handball vs volleyball

Handball vs Volleyball: A Comprehensive Comparison

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Are you torn between choosing handball or volleyball as your preferred sport? Both handball and volleyball are popular team sports that require skill, coordination, and teamwork.

In this article, we will explore the key differences and similarities between handball and volleyball, helping you make an informed decision. Whether you’re a player or a spectator, understanding the nuances of these sports can enhance your enjoyment and appreciation. So, let’s dive into the exciting world of handball and volleyball!

Rules and Gameplay


Handball is an exhilarating sport that combines elements of basketball, soccer, and water polo. The goal of a handball that is played with two teams of seven players each and the players is to score goals by chucking the ball into the goal of the opposition. The winning side is the one with the most goals scorer during the allocated period.

The game starts with a throw-off, where one player from each team tries to gain possession of the ball. The players can pass, dribble, or shoot the ball, but must not step inside the goal area.

To gain an advantage, players often employ tactics such as quick passes, feints, and jumps to evade defenders. Handball matches are fast-paced and action-packed, requiring agility, strength, and strategic thinking.


On the other hand, A dynamic sport involving two teams of six players each is volleyball. Getting the ball to touch down on an opponent’s court is the major way to score points in volleyball. The team that scores the required number of points (usually 25) and maintains a two-point lead wins the set.

Volleyball matches start with a serve, where a player tosses the ball in the air and strikes it over the net to the opposing team. The receiving team then tries to pass the ball to a setter, who sets up an attacker for a spike. Players must use a combination of skill, coordination, and teamwork to pass, set, and spike the ball effectively. Volleyball matches can be intense, with rallies characterized by powerful spikes, precise sets, and athletic dives.

Equipment and Court


On a rectangular court that is 40 meters long and 20 meters wide, handball is often played indoors. A goal is located at each end of the court, which is separated into two half. The goals are 3 meters wide and 2 meters high, and they are guarded by goalkeepers.

The players use a handball, which is a spherical ball made of leather or synthetic material. The size and weight of the ball may vary depending on the age group and gender of the players.


The rectangular court used for volleyball measures 18 meters long by 9 meters broad. and can be used inside or outdoors. The court is split in half equally by a net that is set up at 2.43 meters for men and 2.24 meters for women.

The players use a volleyball, which is a spherical ball made of leather or synthetic material. The size and weight of the ball are standardized for both men’s and women’s volleyball.

Skills Required


Handball demands a unique set of skills from its players. Here are some essential skills required in handball:

  1. Throwing: Accurate and powerful throws are crucial for scoring goals in handball. Players must be able to throw the ball with precision and velocity, often while evading defenders.
  2. Dribbling: Dribbling in handball involves bouncing the ball on the ground while running. It requires good hand-eye coordination and ball control.
  3. Defending: Effective defending in handball involves obstructing the opponent’s progress, intercepting passes, and blocking shots. It requires agility, anticipation, and good positional play.
  4. Jumping: Jumping ability is important in handball, especially for shooting or blocking goals. Players with good jumping skills can gain an advantage over their opponents.


Volleyball requires a different skill set compared to handball. Here are some essential skills required in volleyball:

  1. Serving: Serving is the action of launching the ball over the net to initiate play. Different types of serves, such as float serves and jump serves, can be used to unsettle the opponents.
  1. Passing: Receiving an opponent’s serve or attack is known as passing, sometimes known as bumping. To control the ball and precisely pass it to their colleagues, players must use their forearms.
  2. Setting: The setting involves carefully placing the ball so that an attacker may spike it. Setters must have good hand-eye coordination and be able to quickly assess the game situation.
  3. Spiking: Spiking, which is often referred to as attacking or hitting, is the practice of slamming the ball onto the court of the opposition. It requires explosive power, timing, and precision.

handball vs volleyball

Fitness and Physical Demands


Physically demanding activity like handball necessitates a high level of athleticism and fitness. The intense nature of the game involves frequent sprints, quick changes of direction, and explosive movements. Players must have good endurance to sustain the high tempo throughout the match. Additionally, strength and agility are vital for executing powerful throws, jumps, and defensive maneuvers.


Volleyball also demands a high level of fitness and physicality. The game requires players to constantly move around the court, react quickly to the opponent’s actions, and perform explosive movements such as jumping and diving. Players must have good cardiovascular endurance to withstand long rallies and maintain their performance level. Core strength and stability are crucial for executing accurate passes, sets, and spikes.

Popular Leagues and Tournaments


Handball has several prestigious leagues and tournaments around the world. Some notable competitions include:

  1. European Handball Federation (EHF) Champions League: The best club handball league in Europe is called the EHF Champions League. It features the best teams from various European leagues battling for the title.
  2. Olympic Games: An Olympic sport is handball, and the Olympic Games provide a platform for national teams to showcase their skills and compete for gold.
  3. World Handball Championship: Every two years, the World Handball Championship is played, drawing teams from all around the globe. The International Handball Federation (IHF) is in charge of organizing it.


Volleyball also boasts several prestigious leagues and tournaments. Some of the prominent competitions include:

  1. FIVB Volleyball World Championships: The FIVB Volleyball World Championships bring together national teams from around the world to compete for the title. The tournament is held every four years.
  2. FIVB Volleyball Nations League: The Volleyball Nations League is an annual competition featuring the top national teams in men’s and women’s volleyball. It serves as a preparatory event for major tournaments.
  3. Olympic Games: Volleyball has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1964. The tournament showcases the best national teams vying for Olympic gold.

Handball vs Volleyball: FAQs

Which sport has a larger playing surface: handball or volleyball?

Handball and volleyball have different court dimensions. A court measuring 18 meters by 9 meters is used for volleyball, while handball is played on a larger surface that is 40 meters by 20 meters.

Are there any major differences in scoring between handball and volleyball?

Yes, there are differences in scoring between handball and volleyball. In handball, by throwing the ball into their opponent’s goal, teams try to score goals. Each goal counts as one point. In volleyball, points are scored by teams grounding the ball on the court’s other side. Each successful ground counts as one point.

Can handball and volleyball be played at a recreational level?

Certainly! Both handball and volleyball can be enjoyed at a recreational level. Many communities and sports clubs offer recreational leagues and programs for individuals of all ages and skill levels.

Is handball or volleyball more popular globally?

Volleyball has a larger global following compared to handball. Volleyball’s popularity can be attributed to its inclusion in the Olympic Games, widespread participation, and extensive coverage in media and sports networks.

Are there any similarities between handball and volleyball?

Yes, handball and volleyball share some similarities. Both are team sports that require coordination, teamwork, and specific skills such as passing, setting, and attacking. Additionally, both sports have variations that can be played on the beach, known as beach handball and beach volleyball.

Which sport offers more opportunities for international competition?

Both handball and volleyball offer ample opportunities for international competition. National teams participate in regional and global tournaments, showcasing their skills and representing their countries on the international stage.


In the battle of handball vs volleyball, it’s clear that both sports have their unique characteristics and appeal. Handball offers fast-paced action, powerful throws, and strategic gameplay, while volleyball showcases athletic jumps, precise sets, and thrilling spikes.

Ultimately, the choice between handball and volleyball comes down to personal preference, skillset, and the type of gameplay you enjoy. Whether you choose handball or volleyball, both sports provide exciting experiences and opportunities for camaraderie. So, gather your teammates, hit the court, and have a blast playing the sport that captivates you!

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