Variations on the theme of the game in handball played throughout the world for thousands of years. Known as one of the oldest ball games, handball played in Egypt for more than four thousand years in ancient Rome and in many cultures of South America.
Ancient Egyptians play different ball games. Drawings of Egyptians playing handball found decorating five thousand years of tombs at Saqqara depicting girls in teams of two, who play the game. Balls used in Egyptian handballs are designed to be lightweight and durable – they are made of leather skin stuffed with hay or other vegetable fibers, such as papyrus.
In the Roman Empire, the game is called expulsim ludere and was play on the court called sphaeristas. Alexander the Great is said to be responsible for the spread of the game among the Greek colonies in Italy in the first millennium BC, and from there it spread to other countries of the Roman Empire.
In France during the Middle Ages, the game is called jeux de paume (palm play), and is popular with the nobility and the peasants. The ball is made of tightly rolled pieces of fabric sewn together. This form of handball is considered to be an early precursor of tennis – the game was developed in France by starting to use larger and larger gloves, until eventually they began to use elements that are reminiscent of the first tennis racquets.
In America, handball is over more than three thousand years, and comes from Mexico. Handball players are depicted on the painted clay objects, sculptures, and found at archaeological sites in many parts of Central America murals.
These days, handball has become increasingly popular sport – it has become a part of the Olympic Games and many international tournaments are dedicated to handball – not surprisingly, the famous Egyptian team is very talented, perhaps because of all the civilizations of the world, they play it for a long time!
Handball images gallery