Ever since 1994 handball teams across Europe have converged every other year for the European Men’s EHF Handball Championship. Growing with increasing popularity, people around the world gather in droves to watch this exciting sport. Of all the tournaments around the world, handball is not as well-known as, say, online slot tournaments. When you’re done reading about handball tournaments, try several online slots tournaments at our mobile casino where you can feel the rush of tournament competition on your smartphone.
Held in a different hosting country every year, the last EHF championship was in Croatia in 2018, when Spain was the champion over Sweden. Next year the 2020 EHF championship will be hosted by Austria, Norway, and Sweden, the first time this cup will have ever been jointly presented by three countries. Spread across six cities in these three countries, the dates are January 9 through 26. To help you understand more about this popular European sport before the next big championship, we have a few handball FAQs for your entertainment.
What are handball rules?
The European Handball Federation (EHF) is the umbrella organisation for European handball. International Handball Federation is the governing body behind the world championships.
Basically, the game is played indoors with a ball made of either leather or synthetic material. Handball is a hybrid of soccer and basketball where two teams try to outscore their opponents. Each team consists of seven players, including six outfielders and one goalkeeper. A game lasts 60 minutes and may be broken up into two 30-minute sections with a 15-minute break.
Goals are scored when the ball is thrown into the opponent’s goal. Each goal area has a semi-circle known as the zone. There is also a dashed semi-circle 9 metres from the goal which serves as the free throw line.
Where is handball most popular?
You will most likely find handball players in much of Europe. Main countries known for playing and enjoying the sport include Germany, France, Spain, the Nordic countries, and countries associated with former Yugoslavia. Typically, lower-level league games even draw a huge crowd, illustrating the vast popularity of this sport. Handball fans are enthusiastic and hard-core.
Who will take part at the EHF?
EHF championship teams were selected last June in Vienna to determine which groups will play whom at the 2020 tournament. An unheard of 24 teams were seeded in the following pots:
- Pot 1 (first ranked qualifiers, defending champions, and organiser)
Spain, Sweden, France, Denmark, Croatia, and Czech Republic.
- Pot 2 (Organiser, four remaining first ranked, and one second ranked)
Norway, Slovenia, Germany, North Macedonia, Hungary and Belarus.
- Pot 3 (Organiser and 5 second-ranked teams)
Austria, Iceland, Montenegro, Portugal, Switzerland, and Latvia.
- Pot 4 (2 second-ranked teams of qualifiers and 4 best third-ranked teams)
Poland, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Netherlands.
After the draw on June 28th, the competing groups are as follows:
- Group A in Graz, Austria: Croatia, Belarus, Montenegro, and Serbia.
- Group B in Vienna, Austria: Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Austria, and Ukraine.
- Group C in Trondheim, Norway: Spain, Germany, Latvia, and Netherlands.
- Group D Trondheim, Norway: France, Norway, Portugal, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
- Group E in Malmo, Sweden: Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, and Russia.
- Group F in Gothenburg, Sweden: Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Poland.
Final medals will be competed for in Stockholm at Tele2 Arena.
Who is the favourite team to win EHF?
As the largest and most hotly anticipated tournament in EHF history, will the old favourite, Sweden, win again? Defending champions Spain are major contenders. Croatia, who will play against EHF Euro 2016 champions Germany, also stands a chance to win in their preliminary group matches in Graz.
When and where does the next world championship take place?
The next world championship will take place in 2022. As the 15th EHF European Men’s Handball Championship, EHF Euro 20202 will be held in Hungary and Slovakia.
What other famous tournaments are going on?
If you can’t get enough of handball, watch out for the 2021 IHF World Men’s Handball Championship. The 27th version this event held every other year, 2021 will see Egypt as the host. The dates are January 14 to 31. A noteworthy aspect of this event is that it will be the first Handball Championship with 32 teams instead of 24, pointing to dizzying popularity with which this sport is growing.
Funny Handball Moments
Want to get your handball slapstick in as well as your serious play-by-play moments? Check out this video of classic bloopers, including sassy plays and wipe-outs. This funny video shows some good fails and fouls from smaller league teams. Handball is an exciting, tough sport that is all the rage in Europe. Become a fan after reading this article and book your ticket to EHF 2020!