Making progress in the science of handball


The latest edition of the Journal of Human Kinetics is dedicated to handball research, making it the first distinguished, peer reviewed scientific magazine to assign a special edition to the sport.

HandknattleikurFrom a match earlier this year bewteen Iceland and Portugal. Photo: HSÍ.

Dr. Jose M. Saavedra, professor at RU´s Sport Science Department and head of PAPESH research centre is the guest editor. He has researched numerous aspects of handball and handball training for years.

Handball is played by around 19 million people today and has been an Olympic sport since 1972 for men and since 1976 for women. In spite of this, not many scientific articles have been published on the sport as Saavedra points out in his introduction. He also states that some scientific progress has however been made in the last few years and this edition of the Journal of Human Kinetics clearly is a clear sign of that.

Jose situr á þrekhjóli og brosir framan í myndavélinaDr. Jose Saavedra.

The handball edition of the journal contains 15 peer reviewed articles by scholars from 11 countries. The subject is varied: One looks at the impact of judging in a game, another one at the potential advantage of playing at home - the results showing, quite surprisingly, that the advantage mainly occurs in situations in which the teams reach the end of the game tied. A few articles relate findings in various aspects of handball training.

Dr. Jose M. Saavedra competed his PhD in Sport Science at Spain´s University of Coruña and has taught sport sience at a university level for more than 19 years in Spain and Iceland, as well as being a guest lecturer in Croatia, Portugal, and the UK. He has published over 80 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals. At Reykjavik University, Dr. Saavedra supervises graduate courses and oversees measurement data projects of graduate students in football, handball and basketball. He has supervised six PhD research projects and over 15 graduate dissertation projects.