When a sport attains any kind of popularity, it only makes sense that organised leagues and associations will come together to help the game grow.
There are plenty of cricket and footy leagues out there, and old favourites like tennis, golf and volleyball have organised leagues all over the country.
Foreign sports like gridiron, baseball and basketball are well accounted for, and even obscure things like frisbee and curling have national governing bodies.
Yet for decades one of our most beloved sports continues to go ignored in this regard.
We’re talking, of course, about handball.
Handball has a true-blue claim to being Australia’s national sport, with thousands of games taking place across the country on a daily basis.
But why is it that the more serious handball enthusiasts among us cannot get a serious game no matter where we look?
If you try to search for handball leagues or organisations, you’ll be met only with some weird European game that looks like someone forgot to tell a bunch of soccer players that you’re supposed to use your feet.
That’s not real handball, and these people should be ashamed of themselves for stealing the name.
Handball Australia is out there doing great work with the kids, but what about us battle-hardened adults who want to see just how good we are?
Aussie handball should, by all rights, be an Olympic sport by now.
It’s a thrilling contest that combines skill, athleticism, mental strength and just a smidgen of luck, and vastly more entertaining than plenty of officially recognised sports – dressage, anyone?
The grassroots support and genuine love of the game is clearly there – a quick glance at any schoolyard in the country at big lunch will prove that.
The time has come to give this great game the respect it deserves. Organised leagues are just the start – there’s no reason the game can’t go professional, with sponsorship and TV deals and the lot.
We should even be trying to take the game international – not just to show the world what real handball is, but also because, let’s be honest, there’s not a whole lot of sports that Australia’s dominating at the moment.
The amount of handball talent gone to waste over the years is tragic, but it’s not too late to start making up for it.