Handball: a sport catching on

02 November, 2013   Abel Khoo

Players at the Singapore Handball League. (Photo by VOXSPORTS)

To date, the relatively new sport of handball has been receiving worldwide acclaim. In recent years, international competitions are giving recognition to the sport and the influx of handball enthusiasts has been growing dramatically over the past few years.

In Singapore, the sport is still relatively new. Tertiary institutes are beginning to integrate the sport into their co-curricular activities and are even host competitions for students. Two such competitions at the moment are POL-ITE and the Singapore University Games (SUniG).

Handball is a very fast paced game similar to netball. In fact, handball is the combination of soccer and netball.

The goalkeeper’s role in handball is exactly the same of that in soccer. Both have a goal post to defend and they are allowed to use their hands to save the ball.

The playing style is similar to netball where players can only take a few steps before the are required to pass the ball to their teammates. The scoring style is also similar to netball, no players are allowed to use their foot to score a goal.

According to Adele Lim, President of the Handball Federation - what makes a good handball player is being able to pass through the “Wall Of Defense”. When handball players are on the defensive end, they will usually strategize to form a wall on the perimeter of the semi-circle in order to prevent their opponents from scoring. That is called the “Wall Of Defense”.

Although there’s been an increase in handball players, Adele says that the numbers are still not up to her expectations because she hopes for more people to take up the sport. “I think the main issue that is preventing handball from reaching out further is the lack of knowledge that people have about the sport, which is one factor that we have to work on”, said Adele.

Currently, Singapore has a men’s handball national team and Adele hopes that in the near future, a women’s team will be formed so that Singapore can compete in regional competitions by 2015.

“Anyone who wishes to start playing this exciting new game can head down to the handball courts at SCAPE, where random groups of people and external clubs usually play. Just ask to join a handball club and the teams there will be more than willing to take you in!” chimes Adele enthusiastically.

It is still unknown what handball will grow into in Singapore over the next few years, but the Handball Federation is already planting the seeds for the sport to grow exponentially.