Beach Handball/Non-olympic sport disciplineEVENTS
Debut at the 2023 European Games
This is the first time beach handball is on the European Games program. In the previous two editions, held in Baku and Minsk, the beach version of handball was absent. The games will be attended by 192 players – 16 teams, from 10 countries and the competitions will be held for three days from June 20 at the Beach Sports Center in Tarnow. The competition will end with the awarding of medals to the athletes – medals are provided for the top three male and female teams. The stands of the arena during the games will accommodate 2,100 spectators. Beach soccer specialists will also compete at this facility.
The beach handball tournament will be played in a specially prepared stadium.
Italy the cradle of beach handball
The first beach handball tournament was played in 1992 on St. Anthony’s beach in Ponza. This date is taken as the official birth of the sport. At first, its games were only for entertainment, but after two years, this sport was noticed by the International Handball Federation, which in 1994 created the first official rules of this game.
Since the late 1990s, this sport began to develop around the world and gain more and more popularity. It became an official sport with its own rules and championships.
In Poland, the official Polish Championships have been held for several years under the auspices of the Handball Association, which are considered the leading European tournament series. In recent years, our country has also hosted major tournaments such as the World Games, the European Club Championships and the Senior European Championships.
Rules of the game
Beach Handball is a variation of traditional handball (indoor), which is played on sand. The special rules of the game make this variation extremely spectacular and exciting. Between the two sports, a significant difference is created by the number of players. In beach handball, the team consists of 4 players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. During the game, the players are free to swap, so specific roles are not assigned to them.
A match consists of two sets – each lasting 10 minutes and a five-minute break. In each set played, the winning team must be determined. During the match, goals are scored, of which an “ordinary goal” is 1 point, and a “spectacular goal” is 2 points. A spectacular goal is, for example, hitting the goal from a jump shot or making a spin shot or scoring by the goalkeeper. During normal play, points are scored by placing the ball in the goal, with throws being allowed only from outside the area in front of the goal. The goals scored determine which team wins a particular half of the match, and the match is won by the team that scores more so-called “match points,” i.e. won sets. If, after playing both sets, the winner cannot be decided, it comes to a shoot-out with the goalkeeper versus court player and each goal scored may be 1 or 2 points, depends on the shooting style.
The playing court measures 27 meters in length and 12 meters in width, and its surface is sprinkled with sand. At opposite ends of each pitch are goals measuring 3 x 2 meters. All players play with their hands, barefoot, as footwear is not allowed.