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Handball is an ancient sport believed to have been played in medieval era. This is due to the fact that men by nature tend to use the hand as the main organ for expression and skilled performance. International handball was played as an organized sport from 1901. It was initially played outdoors on a pitch the size of a football field and it involved eleven players per team. It became an Olympic sport as early as 1926 under the International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF). By 1936, IAHF already had 23 member countries and gained worldwide recognition for the first time. The name of the Federation was changed to IHF(International Handball Federation) in 1946. The eight founder nations of IHF were Denmark, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. Upon formation of IHF greater emphasis on modern Handball involving seven players per playing team was initiated. The court size was also reduced to 40m x 20m. In 1972, men`s indoor Handball was introduced into the Olympics programe during the Munich games. In the year 1976 in Montreal, Women’s Handball was also included into the Olympic programe. To date Handball is still vibrant Olympic sport. In the world, Handball is played in 199 countries of which 52 are in Africa. Locally, Handball was introduced in 1969. The Kenya Amateur Handball Association (KAHA) was duly registered on 24th May, 1972. Kenya joined Africa Confederation of Handball in the year 1980 and the International Handball Federation in 1982. The same year Kenya played an active role in the formation of the East and Central Africa Handball Federation. In 1985, Kenya was a founder member of the Commonwealth Handball Association. The Association is also fully affiliated to the Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC) and National Olympic of Kenya (NOCK).

Handball is mostly played at the following institutions:-
1. Armed Forces
2. National Youth Services
3. Universities
4. Teachers Training Colleges
5. Schools(Primary & Secondary)
6. Social Clubs
7. Government Parastatals
To date the following are the provincial branches affiliated to and recognized by this Federation.
1. Armed Forces –  20    teams
2. Rift Valley Province – 150 ’’
3. Nairobi Province – 53 ’’
4. Coast Province – 40 ‘’
5. Central Province – 100 ‘’
6. Western Province – 80 ‘’
7. Eastern Province – 50 ‘’
8. Kenya Universities Sports Association. – 25 ’’
The number is set to increase tremendously because of the promotional strategies in place. Most of the teams are institutional and therefore train at their premises. The social and self – supporting teams either train on public sports ground or at the Nyayo National Stadium Handball Court.

Kenya handball Federation is currently ranked no 10 in Africa where ladies are position 8 and men 10. In the region we are ranked first in both Categories. The Federation have tournaments every month away from the City of Nairobi though our main Venue is at Nyayo Stadium. Our activities are majorly sponsored by the Federation, the Government, International Handball Federation and our partners Nairobi Sports House.

Some of the Most Interesting Facts about Handball Game

  • If you look at the fastest game of handball carefully, you will realize that it is a combination of three games, basketball, football and water polo.
  • There are two main referees in the game of handball, one is a court referee and the other is a goal-line referee.,
  • The most interesting thing about handball is that the players are not restricted with the number of faults they produce. With more nations joining in the beach handball is getting more popular and probably may take over the indoor handball in coming years.
  • Not only the size, but the softness of the ball also differs in man, women and children’s fun handball games.
  • The origin of the game was believed to be in Greece in the ancient times.
  • Though it is not popular outside, it is believed that it is the second largest sport in Europe after football.
  • European handball for kids: In the European style the player is allowed to take three steps before passing on the ball to the other player, but in the American version only one step is allowed for the players.
  • The goalkeeper can move both inside and the outside of the goal line , but the rest of the players are allowed only outside of the goal line and not the inside. The handball player can hold the ball only for three seconds.
  • The first-ever international handball game for men was played between Germany and Belgium in 1925 and for women, it was played between team handball Germany and Austria in 1930.
  • Handball is considered to be the second-fastest team-sport on the earth or world after ice hockey.
  • Just like in football the ball must not touch player’s hands apart from the goalkeeper in the handball it is exactly the reverse, the ball must not touch the player’s legs but the goalkeeper is allowed.
  • Johan Pettersson a Swedish handball player almost died when he bumped into the goalkeeper in a game in 2002 in which he lost a couple of his teeth and had almost swallowed his tongue.

    The official Kenya Handball Federation Website.

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