more than that. Protective gear is not expensive, and depending on your preferences, you might not need it.
Naturally, handball coaches will have to spend more money than players, as they are the ones responsible for bringing most of the equipment. Handball balls can be quite pricey, and given that many are needed, coaches can expect to spend around $500 in practice equipment, and even more, if goalposts are required.