Handball a ball game played between two teams of 12 players who use arms, head, back, thighs or knees to catch, stop or throw the ball. A player can hold the ball on his hands or on the ground for a maximum of three seconds. A full size handball field has a 40-metre long sideline and a 20-metre long goal line. The goal posts stand at the mid-point of the goal line at both ends of the field. Each goal post is 3-metre long and 2-metre high. The time set for the game is 70 minutes including 10 minutes interval in the middle. The round ball has a circumference of 58-60 cm and weighs 425-475 grams. In the handball game, a goal is scored when the ball fully crosses the line below the crossbar and between the goal posts.
Handball is a very ancient game. Homer's Odyssey refers to it. All games with ball in the Nile valley in pre-Christian times were played with hands. But in terms of style and method today's handball is a totally new addition. Some people think that modern outdoor handball originated in Germany. In 1904, Holzer Nielsen, a coach in Denmark, introduced a game named 'handbold'. In 1917, Max-Hisser of Berlin, a coach for women players, introduced handball for women with completely new methods. In 1919, another coach Karl Shillenge added certain techniques of his own to enrich the game. He introduced playing handball on an open ground. On 1 January 1920, the first handball match between two teams following Shillenge's rules was held in Berlin. The first match between two women teams following the Max-Hisser method took place in 1923 between those from Berlin and Dresden.
The first international handball match was held in Halisally, Germany, on 13 September 1925 between Germany and Austria. Later, its rules and regulations were rearranged. The International Amateur Handball Federation formed at Amsterdam in 1928 comprised eleven countries, namely the United States, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, France, Greece, Austria, Sweden, and Czechoslovakia. Open field handball game was exhibited at the Berlin Olympic in 1936. Since then handball kept rising high in popularity. At the International Olympic Committee's meeting in Madrid in 1965, handball was included as an item for the Munich Olympics of 1972. After this, the game increased its popularity in Europe.
Handball began to be popular in Asia since 1974. That year the decision to form Asia Handball Federation was taken in Tehran in a meeting of the organisers of Asian Games 1976. The Federation was formed in 1976 and its headquarters were established in Kuwait.
Handball's formal introduction in Bangladesh took place in June 1983. That year men's handball league games were held for the first time with an exhibition match arranged at the training centre of the Sports Control Board. In July 1983, the first national women's handball match and men's and women's first Rainy Season Handball Tournament were held. Promoters of handball in Bangladesh formed the Bangladesh Handball Association (BHA) on 8 September 1983 at a meeting at the National Sports Control Board Building. Bangladesh Handball, Referees' Association was also formed in the same year. In 1985, BHA was transformed into Bangladesh Handball Federation. Very soon handball game was introduced in the country's numerous sports organisations, educational institutions and clubs. Interest for this game developed fast among young players.
Bangladesh takes part in many international handball competitions. Bangladesh Women Ansars team participated in the international handball tournament held in Hong Kong in 1988. In 1992, the viquarunnesa noon school of Dhaka took part in the international handball championship in Denmark. Dhaka's Brothers Union played in the Fourth Commonwealth Championships held in Malaysia in 1994. Bangladesh became runners up in the three-nation second South Asian Handball Championship held in Dhaka in 1995. The Sixth Asian Women's Junior Handball Championship took place in Dhaka between 25 and 31 July 2000. South Korea, China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, India, Nepal and host Bangladesh participated in this tournament.
Bangladesh became runners up in Dhaka meet and placed the 3rd position in the next tournaments, held in India in 2008. Sayela Parveen Shikha of Bangladesh Women Handball team was adorned as the best player in the 3rd South Asian Women Handball Championship, held in 2008 at lucknow, India. Bangladesh team became runners up in the tournament. In 2010, Bangladesh placed 3rd in the SAF Handball Meet for Male and became champion in the International Friendship Tournament held at Haldia, India. Bangladesh men's handball team participated in the IHF Challenge Trophy and placed the 3rd position. [Gofran Faroqi and Abu Talha Sarkar]