Field handball

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dimensions of a field handball court, played with 11 players for the Olympic Games in 1936 compared to a football field.

Field handball is the predecessor of indoor handball . There are two variants: large field handball and small field handball. Nowadays handball is only played sporadically. The history of handball is covered in the main article handball . The German champions and the GDR champions in field handball can be found under German handball champions . In six summer seasons from 1967 to 1973 there was a field handball league .

Full field handball

In the past, full-field handball was a popular sport, especially in German-speaking countries. In 1953 and 1954, for example, there were two international matches in the Augsburger Rosenaustadion against Austria and Sweden, which were attended by 35,000 and 40,000 spectators respectively. The game against Sweden was dubbed the "battle of the giants". The final of the German field handball championship 1954 (Frisch Auf Göppingen - TuS Lintfort 18: 8) in Stuttgart's Neckar Stadium was attended by 25,000 spectators.

In 1959, the GDR national team won an internal German comparison against the national team of the Federal Republic and was then elected GDR team of the year .

In seven men's world championships, almost exclusively German teams won. The only exception is the first World Cup after World War II in 1948, when the title went to Sweden. As a result of the war, no German team was allowed to participate.

The rules

Field handball game in Jena , 1953
Field handball game in Jena, 1953

The rules have been changed repeatedly in order to make the sport more attractive and in particular to stop the decline of the full-field game that has been foreseeable since the 1950s.

From the beginning of 1950, a few rule changes were initially only tested in Germany in several stages, most of which were incorporated into the IHF regulations in 1956.

In order to counteract the recently heavily defensive game ( concrete system ), various rule changes were initially only tested in Germany in the 1949/50 season. In the autumn round, the previously valid rules with offside lines (like ice hockey) were played with an offside line at 16.50 meters. For the regional finals, the offside line was initially brought forward to 30 meters. In the final round of the German championship in 1950, offside was finally completely dispensed with. (The 1949/50 season was therefore played according to three different sets of rules). At the same time, the minimum distance for a free throw was increased from 15 to 17 meters from the goal and the dashed free throw line was introduced. The penalty corners that were often imposed until then have been almost completely abolished in favor of free throws from the field.

In 1953, the team out of play rule and the associated division of the playing field into three was also only introduced in Germany as a test. From then on, only six outfield players from each team were allowed to be in each of the two attack zones that began 35 meters in front of the goal.

With the elimination of the offside and the changed free throw rules, the number of hits had increased significantly. In order to counteract this flood of goals, further changes were made to the field design in 1955, for example the throwing circle was expanded from 11 to 14 meters and the free throw distance (which was linked to the dimensions of the throwing circle) was increased to 20 meters. The distance for a penalty throw has been increased from 13 to 14 meters. These pitch dimensions were only used in the 1955/56 season in the area of ​​the DHB. Their effects can be seen in the significantly lower number of goals scored in the 1955/56 season compared to previous years.

When most of the above test rules were incorporated into international regulations in September 1956, the throwing circle and free-throw line were finally set at 13 and 19 meters respectively. The penalty throw distance at 14 meters was retained. The tripartite division of the playing field and the associated team-outside-game rule have also been adopted.

The most important rules according to the latest version of the IHF regulations were:

  • Full-field handball is played on a sports field that corresponds to a football field (length 90-100 m; width 55-65 m).
  • The game is played with two teams , each consisting of 11 field players (1 substitute) and 2 goalkeepers who can be substituted on the fly at any time. A team on the field consists of 10 field players and a goalkeeper .
  • The two thirds of the goal area may only be entered by a maximum of 6 players from one team (not counting the goalkeeper). If it is exceeded, the opposing team receives a free throw ( offside rule - similar to that in ice hockey ).
  • The goal is 7.32 mx 2.44 m. So it corresponds to a soccer goal . The goal area is created by drawing a semicircle in front of the goal at a distance of 13 m from the center of the goal (goal line). This may only be entered by your own goalkeeper. The free throw line is 6 m away, parallel to the throwing circle, 19 m away from the goal. There is also a short line 14 m from the center of the goal, which represents the throwing mark for a penalty throw (14 m).
  • The playing field is divided into three playing field sections (two goal area sections and a central section) by two lines parallel to the goal lines, each 35 m in front of the goal. The playing field sections are marked with a line and 8 flags on the side lines.
  • The time penalties are 5 or 10 minutes. Warnings and disqualifications are not issued using cards. They will be reported directly to the guilty player or coach. In the event of a warning, the referee must also raise his arm with a clenched fist so that the warning is clearly understood. There is also an exclusion (the excluded person may not be replaced) and a disqualification (the disqualified person may be replaced).
  • Probably the most important difference to indoor handball concerns the bounce regulation when carrying the ball . In contrast to the rule in the hall, the ball may be caught between bouncing and then bouncing again.
  • Contrary to the hall, there is also a corner kick if the goalkeeper pushes the ball over his own goal line.
  • With the referee's ball, the ball is not thrown high into the air as with indoor handball, but bounced firmly on the ground, with all players at least 6 m away from the referee.
  • The game is directed by a referee. He is supported by two goal judges who also check that the offside rule is observed.

The rules differ from the rules of indoor handball in further points.

Season (DHB)

THW Kiel versus Viktoria Hamburg, final round of the German field handball championship, May 12, 1957

Since the start of indoor gaming operations in West Germany from 1946, the game year until the 1957/58 season consisted of two field periods and an intermediate indoor period. In autumn, the regional association championships (regular league operation) in field handball were held first. This was followed by indoor handball games with state, regional and German championships from mid-November to March during the “winter break” of field handball. After the indoor season, the field season continued with regional championships and the German championship. The game year usually lasted from July to June. Sometimes until the 1960s there was no nationwide league operation for indoor handball in some regional associations, but differently designed tournament rounds were held. The HV Niederrhein was the last state association to set up a league system for indoor handball from the 1967/68 season.

With the season 1958/59, the rhythm of the game in the DHB was changed (although not all regional associations immediately understood the changes). From then on, the game year began with the indoor season from November to March, after which the field season was held, which could now last until the end of October (1959 even until November 8). Thus, the field handball seasons from 1959 onwards can only be designated with the calendar year (the entire game year, however, still with the double number, the field season 1959 belongs to the game year 1958/59). The time shares later shifted in favor of a longer indoor season. No point games of the other subspecies were allowed to be played during the respective season. The women's large field championship was held for the last time in 1968, until 1973 the women played a small field championship in the summer season.

Development to indoor handball

Weather dependency

Towards the end of the 1960s, field handball was increasingly being replaced by indoor handball. The reason for this development was primarily the dependence on the weather, which significantly inhibited the spread of lawn sport, especially in northern Europe. In the Scandinavian countries in particular, the time in which field handball could be played was severely limited due to the prevailing climatic conditions there.


Moving handball to the hall also had the advantage - apart from the fact that it was not dependent on the weather - that you could play on a level floor. Thus, the same competition conditions were guaranteed, which was not the case with natural soils up to now. Since most of the clubs did not have a grass pitch at that time, they mostly played on more or less rough hard courts . As a result, many players had numerous abrasions throughout the field handball season. Playing on the stone-free, level hall floors was much more pleasant and comfortable.

Game speed

Due to the necessary downsizing of the playing field and an adapted set of rules, the pace of the game was also increased significantly. In contrast to field handball, where usually little happened in the midfield, in indoor handball the actions extended over the entire field of play. A clever use of space became more and more crucial for success. As a result of the more varied and tricky game, indoor sport gained more and more fans over time and increasingly replaced the game on the large field.

international Developement

Indoor games had been popular in Scandinavia since the 1930s. A variant of indoor handball in the open air, the so-called small-field handball, prevailed after the Second World War, especially in Southeast Europe, where the weather was warm and usable halls were rare, but small outdoor play areas were available. In the 1980s, championship games of the Yugoslav Bundesliga - at that time one of the strongest indoor handball leagues in the world - were regularly played outdoors. Field handball on the large field, on the other hand, was never really popular in either the northern or southern countries of Europe and had actually only been able to establish itself in Central Europe, whereas indoor and small field games - viewed across Europe - enjoyed significant advantages in popularity.

Olympic games

In October 1965, the IOC decided on its LXIV. Session in Madrid, only indoor handball included in the program of the Olympic Games from 1972, but field handball not. The sole inclusion of indoor handball in the Olympic program - field handball had already been a one-time part of the same in 1936 - ultimately tipped the scales in favor of indoor handball, as most international associations henceforth concentrated on indoor play. In the GDR, for example, the game operations of the field league, which only started as a single-track game year 1965/66 during the decisive IOC session, was completely discontinued at the end of the following season and from then on only indoor games were operated competitively.

World championships

The IOC followed with its assessment of the development of the field handball world championships , for which participants could only be found with difficulty at the end of the 1950s, especially since the two German national teams clearly dominated the international scene and not a single World Cup game during their entire tournament history had lost against the team of another nation - the only German defeat in the World Cup was the 7:14 Germany in the 1963 final against East Germany. The hosting of international field handball tournaments was gradually reduced in the following period. The 1966 World Cup, which the Federal Republic of Germany was able to win before the GDR (the final group game, which was decisive for the title, ended 15:15 in a draw), was the last major international event in this sport. A world championship planned for 1969 had to be canceled due to a lack of participants.

National championships

Field handball games were stopped in the GDR as early as 1967. In the Federal Republic of Germany the field game was held for longer, the Bundesliga , for example, only started operations after the IOC decision of 1965 in the spring of 1967. It was played out until 1973 and then abolished. For two years, regional leagues were held and German champions were determined. Audience interest had dropped sharply since the late 1960s. While the finals were attended by more than 30,000 spectators before - the record was set in 1965 at the final between BSV Solingen and Grün-Weiß Dankersen in Wuppertal with 35,000 attendees - fewer than 4,000 visitors came to the 1973 final . The last German men's championship was played in 1975 . The last German champion was TSG Haßloch , who prevailed in the final, the last official field handball game ever, on August 10, 1975 in the stadium on Oberfelder Allee in Lübbecke with 15:14 against the host TuS Nettelstedt . After this “final” the sport of field handball was declared over nationally.

Situation in Switzerland: The National League was played under different names from 1932 to 1971. A SHV Grossfeld Cup was introduced in 1943 and is still being held. It is the oldest active competition in Switzerland. In 2015 a new tournament was launched, the Winterthur Grossfeldtrophy , which serves as a qualification for the Grossfeld Cup .

Small field handball

Small-field handball is de facto the same game as indoor handball, which is only played outdoors. You can play on grass, ashes or synthetic surfaces. Internationally, small-field handball was the usual standard for handball games (instead of indoor handball) until the 1980s, especially in Southeastern European countries. For example, the Luxembourg national championship was only played on a small field until 1975. In some cases, championship games were played variably in the hall or on the small outdoor field, depending on the weather. In Germany, however, the small-field game hardly spread. From 1969 to 1973 the summer championship games for women were held in the DHB instead of on the large field on the small field. The last regional men's championships in the North German Handball Association (1973 to 1975) were also played on a small pitch. In the GDR, after the early cessation of large-field games (as early as 1967), there were several summer championships of the league teams on the small field as a substitute, which, however, met with little response and were soon replaced by indoor competitions ( tournament championship ). Today, small-field handball is only common at special tournaments in summer and mostly on grass. These are often multi-day events for youth teams. One advantage is that, depending on the number of teams, you can play on several fields at the same time, which enables tournaments with a relatively large number of participants and in different age groups at the same time. In the summer of 2011, more than 180 teams from almost 90 clubs took part in the Hamborner Löwencup , the largest small-field tournament in Germany. Official competitive sport is no longer practiced on the small field in Germany.

Web links

Commons : Field Handball  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Field handball  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ IOC Reference Document Handball Handball: participation during the history of the Olympic Games. Retrieved January 11, 2014 .
  2. ^ Erik Eggers: Handball, A German Domain . Göttingen 2004, p. 119.
  3. The playing year covered the months from October to September, with field handball only being played in spring and summer. The game seasons are therefore - unlike the game year - counted all year round.
  4. ↑ Season balance sheets GDR field handball championship men 1948 - 1967. Accessed on September 27, 2015 .
  5. Eggers, Handball, p. 119.
  6. See audience figures for the finals at German men's field handball championship 1934 - 1975