Czech handball

Czech handball (Czech: česká házená, also known as národní házenánational handball) is an outdoor ball game which was created in 1905 in Prague and is still played today. This sport is very similar to team handball.

Narodni hazena
Czech handball - the field


Czech handball is first mentioned by Václav Karas, a teacher a Prague, in a sports journal in Brno in 1905. The rules were soon further developed by other teachers, notably Klenka and Kristof. Thanks to Kristof, the first Czech handball association was established (in Prague) and the rules were made public in 1908.

Students from Russia and Yugoslavia, who had become acquainted with Czech handball in Prague, brought this sport back to their own countries. In Yugoslavia, the sport expanded fast and became very popular. Czech teachers taught Czech handball in Russian middle schools and there was a competition with 14 teams in Charkov in 1915, but efforts to expand the sport ended after the October Revolution.

In 1921, the Czechoslovakian Association of Handball and Women's Sports became a member of the International Women's Sports Federation. In this federation, the rules of Czech handball were made official (in those times, there was also one similar sport, Field handball in Germany. Some international federations preferred Czech handball, others preferred Field handball). The first international matches were played.

The first women's Czech handball world cup was organised in 1930. Czechoslovakians won this competition, Yugoslavia came in second, and Poland was third.

The second World Cup was held in London in 1934, but only two teams participated: Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Yugoslavians won the match 6-4 and became the champions. This was the first time that Czech handball was played in England. After this event, the IWSF was abolished.

In 1935, there was a training camp for English teachers in Scarborough. 50 female and 20 male players ptractised the “game of hazena”, the first ever English players. Further training was planned in London. The netball and other ball sports' association organised the printing and publishing of the rules of Czech handball. The Civil Service Club in London was the first Czech handball club in Britain.

Czech handball became very popular during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II. The sport was originally Czech, so most people understood its play as a show of patriotism. In early 1940s, there were 25,884 players in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

In 1947, the International Handball Federation promoted the expansion of the related sport of team handball, but no further foreign countries would adopt Czech handball.

In 1954, there were 26,125 registered players in 447 clubs, the largest number of registered player to date.

Since 1941, a men's and women's 1st league have been competing. There is also the men's 2nd league and regional championships.


The rules are quite similar to those of team handball, but there are also some major differences:

  • size of the field: 45 × 30 meters
  • size of the goal: height 240 cm, width 200 cm
  • size of the ball: 580 to 605 mm
  • the field is divided into three areas: defence third, middle third, offense third
  • player positions are called: goalkeeper (1), defender (1), halfback (2), forward (3)
  • the player cannot hold the ball longer than three seconds, he or she can throw the ball upon the head or bounce ball back off ground – maximum of two times, no limit in steps
  • shooting on the goal is made in front of the goal area – leaning out or jumping is possible, but the fall has to be outside the goal area
  • goalkeeper and defender can step into their own goal area; forwards can step in the opponent's goal area, but they cannot shoot from there
  • defender and halfbacks cannot step in the offense third, forwards cannot step in the defense third, and there are some more rules for crossing between the thirds
  • players may be sent off for five or ten minutes

External links

Alois Mráz

Alois Mráz (born 8 September 1978) is a former Czech handball player for TV Hüttenberg and the Czech national team. From 2008 he is a handball coach as well.

Czech Handball Extraliga

The Czech Extraliga is the name of the professional handball league of Czech Republic.

DHC Slavia Prague

DHC Slavia Prague the Czech women's handball section of Czech omnisport club SK Slavia Prague. It was established in 1919.

The team won four Czechoslovak championships between 1926 and 1935. In 1960 Slavia, which had its name changed to Dynamo Prague between 1949 and 1965, won its fifth title and became the first team to represent Czechoslovakia in the newly founded European Cup where it reached the final, losing to Stiinta Bucharest. Three decades later the team won two of the last three editions of the Czechoslovak championship.

Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia Slavia has competed in the Czech First Division and, from 2002, in the WHIL, a supranational league comprised by the leading Czech and Slovak clubs. The team won seven Czech championships between 1994 and 2010, and it has also won the WHIL in 2010 and 2011. Its major international success in the modern era was reaching the semifinals of the EHF Cup in 2001.

DHC Sokol Poruba

DHC Sokol Poruba is a Czech women's handball club from Ostrava's Poruba district originally established as BK Ostrava (a.k.a. Cosmetic Ostrava for sponsorship reasons) in 1997. BK Ostrava won the national championship in its two first seasons, taking part in the Champions League. In 2010 it was disbanded and refounded, taking its current name.

In 2012 the team won its third league. The 2012–13 EHF Cup will mark its debut in EHF competitions under its current form.

DHK Baník Most

DHK Baník Most is a women's handball club from Most, Czech Republic. They currently compete in the 2017–18 EHF Cup.

Daniel Kubeš

Daniel Kubeš (born 7 February 1978) is a Czech handball coach for the Czech national team.

European Handball Federation

The European Handball Federation (EHF) is the umbrella organisation for European handball. Founded on 17 November 1991, it is made of 50 member federations and two associated federations (England and Scotland), and is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The current EHF President is Michael Wiederer, who was elected on 17 November 2016 and will serve until 2020. The federation celebrated its 20th anniversary on 17 November 2011 at a gala event under the slogan 'HeartBeat Handball'.

HCB Karviná

Handball Club Baník Karviná or HCB Karviná is a Czech handball club based in Karviná, Czech Republic. Baník Karviná is one of the most successful handball clubs in the country, having won Czechoslovak national championships twice, and Czech Handball Extraliga ten times.

The club competed in EHF Champions League and EHF Cup on several occasions.

HC Dukla Prague

HC Dukla Prague (Czech: HC Dukla Praha) is a Czech handball club. Dukla won three EHF Champions League titles as well as reaching two further finals. The club also won 30 national championships.

Originally it was a part of a Czechoslovak army sports club supporting several different sports teams, including football, which was founded in 1948 as ATK Praha and later renamed Dukla Prague. The handball team of Dukla Praha was the most successful Czechoslovak handball team. They won the Czechoslovak handball league 28 times and after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia the Czech handball league twice. In 1956, 1963 and 1984 they won the European Champions' Cup (now EHF Champions League) and in 1967 and 1968 they finished in the finals. In 1982 they reached the final of the EHF Cup Winners' Cup. In 1963 they were awarded the team trophy of the Czechoslovak Sportsperson of the Year.

As of 2006, the club was playing outside of Prague in Louny.

Iveta Luzumová

Iveta Luzumová (born 3 April 1989) is a Czech handball player for Thüringer HC and the Czech national team.She participated at the 2018 European Women's Handball Championship.

Jakub Hrstka

Jakub Hrstka (born 17 March 1990) is a Czech handball player for HT Tatran Prešov and the Czech national team.

Jan Bašný

Jan Bašný (born 29 January 1963) is a Czech handball coach for the Czech women's national team.

Jan Filip (handballer)

Jan Filip (born 14 June 1973) is a Czech handball coach for the Czech national team.

Jan Sobol

Jan Sobol (born 22 May 1984) is a Czech handball player, currently playing for the Czech national handball team.

He also played for HC Baník Karviná, Montpellier HB, HT Tatran Prešov and RK Vardar.

Jan Stehlík (handballer)

Jan Stehlík (born 18 April 1985) is a Czech handball player for Plzeň Handball and the Czech national team.

Lucie Satrapová

Lucie Satrapová (born 3 July 1989) is a Czech handball player for Paris 92 and the Czech national team.She participated at the 2018 European Women's Handball Championship.

Michaela Hrbková

Michaela Hrbková (born 14 July 1987) is a Czech handball player for Frisch Auf Göppingen and the Czech national team.

Petr Štochl

Petr Štochl (born 24 April 1976) is a Czech handball player for Füchse Berlin and the Czech national team.

Petra Růčková

Petra Růčková (born 8 February 1989) is a Czech handball player for Baník Most and the Czech national team.

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