American handball

From Academic Kids

American (or court) handball is an American form of fives played against one or more walls has origins in pre-Hispanic central America (about 1500 BC) and Scotland/Ireland circa 1500 AD. It is similar to (and in fact preceded) racquetball and squash. Jai alai is also thought to have evolved from handball.

Play

American handball is played on a court forty feet long by twenty feet wide with either a single (front) wall, three walls, or in a fully enclosed four-wall. It may be played singles (one player, two teams), doubles, or "cutthroat" (three players rotating one-against-two). The ball, 2.3 oz, 1 7/8 inches (slightly smaller and harder than a racquetball), is hit with the gloved palm (informal games often don't include gloves). The ball is "served" by one team, off the front wall. The ball must hit the front wall first; it may then hit only one side wall; the serve must pass the service line before the first bounce. It may be hit directly, or may bounce off the floor once before being "returned". The return must either hit the front wall directly, or may be hit off the back wall to the front wall (without hitting the ceiling or another wall).

Handball is significantly more physically demanding than racquetball. However, handball offers an excellent fitness reward since it utilizes many aerobic exercise disciplines that are balanced across your entire body. One well-known American handball player in the 1970s was "Sweaty Freddy". Ironically, it has lost popularity due to both racquetball's rise (as players migrated) and fall (as clubs lost courts).

Variations

External links

nl:Amerikaans handbal de:American Handball

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