Handball at the 1972 Summer Olympics
was the second appearance of the sport at the Olympics, returning to the Olympic program after a 36 year absence. It was contested by sixteen teams.
The teams were split into four groups of four teams each. Each team played every other team in its group.
The lowest team in group A played the lowest in group B while the lowest in groups C and D played each other. The winners of those games played each other for 13th and 14th places, while the losers played each other for 15th and 16th.
The third-ranked teams in groups A and B also played each, as did those in groups C and D. Again, the winners of those games played each other, this time for 9th and 10th places. The losers played for 11th and 12th places.
The top two teams in each group advanced to the main round. Those from groups A and B became group I while those from groups C and D became group II. Another round-robin was played within those groups, with the results from the preliminary round carrying over.
The fourth-ranked teams in each of the two main round groups played each other for 7th and 8th place. The third-ranked teams played against each other for 5th and 6th place. The second-ranked teams played for the bronze medal and 4th place. The top teams in group I and group II played each other for the gold and silver medals.
- Denmark tied Soviet Union, 12-12
- Sweden tied Poland, 13-13
- Poland def. Denmark, 11-8