Handball was first played in Scotland in 1427, and then it was played in Ireland in 1527. In those times, it wasn’t yet called “Handball;” it was only recorded that there was a game played where one would strike a ball with his/her hand. The first game of actual Handball was in 1785, and it is still played in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Wales, Africa and England. So even if you aren’t taking a vacation to Ireland, you might still be able to catch a Gaelic Handball game from one of the many places where the game is played.
The only equipment needed for Handball is the ball.
The object of the game is to hit the ball against the front wall of the court without it touching the ground, and then the opponent must return the ball after one bounce on the ground. Handball can be played with two or four players, and it is played until one person/team gets to a set number of points before the other person/team. Similar to tennis, points can only be scored by the person that is serving the ball. Most Handball games take place in a four-walled court, but there are also three-walled and one-walled versions of the game.
Handball is still played in Ireland, and they hold many tournaments throughout the year. If you’re traveling to Ireland and want to experience Gaelic Handball first hand, make sure you check out the GAA Handball tournament schedule. It’s also easy to play a pickup game of Gaelic Handball since all you need to do is find a wall and a ball, so try it out so you can see how fun this Gaelic game is.