Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the exhilarating world of handball in Spain, a sport that holds a prominent place in the hearts of Spaniards. As the second-largest sport in Europe, with devoted fans and talented athletes all across the country, handball showcases incredible skill, energy and team spirit.
In this guide, we’ll uncover its rich history dating back to ancient Greece and Rome, explore Spain’s thriving domestic leagues and iconic players while providing insightful tips on how you can dive into this fast-paced game yourself.
- Handball is a popular and exciting team sport in Spain with a rich history dating back to ancient Greece and Rome.
- The country boasts top professional leagues such as Liga ASOBAL, renowned teams like Barcelona, and famous players including Alberto Entrerríos, Raúl González, and Viran Morros.
- Those interested in playing handball can join local clubs throughout Spain while visitors or expats can enjoy watching games at various venues.
Understanding Handball In Spain
Handball in Spain is a fast-paced team sport that originated from Northern Europe and gained popularity across the country, with the Spanish Handball Federation being established in 1941.
The History And Origin Of The Game
Handball boasts an extensive history, with its roots tracing back to ancient Greece and Rome. Over time, the sport has evolved into various forms across different cultures.
Over the decades that followed, Spanish handball flourished throughout the country. By mid-20th century, regional and national competitions began taking shape in Spain.
The national handball team of Spain achieved significant accomplishments since its inception; winning two world championships and establishing itself as a powerhouse in global handball events.
Rules And Regulations In Spain
Handball in Spain follows the same rules and regulations as the International Handball Federation (IHF) but with some unique Spanish features. The game is played with two teams, each comprising seven players – six outfielders and one goalkeeper.
Like any other handball game, the aim is to score more goals than your opponent by throwing the ball past the opposing team’s goalkeeper into their net. During play, players can only touch the ball using their hands or arms (except for goalkeepers who can use any part of their body within a specific area).
To keep things fair, there are several rules that guide how matches take place. Players cannot touch each other while dribbling or holding onto the ball; they must remain within certain zones when defending; time-outs can be called when needed during games and teams need to rotate positions regularly throughout gameplay.
Key Positions In The Game
Handball involves seven key positions that make up a team. Each position comes with a unique role, responsibility, and skillset necessary for the game’s success. Here are the seven key positions in handball:
Goalkeeper: The goalkeeper is the only player who can use their feet to play the ball and defend their team’s goalpost.
Left Wing: This player focuses on attacking from the left side of the court and scoring goals.
Left Back: Positioned just behind the Left Wing, this player offers support in attack while also defending against opposing players.
Center Back: This position serves as the playmaker, responsible for organizing attacks and creating opportunities for scoring.
Pivot: The pivot plays a crucial role in both attacking and defending by blocking opposition players’ paths and opening spaces for teammates to score goals.
Right Back: Similar to the Left Back position, this player provides support in defense and leads attacks from the right side of the court.
Right Wing: Like their counterpart on the left, this player focuses on attacking from their designated wing position, aiming to score maximum goals during a game.
Understanding each key position will help you appreciate how each player contributes to your team’s overall strategy during gameplay.
Notable Spanish Handball Teams
Spain is home to some of the best handball teams in the world. The Liga ASOBAL, which is the top professional Handball league in Spain, features renowned teams such as Barcelona, Bidasoa Irun, and Ademar Leon.
These teams have passionate fan bases that fill stadiums with energy during matches.
Barcelona has been one of the most dominant handball teams in Europe for years now. They have won nine Liga ASOBAL titles since 2010 and four EHF Champions Leagues throughout history.
Bidasoa Irun has also enjoyed great success over the years, having won five Liga ASOBAL titles while Ademar Leon has claimed three championship wins so far.
The Popularity Of Handball In Spain
Handball has a significant place in Spanish culture, and its popularity continues to grow. From the top leagues featuring famous Spanish handball players to local clubs offering training and practice resources, there are numerous opportunities to explore this exciting sport in Spain.
The Importance Of Handball In Spanish Culture
Handball is not just a sport in Spain; it’s deeply ingrained in the country’s culture. The game has been played here for over a century and is one of the most popular sports after football.
In fact, handball plays an essential role in Spanish culture, especially at the grassroots level. Many kids grow up playing handball with their friends or joining local clubs to hone their skills.
Moreover, several significant events like La Liga ASOBAL (the top professional handball league) and Copa del Rey often attract large crowds from across Spain eager to support their favourite teams.
The Top Spanish Handball Leagues
There are several top handball leagues in Spain that have gained popularity over the years. Here are some of the most notable:
Liga ASOBAL: This is the premier professional handball league in Spain, consisting of 16 teams. It was founded in 1958 and has become one of the strongest handball leagues in Europe.
División de Honor Plata: This is the second tier professional league in Spanish handball and consists of 16 teams.
Liga Guerreras Iberdrola: This is the top women’s handball league in Spain with 14 teams competing for the championship.
Liga ASOBAL Juvenil: This is a youth-based league for players under 18 years old who aspire to play professionally.
Liga Nacional de Balonmano Playa: This is a beach handball league played during summer months on sand courts across Spain, attracting both national and international players.
Copa del Rey: This is a knockout cup competition featuring teams from all divisions of Spanish handball, including amateur clubs and professional teams.
Spain’s love for handball has seen an increase in fan interest as well as player participation at all levels of competition across each of these leagues.
Famous Spanish Handball Players
Spain has produced some incredible handball players over the years who have made a name for themselves on both national and international levels.
Alberto Entrerríos is considered one of the best playmakers in the history of Spanish handball.
Raúl González was known for his incredible agility and ability to score goals from seemingly impossible angles.
Viran Morros is known for his exceptional defensive skills which have earned him multiple awards throughout his career.
These are just a few examples of some of the amazing talents that have come out of Spain’s handball scene.
Where To Watch Handball Games In Spain
Spain is a fantastic place to watch handball games, with plenty of options for fans who wish to catch live games. If you’re a handball enthusiast in Spain, here are some places you can go to watch your favourite sport:
Liga ASOBAL matches: You can catch the best of Spanish handball at Liga ASOBAL matches. It is the top professional division in Spanish club handball and features some of the best teams in the country.
Handball Tournaments: There are numerous national and international handball tournaments held across Spain throughout the year. Check out the schedule of events to know when and where they will take place.
Online Streaming Platforms: Online platforms such as EHFTV.com and LaLigaSportsTV offer live streaming services for handball games being played in Spain.
Local Clubs or Community Centres: Many local clubs or community centres also arrange live screenings during important matches.
National Team Games: The Spanish national team often plays important matches against other countries and competing in various championships.
Be sure to check schedules ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss out on any exciting matches happening near you!
Tips For Playing Handball In Spain
Joining local teams and clubs is a great way to get started in handball, with many options available throughout Spain. Keep in mind the cultural nuances during games, such as respecting opponents and officials.
Recommended equipment includes comfortable sports shoes and gloves for better grip on the ball.
Joining Local Teams And Clubs
Joining a local handball team or club is a great way to get involved in the sport and improve your skills. Here are some tips for joining teams and clubs in Spain:
- Research online or ask around for local handball teams or clubs in your area.
- Contact the team or club to inquire about membership and training schedules.
- Attend an open practice or training session to meet the coach and players.
- Be prepared to commit to regular training sessions and games.
- Keep in mind that cultural differences may exist, so be respectful of local customs and etiquette during games.
- Look into youth programs if you’re new to the game or just starting out.
- Consider joining a recreational league if you’re looking for a more casual experience.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek advice from coaches and experienced players.
Cultural Nuances To Keep In Mind During Games
It’s important to note that handball in Spain is not just a sport but also an integral part of Spanish culture. When playing or watching a game, it’s essential to understand and respect these cultural nuances.
For example, showing emotion is highly encouraged in Spanish handball games, as players and fans alike are very passionate about the sport.
Another key cultural aspect of Spanish handball is the importance of teamwork. In Spain, players work together seamlessly on the court and support each other both on and off the field.
Understanding these cultural nuances when playing or watching handball in Spain can enhance your overall experience by providing insights into how the game fits into broader life practices across different regions of Spain.
Recommended Equipment For Playing Handball In Spain
As a handball player in Spain, having the right equipment is essential for your performance and safety. Here are some recommended gear and equipment:
- Handball shoes with good traction to help you make quick movements on the court.
- Protective gear such as knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves to protect your joints and hands from injuries.
- Comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement such as shorts, sweatpants, and t – shirts.
- A handball ball that meets regulation standards for size, weight, and grip.
- A water bottle to stay hydrated during practices and games.
- Towels or sweatbands to keep sweat off your face and improve your grip on the ball.
- Sports bag to carry your equipment to practices and games.
Remember that as a handball player in Spain, it is important to prioritize safety and comfort when choosing your equipment. With the right gear in hand, you’ll be ready to hit the court and take on any challenge!
Training And Practice Resources Available In Spain
If you’re looking to improve your handball skills in Spain, there are plenty of resources available. One option is to join a local team or club, where you can receive training and practice regularly with other players.
Additionally, there are several online tutorials and videos available that can help you refine your technique and strategy. For example, the Spanish Handball Federation has published guides on everything from basic rules to advanced tactics.
Another great resource is attending live matches or tournaments to observe top-level play firsthand. This will give you a better understanding of how the game works at a high level and provide inspiration for improving your own game.
Conclusion: Why Handball Is Worth Exploring In Spain
In conclusion, handball is undoubtedly one of the most popular team sports in Spain, with a rich history and culture that has evolved over many years. With numerous leagues and tournaments available throughout the year, there are plenty of opportunities to watch talented athletes compete across the country.
For those who love playing sports themselves, joining a local handball team could be an excellent way to stay fit while having fun. And for visitors or expats looking for new experiences in Spain, exploring the world of Spanish handball is definitely worth considering.