Handball Court – Diagram With Sizes and Dimensions

Handball court diagram

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What Makes Up a Handball Court?

Handball, also commonly known as team handball has found a loyal following in Europe. This is not too surprising considering that the modern version of the game was actually developed in Denmark and Germany. Although it is not as overtly popular as mainstream sports, handball is still a fascinating game to watch and a thrilling one to play. It also resonates with audiences because of its similarities to sports such as basketball and even football. Keeping these nuances in mind, let’s take a look at just what makes up a handball court:

Dimensions of a Handball Court

A handball court is actually quite large. Also, there are very specific requirements for any playing area, especially those that will host official competitions. This means that there is a considerable amount of uniformity among these courts.

A handball court is 40 meters long and the lines indicating this length are known as sidelines or touchlines. The width of the court measures 20 meters. These lines are called goal lines or end lines. The lines marking the various boundaries are usually drawn in white paint. These lines have to be no more than 5cm wide. The goal line, however, is thicker and measures at 8cm. Outside of each of the sidelines and the end lines, there should be at least one meter of space free.

The center line divides the court exactly in half, while it runs parallel to the end line. The halves of the court are exactly 20m long.

The goal is precisely 3m wide, with the highest point of the goal two meters away from the ground. The area in front of the goal is called the D-zone as it is shaped like the letter D. This region is actually made up of two quarter circles. Each of the circles has a radius of 6m.

Within this area, you will find the goalkeeper line. It is a short line that is drawn 4 meters in front of the goal. This marks the greatest distance from which the goalkeeper can venture away from the goal. This line is also drawn 2m away from the outside of the goal.

Drawn beyond the goal line is the dashed arc which makes up the free-throw line. The free-throw line is 9m away from the goal. Just inside of the free-throw arc is the penalty mark which is 1m. This line is 7 meters away from the goal.

There is a substitution area that is set up along the sidelines. This line extends 4.5m from the halfway point on the court. This is where the players must move to if they are leaving or entering the game.

What Are Handball Courts Made Of?

While the International Handball Federation (IHF) is quite strict regarding the dimensions of a handball court, they are more lenient about the materials. According to the official guidelines, handball courts can be either be constructed from maple wood or from synthetic materials. If the court is made from synthetic materials, however, the IHF must review the flooring to determine whether or not it is suitable for the court.

So, why are handball courts made from maple wood? Well, there are several reasons. The greatest motive for using maple wood is due to its incredible durability and resilience. Maple wood is capable of bearing up against considerable and consistent pressure. Therefore, even though there are dozens of people running up and down the court, the maple wood is able to stay strong for years.

It is also an easy wood to maintain. Not only is it quite smooth, maple is capable of maintaining a smooth surface for long periods of time. This means that a handball court doesn’t have to undergo maintenance on a regular basis.

Any synthetic material that is used on a handball court needs to have properties equivalent to that of maple wood. This means that not only must it be durable; it also must cause minimal impact on players’ legs and joints.

Evolution of Handball Courts

It has been discovered that handball got its beginnings earlier than anyone could have imagined. Artistic depictions hint that a game very similar to what is now played might have even been played by the Ancient Greeks. It is quite likely that the game was played on a dirt ground or a similar surface.

What people now consider the proper game of handball was officially structured in Europe. Germany, Denmark, and Prague were particularly vital to the commencement of the sport. This version of the game actually began in schools and then spreading throughout the nations.

However, several versions resembling what we now know as handball were being played in different countries, across the decades. Due to this, it is a little difficult to pinpoint the exact sport or game that resulted in the modernized handball.

In Denmark, the game was used as an alternative to association football. This meant that the game was often played on a football field that was made from grass. In fact, this was a tradition that continued for quite a while. Even at some of the World Championships, handball was played on a grass football field. During this period this was strictly an outdoor sport. Only a handful of countries, such as Sweden played the game indoors. One of the changes that took place during this time was the shape of the goal. Initially, it was a square but it was slowly replaced by a semi-circle.

In the 1930s, handball was moved indoors and this quickly caught on as well. From then onwards, even the competitions took place inside. Now, it is only beach handball that is played outdoors.

Courts Like Handball

As mentioned, handball has often been referred to as a cross between association football and basketball. As such, both of the playing areas of these sports do resemble the handball playing court.

Like handball, basketball is played indoors and they are actually made of the same material – maple wood. The markings for taking shots, however, are quite similar. These, in particular, are the zones that outline where scoring is and is not acceptable.

A basketball court is quite a bit smaller than a handball court, however. In fact, a handball court is almost twice the length of a basketball court! Also, the larger goals are replaced by tall hoops.

Now, handball did begin to form out on a grass covered football field. One of the main features that the two sports have in common is the goals. Of course, the handball goal is a lot less wide than a football goal. Nonetheless, not only is football still played outside, the pitch is a lot larger than a handball court – more than twice as long!

Handball may not be all that popular when compared next to sports such as association football and basketball. It still is a fast-paced, thrilling game that has a rich history that spans generations. It has come a long way from when it was first played and is now played at a professional level by players all over the world. Hopefully, this exciting game will begin to grow in popularity so that others may enjoy it. At the very least, however, you know a great deal about the court’s dimensions, construction, and even its past.

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