Olympics Exposure Results in More Americans Discovering Handball

by USA Team Handball

(Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg in a penalty shot competition, Barstool Sport's Billy Football playing Handball, a handball dedicated podcast on the Ringer and a passionate call from NBC studio host Mike Tirico for America to get better at handball. Just some of the attention the sport has garnered in the past two weeks.)

Historically, the Olympic Games have been the #1 catalyst for Americans discovering handball and the recently completed 2020 Olympic Games appear to be no exception in that department.  Thanks to every single handball match being available for viewing on the NBC Olympics website, as well as around 30 broadcasts on the NBC family of networks thousands of Americans discovered their new favorite sport: Team Handball.  Here's a summary of the major media (TV, newspapers, and social) mentions and discussions centered around handball the past two weeks.

TV Segments

  • Olympic Highlights with Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg (Peacock Network) Snoop and Kevin go head-to-head in handball: Video Link
    • USA Team Handball Board Member and National Team Beach Handball athlete, Ebiye Udo-Udomo teaches Kevin and Snoop the finer points of handball
  • Olympics Desk (NBC): Host Mike Tirico hypes up team handball: Video Link 
    • Tirico also gave handball a nice shout out during the Opening Ceremonies
  • Amber Ruffin Show (Peacock) What Is Handball Exactly and Why Does Amber Love It So Much? Video Link
    • 1996 Olympian and NBC commentator, Dawn Allinger Lewis explains the finer points of handball
  • Rich Eisen Shuttlecock Minute (Peacock Network): Video Link
  • Tokyo Tonight (Peacock) NFL QB, Aaron Rodgers identifies handball as a sport he'd like to play:  Video Link 

Notable Social Media Posts

  • College Football QB and Barstool Sports personality "Billy Football" went from just talking about playing handball to actually playing handball for the first time at the annual Swim & Sports Club Outdoor Tournament in Flanders, NJ.
  • Comedian, Leslie Jones, discovered handball and posted a video of her watching the sport: Link
  • Good Morning Football host, Kyle Brandt, discovers handball:  Link
  • Former Vanderbilt football kicker and current North Texas Soccer GK, Sarah Fuller discovered handball and is now contemplating taking up the sport: Link 
  • Weightlifter Will Fleming's kids were so enthralled with handball he posted a video of them playing the sport in their backyard:  Link 

Podcasts/Radio Shows

  • The Ringer Guide to the Summer Games:  Handball Rules. Why Isn’t Team USA Good at It?:  Link 
    • Host, Rodger Sherman interviews USA Team Handball CEO, Ryan Johnson, and discusses the challenges the sport faces in the U.S. 
  • The Pat McAfee Show (Sirius XM):  Video Link
    • Could a team of NFL players dominate Olympic Handball?
  • Tailgate Talks Podcast
    • Minnesota Team Handball Club President, Josh Hetterick, explains handball:  Video Link  Full Audio

Newspaper Articles

  • Gary Washburn. "Why can’t the US become more competitive in Olympic team handball?" Boston Globe: Link
    • Includes quotes from CEO Ryan Johnson and Men's National Team athlete, Ty Reed
  • Jorge Castillo. "Why no U.S. Olympic handball teams? Sport hopes L.A. 2028 will spur resurgence." LA Times: Link
    • Includes quotes from CEO Ryan Johnson, 72/76 Olympian Dennis Berkholtz and Men's National Team athlete, Ty Reed
  • Jeff Jacobs. "My Olympic sports dream? High school handball in Connecticut." Connecticut Post:  Link   
  • Shane Brown. "Team handball is the greatest Olympic sport." Quad City Times: Link   

Local News Reports

  • "Handball Club in Flint looking to build roster for competitive play" NBC 25 NewsArticle and Video Link 


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