A trendy variation of the traditional Olympic sport, beach handball fits in perfectly with lifestyle and beach cultures. Played on sand by teams of four, and with another four substitute players per team, the action on the small court is fast – at times even furious. Extra points are awarded for particularly spectacular goals: for those scored in-flight, through a penalty or by a goalkeeper. Games go over two halves - or sets - of ten minutes each. And there is always a winner in beach handball: a “golden goal” rule applies in a draw for the half. Should each team win one half, the game is decided by a “shoot-out.” One field player goes up against the goalie.
Beach Handball features in The World Games 2013; check the event calendar for details about when it is scheduled.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
Action on the beach ...
Beach handball is played on a very small sand court measuring only 27 by 12 meters, and with a rubber ball that is kept in bright colors. All emphasis is put on making the games as exciting as possible! The history of the game can be traced back to day one, 20 June 1992, when Italian pioneers drew up the rules, and to the first ever international tournament played on Isola di Ponza, ITA, only one month later.
Official sport ...
In 2010, the Executive Committee of the International World Games Association unanimously decided to move beach handball from being an invitational sport to a sport on the Official Program of The World Games. Beach handball was already part of The World Games as an invitational sport in 2001 Akita, 2005 Duisburg and 2009 Kaohsiung.
The IHF Beach Handball Working Group already staged an educational event in Palmira, Colombia, to prepare for The World Games 2013 Cali. As part of the three-year plan leading up to The World Games 2013 in Cali, the IHF Beach Handball Working Group organized a Beach Handball Master Course for coaches and referees from 3 to 6 March 2011.
2009 Kaohsiung World Games Champions ...
The Italian women's team was crowned champion of The World Games in front of a huge crowd in the Sizihwan Beach Handball Arena in Kaohsiung, TPE. Their winning goal was a superb tactical combination, resulting in a direct goal from the goalkeeper, Carolina Balsanti.
Brazil dominated the men's final against Hungary. Unbeaten throughout the entire tournament, Brazilians were not about to let this title slip through their hands. They had beaten Hungary 2:0 in the preliminary round, and although the Hungarians came somewhat closer in the final, the Brazilians were always the strongest team on the beach.