In the sport of racquetball, one player uses a racquet and a ball to compete against the other player, with the goal of making the ball difficult for the opponent to hit. Wearing a glove is optional. Handball does not use a racquet; players hit the ball with their hands. Gloves are standard in handball.
A racquetball glove is optimized for performance with a racquet. The material and design make it easier to grip the handle and maneuver the racquet. Most racquetball players wear only one glove, on their racquet hand, much like in golf. In handball, players wear gloves on both hands. Handball gloves have enough padding to prevent injury when hitting the ball, and enough dexterity to ensure that the ball can be directed accurately.
Racquetball and handball gloves are generally clad with soft leather, sheepskin, goatskin or synthetic leather. These materials all perform the same function, and a player's preference determines which they find to be the best. The fit should be snug, but not too tight or too loose. The material will stretch as you use the gloves, however, synthetic leather can take longer to break in than animal skin. Racquetball gloves tend to have tacky material on the palm side of the glove to grip the racquet handle, whereas handball gloves are typically plain with no extra substances on the palm. With handball gloves, make sure the wrist grip holds tightly to your wrist so it does not come off during play.
The interior of racquetball gloves are often a combination of mesh and synthetic material to handle sweat and increase comfort. Vents sewn into the glove let heat out during play. Handball gloves are lined with padding and synthetic material that helps wick sweat away from the body. Because handball is often played outside, a glove with a fleece lining can make for a more comfortable game when the weather is cold.
Racquetball and handball gloves are similarly priced. You can get a standard, entry-level glove in the range of $20 to $30. Once you become an experienced player and know which type of glove works best for you, a higher-end glove, usually $30 to $40, can enhance your game. Although sporting-goods stores offer a range of gloves, an online retailer will have the greatest variety.
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