American handball

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American (or court) handball, usually referred to simply as handball, is an American form of fives played against one or more walls.

History[change | edit source]

It is a common belief that American handball was brought to the United States in the 1880s by Irish immigrants. The Gaelic handball sport was played since the 15th century in Ireland and Scotland.

Play[change | edit source]

American handball is played on a court 12.2 meters long by 6.1 meters wide (40 feet long by 20 feet wide) with either a single (front) wall, three walls, or in a fully enclosed four-wall court (the most common). The four-wall court is a rectangular box. The front wall is 6.1 meters (20 feet) square, and the side walls are 12.2 meters (40 feet) long and 6.1 meters (20 feet) high. In the middle of the floor of the court lies the short line, that divides the floor into two 6.1 meter (20 feet) squares. Also along the floor is the service line, which is 1.5 meters (5 feet) in front of the short line. The service zone is the area between these two lines. The back wall of the court is usually 3.7 meters (12 feet) high, with an above gallery for the referee and scorer, and also spectators. A few courts have a glass back wall and/or glass side walls to allow for a better view of the match. (In three-wall court handball, the court often has a front wall and two full side walls, or the front wall is flanked by two triangular wings.)

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References[change | edit source]

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