Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team. A standard match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team that scores more goals wins.
From the official Olympic website, “the modern game of handball was first played towards the end of the 19th century in Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Recognition of field handball based on the games of “Raffball” (snatch ball) and “Königsbergerball” (Konrad Koch, 1846-1911) occurred at the turn of the century. G. Wallström introduced Sweden to the sport of “handball” in 1910.
“After the men’s game debuted on turf football fields at the 1936 Games in Berlin, the European-based sport next appeared in its present indoor form in 1972 at Munich. A women’s division opened in 1976 and it has become one of the most highly attended Olympic sports.”
The rules for Olympic handball are governed by the International Handball Federation.
Rule 3. The Ball
3:1 The ball is made of leather or a synthetic material. It must be spherical. The surface must not be shiny or slippery (17:3).
3:2 The ball sizes, i.e. the circumference and weight, to be used by different categories of teams are as follows :
• 58-60cm and 425-475g (IHF Size 3) for Men and for Male Youth (over age 16) ;
• 54-56cm and 325-375g (IHF Size 2) for Women, Female Youth (over age 14), and Male Youth (age 12 to 16) ;
• 50-52cm and 290-330g (IHF Size 1) for Female Youth (age 8 to 14) and Male Youth (age 8 to 12).
The technical requirements for the balls to be used in all official international games are described in the IHF Ball Regulations.
The size and weight of balls to be used for Mini-Handball are not regulated in the normal playing rules.
3:3 For every game there must be at least two balls available. The reserve balls must be immediately available at the timekeeper’s table during the game. The balls must meet the requirements of Rules 3:1-2.
3:4 The referees decide when to use a reserve ball. In such cases, the referees should get the reserve ball into play quickly in order to minimize interruptions and avoid time-outs.
Official Olympic Website – www.olympic.org
International Handball Federation – www.ihf.info
Photo – http://handball.wiinz.com/index.php/component/content/article/19-sample-data-articles/joomla/8-beginners