Where Is Handball Most Popular?
The sport of Handball is played primarily throughout Europe, originating in the late 19th century in Germany and the Scandanavian region. The International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was created in 1928. It was first played at the Berlin summer Olympic games in 1936, though the men's game was removed from the program until the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, with women's handball added for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. The first Handball World Championship was played in Germany in 1938. The International Handball Foundation was set-up in 1946 in Basel, Switzerland.
Successful National Teams
France, Germany, Norway, Russia, and Denmark tend to dominate the game of Handball in both the men's and women's games. The only national team from outside of Europe to medal in men's handball is the Republic of Korea when they won the silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. The Republic of Korea has also been successful in the women's game, with six total medals, including a gold medal finish at both the 1988 Seoul Games and the 1992 Barcelona Games. Handball has also remained popular in eastern European countries such as Poland and the former nations that comprised Yugoslavia, such as Croatia and Montenegro.
Handball has seen relatively successful teams begin to come out of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay. USA Team Handball is also working to grow Handball in the United States. The United Kingdom has also seen a push to increase the popularity of Handball, with more clubs being founded each year.