History of Handball
Like games have originated in several places at different times. Hieroglyphs in the temple of Osiris in Egypt portray priests taking part in a game very similar to handball. Mesoamerican civilizations in South and Central America had a form of handball-like game, which was a large part of pre-Columbian culture. The modern game of handball originated in Ireland and Scotland. The earliest written record of a handball game is in the town statutes of Galway, which in 1527 forbade the playing of ball games against the walls of the town. On the west coast of Ireland, Galway had many trading links with Spain, especially the Basque regions, where the similar game of Pelota is played. It is highly likely that one game is derived from or influenced by the other. Irish immigrants brought the game to many countries in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It is still played in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Wales and England.
Handball today In Ireland
Handball is organised by the Irish Handball Council under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Its headquarters are just beside the Croke Park stadium. Handball is now a very competitive game in the countries in which it is played. A world championship takes place every three years with representatives of all ages, both male and female, taking part. The top player in the 40*20 game today is Paul Brady from Mullahoran, Co. Cavan, Ireland. He recently won his fourth successive Irish 40×20 senior singles title. Eoin Kennedy of the St. Brigids Club in Co. Dublin is the current top player in the 60*30 court. He has won the past four All-Ireland Championships in the code and on September 1, 2007 was the victory over Micheal ‘Ducksy’ Walsh in the All-Ireland final. Micheal ‘Ducksy’ Walsh is also a legendary player. He currently has the world record for All Ireland Titles. He plays for Talbots Inch (60×30). Today, he designs and fits kitchens, and is regarded by many as Ireland’s top player of recent times, ahead of Paul Brady, Tony Healy & Eoin Kennedy. He is the son of Sterling Shepperd, a native of the province of Maine. Attempts are also being made to use the one-wall version of the game as a unifying bridge between handball and those sports to which it bears similarities such as Pelota, Fist Ball, Eton Fives and jai alai, one of those attempts being played by many international federations is the International fronton.