Skip to main content


  • 150 Accesses


Handball is a popular sport and one of the most popular ball sports in Europe. It is a fast, cutting, dynamic, contact sport and it is also one of the team sports where players are mostly affected by injuries. It can be found in the top five sports in terms of number and gravity of injuries. During the last decades, the game of handball went through several changes (i.e., rules, court surface and size, and shoe design) which made it a much faster and dynamic sport. These changes, along with the rising popularity—resulting in increased number of players and games played annually—resulted in abundance of traumatic and overuse injuries. Handball requires higher and higher physiological and biomechanical skills. Epidemiological data on handball-specific injuries have been recorded either through retro- and prospective cohort studies or from registers from international tournaments or from registries of different national federations. Despite the great evolution of sports medicine in recent years, there is still lack of consensus among sports physicians regarding rehabilitation, exercise physiological screening programs, prevention, and return to play protocols. The purpose of this chapter is to assess the characteristics of the sport, the physiological and biomechanical demands, and prevention possibilities.


  • Handball
  • Epidemiology
  • Sports injuries
  • Risk factors
  • Return to play

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-64532-1_12
  • Chapter length: 8 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-662-64532-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 12.1
Fig. 12.2
Fig. 12.3
Fig. 12.4


  1. Nielsen AB, Yde J. An epidemiologic and traumatologic study of injuries in handball. Int J Sports Med. 1988;9(5):341–4.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 


  3. Laver L, Landreau P, Seil R, Popovic N, editors. Handball sports medicine basic science, injury management and return to sport. Springer Berlin, Heidelberg; 2018.

    Google Scholar 


  5. Wagner H, Sperl B, Bell JW, von Duvillard SP. Testing specific physical performance in male team handball players and the relationship to general tests in team sports. J Strength Cond Res. 2019;33(4):1056–64.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Hornstrup T, Løwenstein FT, Larsen MA, Helge EW, Póvoas S, Helge JW, Nielsen JJ, Fristrup B, Andersen JL, Gliemann L, Nybo L, Krustrup P. Cardiovascular, muscular, and skeletal adaptations to recreational team handball training: a randomized controlled trial with young adult untrained men. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2019;119(2):561–73.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Mónaco M, Rincón JAG, Ronsano BJM, Whiteley R, Sanz-Lopez F, Rodas G. Injury incidence and injury patterns by category, player position, and maturation in elite male handball elite players. Biol Sport. 2019;36(1):67–74. Epub 2018 Oct 15

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Lindblad BE, Høy K, Terkelsen CJ. Handball injuries: an epidemiologic and socioeconomic study. Am J Sports Med. 1992;20(4):441–4.

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Myklebust G, Engebretsen L, Braekken IH, Skjølberg A, Olsen OE, Bahr R. Prevention of noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injuries in elite and adolescent female team handball athletes. Instr Course Lect. 2007;56:407–18.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE, part of Springer Nature

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Tállay, A., Laver, L., Fehske, K., Achenbach, L. (2022). Handball. In: Canata, G.L., Jones, H. (eds) Epidemiology of Injuries in Sports . Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-662-64531-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-662-64532-1

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)