Thursday, August 2, 2012

Stumbling onto something new....

I was visiting my dad on Monday,as I often do anymore and he was watching the Olympics.
I was quite an avid follower of the Olympics as a child,having a few memories of the 72 games in Munich,but able to remember many of the stars of the Montreal Olympics in 1976 like it was yesterday.
Anymore,the summer games does not have the same resonance for me as they once did,but dad was watching some things,so I watched with him.

After watching some women's basketball (not too exciting) and weightlifting (I always have enjoyed watching weightlifting),a game popped onto the screen that dad and I wondered just what we were watching.
We would not find out just what it was until the conclusion of the game was almost near,but I found myself enthralled by the game and had to watch more the next day.
What I discovered by the end of the next game was surprising to me,considering my usual biases...

First though,lets talk the game which is team handball.
When I hear handball,I think of the close relative racquetball,which I always think of as an indoor game of 2 to 4 players on a small court inside gyms and clubs.
The game that we saw had no resemblance to that game and instead was a hybrid between the best of basketball and hockey that was physical,but not in an over the top manner.
Each side has six players and a goalie and the rules can be found in the link above,but as dad and I watched we were trying to learn the rules on the fly.
One rule which was pretty easy to learn was the arc (which looked like a three point line in basketball) in which the players could not penetrate and had to throw the ball past the goalie from beyond the arc.
Basically the goalie does not have to worry about being interfered with by a screen from the opposing team.
Another was the player with the ball needed to be mobile after three seconds and can only take three steps.
There was far more than to the game,but I figured those few details out as the game went.
Many of the things that I had wondered about were rules that I would figure out later online,but I really enjoyed the womens game between Denmark and Korea,that would see Korea eek out a win despite the best efforts of Pernille Larsen (shown above against Spain),who seemed to score every time that Denmark had possessions late in the game.
My only wonder was why Denmark did not get the ball to Larsen even more than they did.

I looked forward to a mens game the next day to watch and surprisingly,I did not enjoy it as much.
The men almost seemed out of control,like a car wanting to drive faster than the driver wants it to.
The womens game for me was far more enjoyable and they might have made a fan out of me ,if I can see more games,which would be most likely online from the top level European teams.

Sometimes,giving something new a chance can turn out to be quite enlightening and I will attempting to see more of women's handball as the tournament progresses....

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