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By Sonny Jones

Remember playing handball as a youngster? You would get a tennis ball and slap it against a wall, then try to do it again before the ball bounced a second time. You could play by yourself or with a buddy. Pretty simple game.

I tuned in when handball was listed as part of the Olympics coverage. Wow! This wasn’t your childhood handball game.

Team handball is a combination of basketball, ice hockey and soccer. It’s played on a court that looks a bit smaller than a basketball court. Teams change players during play like ice hockey. Players try to throw a ball into a net that looks like a much smaller version of a soccer net.

It’s fast-paced and there can be 50 goals or more during a game.

France beat Egypt 27-23 in a men’s semifinal game. Spain and Denmark were matched in the other men’s semifinal. The women’s semifinals has France playing Sweden and Norway facing the Russian Olympic Committee on Friday.

Men’s medal matches are Saturday and women’s medal matches are Sunday.

The United States has not had a men’s nor women’s team qualify for the Olympics since 1996, when they were automatic qualifiers for the Atlanta Games. That needs to change.

Tune in if you get a chance. It’s an entertaining and interesting game.

• Riegelwood won the Dixie Youth Baseball Division II Major League World Series on Wednesday, beating Taylorsville, Mississippi 8-6. The team also won the Sportsmanship Trophy for the tournament held in Laurel, Mississippi.

It was an amazing run for the Columbus County-based squad. Riegelwood was unbeaten in the state tournament held in Elizabethtown, outscoring the opposition 76-4 in six games. In the World Series, Riegewood went 5-0 and won by a combined score of 49-19. An impressive run, indeed, and congratulations to the players, coaches and families.

• West Robeson, which won the state Division I Majors tournament at Leinwand Park in Elizabethtown on July 24, opens World Series play Saturday against the Texas state champion in Laurel, Mississippi.

• Next year’s Dixie Youth World Series will be in Lumberton.

Sonny Jones can be reached at wibbyj@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @FOSonnyJones.

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