Handball is a fast paced, highly skilful, hugely entertaining, and fully inclusive sport. The fitness benefits of the game are vast. Speed, agility, endurance, flexibility, and bilateral coordination all come in to play in the sport that once you play for the first time, you wont ever want to stop. But what makes this game so great is that all you require to play is a ball and a wall…..it’s really that simple!
In Ireland, there are four codes of Handball; 40×20, One-Wall, 60×30 & Hardball. The 40×20 & One-Wall codes are the two international codes, whilst the 60×30 & Hardball codes are traditional Irish games. Having such a variety of codes is great in the sense that there are Handball competitions all year round, providing increasing number of playing opportunities for players. In Europe, where Handball is just beginning to develop as a sport, the One-Wall game is preferred with clubs in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
The primary aim of any Handball match is to make the ball hit the front wall and bounce twice before your opponent can return it. What varies between the four codes is a) the number of walls in the court, b) the size of the court, & c) the type of ball used.
Handball can be played in Singles (1 v 1) and Doubles (2 v 2). Whilst the skills of top quality Handballers are transferrable, there are very unique differences between not only playing Singles & Doubles, but also between playing the different codes.
One-Wall / Wall Ball
With the name being a giveaway, One-Wall Handball is the most fundamental form of Handball as it requires only a wall and a ball. It is without doubt the fastest growing code of Handball, with numbers playing growing substantially in the last five years. Due to its simplicity, it can be played indoor or outdoor, but is generally played outdoor only during the summer months. The front wall has dimensions 6.1m by 4.88m, whilst the ball used is similar to a racquetball. It is exciting times for the One-Wall code, that with 33 countries playing worldwide, a new World Wall Ball Association (WWBA) has been established with aims at achieving Olympic status.