Evolving in the late 1800s in Denmark, Germany and Sweden, handball grew in popularity in the 20th Century. The first set of rules were drawn up in 1917 and the International Amateur Handball Federation (IAHF) was founded in 1928 on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Amsterdam. It reached the Pan American Games in 1987.
Handball is played on a court that is 40 m x 20 m. Each goal has a 6-metre crease and beyond that a line nine metres away from the goal. Only the defending goalkeeper is allowed to step inside the 6m perimetre, though any player may attempt to catch and touch the ball in the air within it. During a play, defenders stand right outside the 6-m line, with the attacking players throwing the ball to each other just outside the 9-metre line, trying to create an attack. After a goal is scored, the team conceding the goal restarts the game. Its players move to the centre line. All players of the team which are restarting the play must be behind the line on their own half.
The handball itself is smaller than a football so you can easily hold it in one hand. Like basketball, a handball is transported by bouncing it between hands and floor. A player may only hold the ball for three seconds and may only take three steps with the ball in hand. After that, there must be a dribble to keep moving. A double dribble occurs if the player holds it in both hands after dribbling, then makes another dribble.
A standard match comprises two 30-minute periods. There is overtime and a shootout to break ties.