The sport of handball traces its origins back to early 20th century Germany. It’s still regarded as a sport where the nucleus centres around mainland Europe but it does have a following around the world. It’s fast paced and full of action and, while growth outside of those core countries has traditionally been slow, it has a loyal fan base across the globe. Here at Unibet, our handball markets are among the busiest on our sportsbook. Interest intensifies around some major global tournaments but there are bets available throughout the calendar year. To get involved and to see how Unibet TV can provide live coverage of the top games, please read on.
Handball World Championships
All top level sports should have a World Championships and handball is no exception to that rule. The first global tournament was held in Germany in 1938 with the hosts taking the title in a four-team format.
Since those early days, competition has grown and the World Men’s Handball Championship now takes place every two years. At the 2019 tournament which was co hosted by Denmark and Germany, 24 nations took part as the Danes came through to claim their first title.
Over the course of history, France are the most successful team with six trophies between 1938 and 2019 while other countries to have claimed success include Sweden, Russia, Spain and Romania.
The International Handball Federation (IHF) also runs a World Championship in the women’s section. This tournament was first held in 1957 and it is also scheduled to take place every two years in the modern day. Russia are the most successful team with four titles while there have been wins for Denmark, Romania, Hungary, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
The list of previous winners in both world championships underlines the dominance by European countries although Brazil and South Korea’s women’s teams have also enjoyed some success. Moving forward, you can see if that pattern develops by watching top class international handball on Unibet TV and you can consider a host of betting markets for both tournaments.
Handball at the Olympics
Has that trend of European dominance continued into the summer Olympics? Handball first appeared as the field version on the Olympic schedules in 1936 but it quickly went away and didn’t return until Munich in 1972. It’s been a permanent fixture on the roster ever since, meaning that the sport has appeared in 13 games, up to and including Rio in 2016.
In the men’s section, no single team has dominated, as France and Croatia, plus the former Yugoslavia and former Soviet Union have claimed two golds each. Other successful nations include Germany, Russia and Denmark.
In the women’s equivalent, the Danes have three golds followed by South Korea, Norway and the Soviet Union on two each. With the obvious exception of the former states, all of these countries will need close examination in future games. In the meantime, outright betting from Unibet will highlight the current favourites.
Don’t forget that Unibet TV will also be on hand with live streaming of all the major events during the Olympic Games. Along with those outright bets, there will be moneyline match betting and a host of available props.
Major Leagues and Tournaments
Away from those international events, handball is played at top class domestic levels all over the world. Once again, the focus tends to be on mainland Europe with the professional competitions coming under the auspices of the European Handball Federation (EHF). Leagues take place all over the continent and the best performing clubs get to take part in the Champions League.
This event dates back to 1956 and, with its current format having been in place since 1993, the best 16 European sides compete each year for the title.
The sport has reached into most parts of the world and there is an active scene here in Australia. The national handball federation started Handball League Australia (HLA) in 2016 with just four teams taking part. Clearly there is room for growth Down Under but the sport does have a following and that interest extends to the sportsbooks.
You may not see too much in the way of Australian handball coverage just yet but those markets are in place for all major leagues while Unibet TV is here to live stream the top games.
Betting on and Watching Live Handball
Depending on the magnitude of the tournament in question, outright handball betting markets can be published several months in advance. For those that want to stake on the world championships, for example, this can be done in good time, ahead of the event.
Match betting options will start to develop as the draws are made and opponents are known. There are close to 100 games on show at the World Championships and, with all the other leagues and cups thrown in, that’s a lot of handball to get through.
Prop bets are also in place regarding correct score, total goals and more, while it’s a sport that is picked up comprehensively over in the live section. Match result and the majority of prop bets can also be picked up in play.
To enhance your enjoyment, don’t forget that Unibet TV is here to live stream the best handball action throughout the year. The feed can be picked up by desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone to give you flexibility and the best possible viewing experience.