The Magnificent Sport of Handball

What in the world is handball? - "How to play" for beginners

What does handball have to offer?

Handball is a great sport for getting your body fit and healthy through fast-paced exercise. Improving agility, flexibility and the body′s cardiovascular system, handball offers a fine workout. Here′s a quick introduction to its health benefits.


Handball is a fast-flowing game. The aim is to is to throw the ball into the opponent’s goal as many times as possible within two 30-minute periods of play.
The players work together, passing and dribbling the ball up the court in an attempt to score a goal. The fast pace of the game results in many shots being taken, and it is not unusual for more than 20 goals per side to be scored in game.
The sport requires strength, speed and agility and has been compared to being a cross between football and basketball, although the players (other than the goalkeeper) are not permitted to kick the ball.
Handball is often referred to as Olympic handball so as not to be confused with other completely different versions of ‘handball’ which involve the use of hitting a small ball with the hand in a walled court.


Health and fitness benefits of handball


Playing handball has a number of health and fitness benefits, including the following:


o Improves arm muscles and upper body strength.

o Develops agility of hands and feet, with sudden changes of pace and direction required.

o Boosts the body's flexibility.

o Improves mental focus and self-confidence.

o Provides the body with a good cardiovascular workout, feeding more oxygen to the muscles via the bloodstream.



Handbolti er góð leið til þess að koma líkama sínum í frábært form með hröðum, kraftmiklum æfingum. Handbolti býður upp á fína hreyfingu þar sem að liðleiki, fimi og þol aukast. Hér á eftir kemur einföld lýsing á handbolta og því helsta sem að íþróttin hefur upp á að bjóða.

Handbolti felur í sér mikinn hraða. Hver handboltaleikur er tvisvar sinnum 30 mínútur að lengd og snýst um það að koma boltanum eins oft í mark andstæðingsins og unnt er í þessum tveimur hálfleikjum.

Leikmenn reyna í sameiningu að skora með því að drippla boltanum upp völlinn og spila honum síðan á milli sín og reyna að kasta honum í markið eða skjóta honum eins og oftast er talað um. Mikill hraði og flæði leiksins valda því að skotin verða nokkuð mörg og í kjölfar þess skorar hvert lið yfirleitt í kringum 20 mörk eða meira.

Íþróttin krefst mikils styrks, snerpu og fimi og hefur verið lýst sem einhverskonar blöndu á milli fótbolta og körfubolta, þó svo að markmennirnir séu þeir einu sem að mega koma við boltann með fótunum í handbolta.

Til eru fleiri íþróttir sem bera nafnið handbolti og því er talað um Ólympískan handbolta í þessu tilfelli svo að fólk ruglist ekki á t.d. annarri íþrótt sem er kölluð handbolti sem að snýst um að slá litlum bolta í vegg með flötum lófa.


Það helsta sem maður fær út úr handbolta, hreysti-og heilsulega séð:

· Styrkir handleggsvöðva.

· Þróar samvinnu og fimi handa og fóta með snöggum hraða- og stefnubreytingum.

· Eykur liðleika.

· Styrkir andlegu hliðina og eykur sjálfstraust.

· Sér líkamanum fyrir góðri þolþjálfun þar sem að blóðflæði eykst og þar af leiðandi súrefnisupptaka vöðvanna.

A summary from an essay written by Daníel Freyr Andrésson, an Icelandic handball goalkeeper, about handball goalkeepers

Í þessari rannsókn var leitast við að svara fjórum rannsóknarspurningum.

Spurningarnar voru hvort markmannsþjálfun, aukaæfingar, vídeó undirbúningur og sálfræðileg þjálfun hefðu áhrif á markvörslu í handbolta.

Varla neitt er til af eldri rannsóknum um markvörslu í handbolta. Niðurstöðurnar sýndu fram á að markmannsþjálfun hefur áhrif á markvörslu, þau lið sem eru með markmannsþjálfara eru með betri markvörslu en þau lið sem ekki eru með markmannsþjálfara. Eftir því sem markmannsþjálfarinn er oftar með æfingar því betri verður markvarslan. Aukaæfingar virðast líka hafa góð áhrif á markvörslu og því oftar sem er æft aukalega því betri verður hún. Góður vídeó undirbúningur hefur líka góð áhrif á markvörslu. Þeir markverðir sem að stunda sálfræðilega þjálfun eru með betri markvörslu en þeir sem gera það ekki. Annað áhugavert sem kom í ljós er að vídeó undirbúningur bætir markvörslu úr vítum gríðarlega og að þeir markverðir sem leggja áherslu á sprengikraft og snerpu verja mest af vítum.


Markverðir í handbolta hafa verið kallaðir ýmsum nöfnum í gegnum tíðina og fáir skilja það hvers vegna einhver vill standa í litlu marki og láta dúndra bolta í átt að sér á yfir 100 kílómetra hraða. Staða markvarðarins hefur einnig verið sú staða sem við Íslendingar höfum verið gagnrýndir hvað mest fyrir í gegnum tíðina. Nokkrir af bestu handboltamönnum heims koma frá Íslandi, en það eru Ólafur Stefánsson, Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson, Alexander Petterson og Aron Pálmarsson. Þrátt fyrir það hefur ennþá ekki komið neinn markvörður frá Íslandi sem talinn hefur verið með þeim bestu í sinni stöðu.


In this research we’re looking to answer four research questions. The questions were; does goalkeeper training, extra practices, video preparation and psychological preparation/training affect the goalkeeper save percentage. Hardly no older research about goalkeeping in handball exists. The results show us that goalkeeping training affects the save percentage and that teams that have goalkeeping coaches often get a higher save percentage from their goalkeepers. The save percentage also rises with the amount of times the goalkeeping coach trains the goalkeepers each week. Extra trainging is also shown to have a positive affect on the goalkeepers and the more, extra, they do the better the save percentage will become. There are also other thing that affect the save percentage and it has been shown that goalkeepers who prepare themselves by watching videos of the opposition and psychologically preparing themselves play better as a result. The results show that preparation with video clips improves penalty saving quite a lot and also those goalkeepers who focus their training on explosive power and agility have been shown to save more penalties.


Name-calling has often been one of the difficulties goalkeepers in handball have had to overcome and few in fact understand how anyone would want to stand in a little goal and have others throw a ball at them at over 100 kilometers an hour (60 mph). Iceland and the national team have been heavily criticised about the goalkeeper position throughout history. Some of the best handball players in the world have come from Iceland such as Ólafur Stefánsson, Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson, Alexander Petterson and Aron Pálmarsson. Yet there has never emerged a goalkeeper from Iceland that has been thought to be one of the best in the world.

Sebastian Alexandersson - The Living Legend

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For those who are not from Iceland, and/or don't have a clue what handball is, might want to read this paragraph including the many reasons he is worthy to be a subject of interest.

Other than the fact that he is a handball goalkeeper who currently plays for Selfoss just like I happen to do, he is also one of the craziest and in no doubt oldest handball player in Iceland, hell, even one of the older ones in the whole world. He has been my, mentor, you could say, in my quest for greatness and has helped me an unexplainable amount, especially this current season. He is a person that, even if you have only meet him once, could make you wonder; "What the hell is wrong with that man". But meeting him every day and talking to him, getting instructions from him and such, has allowed me to get to know him a little better. His brain is like a vacuum cleaner for information about handball, and he most likely remembers everything about everyone he has played with or against. "Every shot they take, every move they make" would be a fairly describing line for him. When he gets angry or annoyed for some reason, he acts like a monkey, screaming, shouting and even kicking stuff, but in truth he couldn't hurt a fly even if he tried to. He is, I think, the master of mind games and everything he does has some purpose, however small it may be. For example when he gets angry or starts screaming, at himself and others, I believe he's making the opposition think that he has lost it, but in fact the inside of his mind is as calm as a hot 'beach-day' in Spain.

Well, this was supposed to be a short summary of why I chose him for my interview but, boy, do I ramble on...

... Let's cut right to the chase people. Ladies and gentleman, who read this : The Interview...


(To the reader)

...I will not bore you with a plain Q&A (questions and answers) although that is what I have in my hands after interviewing Sebastian. You will only get the interesting summary about him and not the irrelevant stuff for he tends to ramble on a little bit about things that no one, sorry to say, cares about. But the things that I took an interest in ,and hopefully will entertain you a little bit, are included in the text below. I intend it to come out as a mini-biography about Sebastian and we'll just have to see how that goes.



-Sebastian was born back in the old-days, the year 1969 and he is considered to be a fossil in the handball world. Sebastian has played for a number of teams in Iceland and Selfoss, Fram and ÍR are just three of the most recent. There is however no team he has played for as long as Selfoss, even though going to Fram and ÍR the 2009-2010 season and 2010-2011, he has been there for 10 years, or since 2004. Selfoss handball club was considered to be burning out when he arrived and, with hard work and dedication, he picked the club up and put it on a course for better times. For some time he coached the First-team at the club , and even got them promoted to the top division. He has his hands in everything and, although not coaching the mens First-team, he is coaching the women's First-team and they are currently playing in the Icelandic top division. He also coaches boys born 97-98.


When I asked him what he thinks the reason is he is, inspite of his old age, still able to be playing handball , and even being pretty consistent with his goalkeeping he said he was just lucky. Well the answer wasn't that short but I would need three pages to put everything he said to me on paper. The main things I took from it though was that yes he was lucky not getting badly injured on many occasions like some unlucky players. He has treated his body well and taken good care of it, although he is not in the best shape now, it is understandable for a 46 year old man to be a little bit tired after sprinting a while.


The most amazing stories however come from him coaching the girls and one example for that I heard a couple of weeks ago. Both of the First-teams were preparing for a photoshoot together, and he shows up in our regular purple uniform whick every one of our goalkeeper wears. But he wasn't like every on else though. He was wearing extremely short, yellow, shorts with his number on it. He had clearly had them specially made. On top of that he was wearing purple , long, football socks to match the uniform. Then one of the girls said something I will never forget; "I think us girls are having the affect on Basti that he is slowly turning into a girl, without knowing it".


In short I can state: Even though my friends, and I, consider me to be one of the craziest

people around, there is never going to another one as 'special' as Basti...