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Handball was invented by the ancient Greeks over 2,000 years ago.

This fast-paced, physical sport has evolved through the centuries, gaining global popularity.

To explore the fascinating journey of handball, don’t miss our comprehensive Handball History article!


Handball Invention Timeline

  • Antiquity: Early handball-like games played in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt.
  • Middle Ages: European adaptations, such as France’s “Jeu de Paume.”
  • Late 1800s: Holger Nielsen develops modern indoor handball in Denmark.
  • 1915: German sports teacher Max Heiser formulates key outdoor handball rules.
  • 1928: International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) established; field handball at Summer Olympics.
  • 1936: Field handball becomes an official Olympic sport in Berlin.
  • 1946: IAHF evolves into the International Handball Federation (IHF).
  • 1972: Indoor handball debuts at the Munich Olympic Games.
  • 1992: Women’s handball introduced at the Barcelona Olympics.
  • 21st Century: Global expansion, advancements in coaching methods, and rule innovations.

Facts known about Handball Invention

  1. Ancient Roots: Handball-like games existed in ancient civilizations, including Greece, Rome, and Egypt.
  2. European Adaptation: Medieval Europe saw handball variations, such as French “Jeu de Paume.”
  3. Modern Development: Danish teacher Holger Nielsen formulated indoor handball rules in the late 19th century.
  4. International Recognition: Handball’s governing body, the IHF, was established in 1928, promoting global growth.
  5. Olympic Participation: Field handball debuted in the 1936 Olympics, replaced by indoor handball in 1972.


Who invented Handball?

The inventors of Handball are not specifically known, but it’s believed to have been developed in Germany and Scandinavia during the late 19th century.

When was Handball invented?

Handball was first played in the late 19th century, around the 1890s.

Where did Handball originate?

Handball originated in Europe, mainly in Germany and Scandinavia, before it spread globally in the 20th century.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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