29 Weeks of British Olympic and Paralympic sports – Week 16: Handball

The handball 50p was designed by Natasha Ratcliffe.

Natasha Ratcliffe is a self-employed sculptor and part-time chef from Cornwall and is responsible for creating both the handball and wheelchair rugby coins. Natasha has a degree in art which she received from the University of Falmouth and specialises in creating coins and medals. She has had international exhibitions and has some selected pieces on display in the British Museum collection!

We threw a few questions at Natasha and scored these answers!

1) Have you seen your coin ‘in the wild’ yet?

Despite much eager eyed searching I have found around a dozen of the different Olympic designs, but not my own as yet. A good friend from Birmingham found one of wheelchair rugby, and hand delivered it to me in the SouthWest, so it got a good old road trip before I blue tacked it to my wall.

2) Have you heard what the British team think about it?

Hopefully they will come across it and be happy, maybe a silver coin for luck this year!

3) What are you looking forward to in 2012?

A good old cocktail of hard work, sunny days and realised dreams I hope. Looking forward to the adventure.

About Handball

Handball is a sport that has existed in varying forms for hundreds of years. It is now an official Olympic sport and it is described as follows (from Wikipedia)

The handball playing field is similar to an indoor soccer field. Two teams of seven players (six field players plus one goalkeeper) take the field and attempt to score points by putting the game ball into the opposing team’s goal. In handling the ball, players are subject to the following restrictions:

  • After receiving the ball, players can pass, dribble (similar to a basketball dribble), or shoot the ball.
  • After receiving the ball, players can take up to three steps without dribbling. If players dribble, they may take an additional three steps.
  • Players that stop dribbling have three seconds to pass or shoot. They may take three additional steps during this time.
  • No players other than the defending goalkeeper are allowed within the goal line (within 6 meters of the goal). Goalkeepers are allowed outside this line.

You can download the full rules of Handball here (PDF)

Find out more about Handball

British Handball website

British Handball on Twitter

British Handball on Facebook

England Handball Association

Scottish Handball Association

Get the handball 50p

We featured handball as one of the UK’s 29 official London 2012 50p designs!

You can buy the handball 50p from The Royal Mint website on its own or as part of our 9 coin collector’s starter pack!





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