Myriam Zimmer jumps as she takes a shotCandice Ward/COC
Candice Ward/COC


Sport Overview

Handball at Paris 2024

Venues: South Paris Arena 6 (preliminary phase), Pierre Mauroy Stadium (finals phase)

Competition Dates: July 25-August 11 (Days -1-16)

Events: 2 (1 men, 1 women)

Trivia: Test your knowledge!

Handball goalkeeper holds her arms up to prepare to stop a ball
Dave Holland/COC

Often referred to as the fastest team ball sport, handball features physical contact and end-to-end action with high jumps, powerful throws, and spectacular agility. The goal? To score the most goals by throwing a small ball past the defending goaltender into a net using only the hands to pass and dribble.

First appearing at the Olympic Games in 1936 as an outdoor game with 11 players per side, it is a seven-a-side indoor version that has been on the Olympic program since Munich 1972.

The men’s and women’s tournaments each feature 12 teams divided into two pools of six for a preliminary round robin. The top four teams in each pool advance to the quarterfinals, from which the winners advance to the semifinals. The semifinal victors face off for gold while the semifinal loses play for bronze.

Canadian handball player dressed in red prepares to throw the ball
Mike Ridewood/COC

Each game is divided into two 30-minute halves. If a game is tied after regulation, an overtime of two five-minute halves is played. If the game is still tied, a second overtime of the same format is played, which is followed if necessary, by a shootout.

Canada’s Olympic Handball History (Pre-Paris 2024)

Canada has competed in handball at just one Olympic Games, Montreal 1976, when it was guaranteed entry as the host nation. Those were the first Olympic Games to include a women’s handball tournament.