2008 Beijing Olympics – Handball

I’ve been watching the Olympics for many years now, paying attention mainly to track and field, gymnastics, basketball, diving, boxing and swimming. However, during these Beijing Olympic games, I’ve begun to watch events I had no idea existed, such as handball and field hockey.

When I watched my first handball match, I was thinking the players should be dribbling the ball more, or kicking it, or throwing it at their opponents like dodge ball. The game didn’t seem natural – like water polo in a drained pool. Why not call it land polo? I have to confess my complete ignorance of the game, a fact I am sure is already apparent. I didn’t grow up playing it, and had never seen it played before, not even in the Olympics – has it ever been shown before on American TV? My reference points are games I played as a kid: soccer with a dodge ball on a basketball court with no goal; dodge ball; football; basketball; baseball and kickball on a dirt field.  I guess handball is hugely popular in Europe, but isn’t there another sport called handball – the one where you slap a small rubber ball against a wall.  Anyway, the Olympic sport is called handball, but why? – you can use your head, arms and knees apparently.  Why not call it above the knee ball? I think the sport might catch on in the U.S. if the players could also kick it or if they could charge the net with ball in hand to try to bowl over the goalie.  Ok, maybe not charge the net, but drop kicking might be cool.

Does the U.S. have a handball team? Or did they fail to qualify? Of the 12 teams in Beijing, Brazil is the only representative from the Americas, or maybe the representative of the Americas. I don’t want to sound like a homer, but go Brazil in Handball, and go U.S. women against Brazil in futbol – I mean soccer.  But shouldn’t it be called……

For more on handball, read my post Random Olympic Musings

One Response

  1. Hey!

    I´m Norwegian and in Norway, Russia and the rest of Europe and Asia handball is a huge sport. Both for women and men. Norway has one of the best players and teams in the world. And just because you havn´t heard of it in America, it doesnt mean that it´s a new sport or that it should be played different because it´s not natural for american to throw a ball. I live in America now and I was lucky to find a channel to play the match Norway had against Rumania. Norway has a huge opportunity to win olympic gold medal now, and I think it would be good for americans to see other sports than basketball, american football, baseball, swimming and the other usual stuff. There are countrys outside of America you know…

    Just thinking outloud….

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