Monday, February 05, 2007


Another sporting event that was big news in Central Europe (and was here in France too) was the World Handball Championships, though most cursory observers would notice that the competitors in this tournament are generally the same as of the European Handball Championships (just like in Dodgeball, the World Federation is probably the World Handball Association of the World). For a long time I was confused as to why the sport has an English name but nobody in the English-speaking world plays it; and then I realised that handball is the German for handball. Go figure. In any case it is one of the world's most ridiculous games, a sport of dulling repetition and predictability and which does not even have the bonus interest of being low scoring. I know people that have played international handball for France (ladies) and Iceland (mens) but even they have failed to convince of me of the game's worth. It just looks too fast, too easy and too boring. Even Yankball, which saw its centrepiece won by the Indianapolis Colts last night, is at least comprehensible, if boring in the extreme. For handball stick with the Duxie Walsh version; Miles na gCopaleen used to scorn less brilliant Gaeilgeoirí as 'amadains with their bicycle clips and their handball medals'. Maybe they weren't so mediocre after all if they actually won medals at handball. Liathróid laimhe of course.