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Not many other team sports can look on a tradition reaching back as far as team handball. Handball-like games were already played in medieval France and among the Inuit in Greenland in the Middle Ages.

The game of handball as we know it today was developed in the 19th century in northern Europe – primarily Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

The Danish gym teacher Holger Nielsen from the Ordrup grammar school near Copenhagen published the first set of written rules in 1906. A more modern set of rules was published by Max Heiser, Karl Schelenz and Erich Konigh in Germany on October 29, 1917.

Initially, handball was an outdoor sport played on a field but in the decades following WWII the sport evolved and moved indoors. The 1972 Summer Olympics saw the sport re-emerge onto the world stage and in 1976 women’s team handball was added to the Olympic Games in Montreal. Due to the popularity in Eastern Europe countries like the former Sovietunion and Jugoslavia became the dominant forces in the sport during the 70’s and 80’s.

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