The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Mass of a Handball

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
Lowy, Lance. The Handball Handbook: Strategies and Techniques. Massachusetts: American Press, 1991: 6. "The specifications for the standard ball used for four-wall handball are: that is should be made of rubber or synthetic material; that it should be one and seven-eighths inch in diameter with one thirty-second variation; that it should weigh two and three tenths ounces with a variation of two tenths of an ounce; that is should rebound from freefall, seventy inch drop to a hardwood floor is forty-six to fifty inches at a temperature of sixty-eight degrees F. The color of the ball is optional but the ball currently being used is blue. The official ball of the United States Handball Association is the Spaulding Ace." 59โ€“71 g
Fortin, Francois. Sports: The Complete Visual Reference. New York: Firefly Books, 2000: 240. "Weight: 65.21 g
Official ball
Made of rubber."
65.21 g
The New and Official United States Handball Association Rulebook. Arizona: United States Handball Association, 1999: 4. "Weight. 62 grams, with a variation of 2 grams. A lighter may be used for any division provided it is USHA approved and is specified on the entry blank." 60โ€“64 g
Olson, Herbert W., & Roberson, Richard. Beginning Handball. California: Wadsworth Publishing, 1962: 8. "The ball is an official black rubber seamless sphere 1⅞ inches in diameter and weighing 2.3 ounces. In an official tournament the officials select the ball for play." 65.20 g
Nicholson, John. 4-Wall Handball Rules. "Weight. 2.3 ounces, with a variation of 0.2 ounces. A lighter ball may be used for any division provided it is specified on the entry blank." 59โ€“71 g

Which game requires agility, coordination, determination, endurance, strength, speed, and accuracy, but can be played with the least amount of equipment? The correct answer would be court handball.

This game, possibly originating from Egypt at around 2000 BC requires only a wall, a handball, and either two or four players. This is the reason why court handball has become popular across the world in countries such as Ireland, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and the United States. The actual beginning of court handball started in Ireland in the 1840s, where court handball was called "fives" since the game is played with five fingers. At that point in time, handballs were made with a cork center and covered with horsehide.

At present, handballs are made from rubber or synthetic material with a hollow center to enhance the game, where the handball would bounce higher and faster. Other variations of the game include one wall, three-wall, or four-wall handball, where the rules are similar but the playing grounds are different. To play court handball, only the hand may be used to return the handball and the handball must be returned before the second bounce occurs. The game starts with either two (singles) or four (doubles) players. The game begins with a serve, which over the course of time has become the most important aspect of the game. Many handball players have developed "hooks", "cuts", and "hops" with the initial serving of the handball. The purpose of the game is to return the handball, weighing approximately 62 grams, so that the opponent can not successfully return the handball. Other fascinating shots in handball are kills (a hit, where the opponent can not make a legal return) and the prestigious "roller" (a hit which hits the intersection of the bottom of the wall with the ground, which makes the handball roll on the ground instead of bouncing back). Only the player(s) serving may earn points, where a typical handball game is played until twenty-one points is obtained from either side.

With the increasing popularity of court handball, tournaments are held and organizations are established. Since the 1950s, the United States Handball Association has been established in an attempt to encourage participation in this full-body conditioning game. Tournaments are held throughout the year at locations such as Central Park as well as Coney Island. Competition in the handball world has become more fierce as time has passed with the youth continuing the tradition of quality performances on the court. So, for those who believe that handball is simply a hobby, all you have to do is step on the court and an interesting lesson will be taught!

Samuel Lai -- 2001