The referees keep their eyes on the handball players’ feet. They look for violations of the rules. For example, the ball must not touch below the player’s knee and certainly, kicking is not permitted. Players are restricted to three steps while holding the ball. If they exceed that limit, the referees card them. Handball players organize their movements to receive the ball on the left foot in front move. Then on their final of three steps, they have optimal take-off energy to pass or take a shot on goal. It is a “left, right, left” or “fake, drive, jump” pattern.
Watchful offside betters focus on the goalkeepers. This is a high-scoring game, for example: 28 to 23, 38 to 33, and 35 to 32. With all the fast-moving offensive action, goalkeepers are on their toes for the entire game. They are busy but not bustling. Their moves are slow compared to their team mates. But when the ball arrives it is a good bet that they spring into action.
Balance and instant reactions are important. Goalkeepers start and return to ready position with feet shoulder-width apart, weight on the balls of the feet and knees slightly bent. They move side to side in small even steps following the ball, reducing angles when an attacker advances. Feet spring with hands up and out to save high shots on goal, feet slide and go wide for low saves. Two informally-named footwork styles in response to low shots:
- The Yugoslavian style:
The goalkeeper takes a deep side step with his whole leg and same side hand movement. Body weight transfers to that leg and its foot is ‘open’; the inside of the foot is ready to stop the ball.
- The Scandinavian style
Sliding on the heel of the leg closest to the approaching shot on goal, the goalkeeper extends one or both hands towards the foot of that leg.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)
TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM